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plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

THE STATE OF IN SITU

THE STATE OF IN SITU MANAGEMENT 2.1 Introduction The CBD defines in situ conservation as “the conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.” While the concept has evolved since the CBD was adopted, this definition is used in several major international treaties and initiatives including the ITPGRFA and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). In situ conservation is often envisaged as taking place in protected areas or habitats (as opposed to ex situ conservation) and can either be targeted at species or the ecosystem in which they occur. It is a particularly important method of conservation for species that are difficult to conserve ex situ, such as many CWR. The on-farm conservation and management of PGRFA is often regarded as a form of in situ conservation. However, in many cases the reasons why farmers continue to grow traditional varieties may have little to do with the desire to conserve and much more to do with reasons of tradition and preferences, risk avoidance, local adaptation, niche market opportunities or simply the lack of a better alternative. Nevertheless, much important diversity continues to be maintained in farmers’ fields and efforts to improve management and use have gained much ground during the past decade. There is now a clearer understanding of the factors involved. 1 This chapter describes progress that has been made since the first SoW report was published in the conservation and management of PGRFA in wild ecosystems, agricultural production systems and the interface between the two. It reviews new knowledge regarding the amount and distribution of diversity of landraces, CWR and other useful plants and assesses current capacity for conserving and managing diversity in situ. The chapter describes a few major global challenges that exist today, summarizes the main changes that have occurred since the first SoW report was published and concludes by identifying further gaps and needs. 2.2 Conservation and management of PGRFA in wild ecosystems Many plant species growing in wild ecosystems are valuable for food and agriculture and may play an important cultural role in local societies. They can provide a safety net when food is scarce and are increasingly marketed locally and internationally, providing an important contribution to household incomes. Approximately a third of the country reports received mentioned the use of wild-harvested plants. Nigeria, for example, cited the use of African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) and locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) in times of food shortage. Grassland and forage species are another important component of agrobiodiversity, especially in countries where livestock production is a major contributor to the national economy. 2 However, natural grasslands are becoming seriously degraded in many parts of the world, resulting in a need for greater attention to be devoted to in situ conservation in such ecosystems. In many cases the conservation and use of natural grasslands is important in strategies to conserve and use animal genetic resources. With the development of new biotechnological methods, CWR are becoming increasingly important in crop genetic improvement. Taking a broad definition of CWR as any taxon belonging to the same genus as a crop, it has been estimated that there are 50-60 000 CWR species worldwide. 3 Of these, approximately 700 are considered of highest priority, being the species that comprise the primary and secondary genepools of the world’s most important food crops, of which many are included in Annex 1 of the ITPGRFA. 2.2.1 Inventory and state of knowledge Since the publication of the first SoW report, most countries have carried out specific surveys and inventories, either as part of their National Biodiversity Action Plans 4 or, more commonly, within the framework of individual projects. Switzerland, 31

CHAPTER 2 for example, completed an inventory of its CWR in 2009 in which 142 species were identified as being of priority for conservation and use. 5 Most surveys, however, have been limited to single crops, small groups of species or to limited areas within the national territory. 6 For example, in Senegal inventories were made of selected species of fonio, millet, maize, cowpea and some leafy vegetables. Mali reported carrying out 16 inventories and surveys of 12 crops, and Albania and Malaysia have both conducted inventories of wild fruit species. Very little survey or inventory work has been carried out on PGRFA in protected areas compared with other components of biodiversity in these areas. 7 The observation made in the first SoW report remains valid, i.e. that in situ conservation of wild species of agricultural importance occurs mainly as an unplanned result of efforts to protect particular habitats or charismatic species. While many countries assume that PGRFA, including CWR, are conserved by setting aside protected areas, 8 the reality is that in many countries this tends to fall between the cracks of two different conservation approaches, ecological and agricultural; the former focusing mainly on rare or threatened wild species and ecosystems and the latter mainly on the ex situ conservation of domesticated crops. As a result, the conservation of CWR has been relatively neglected. 9 Efforts to redress this situation have included a global project led by Bioversity International, to promote collaboration between the environment and agriculture sectors in order to prioritize and conserve CWR in protected areas (see Box 2.1). Compared with the first SoW report in which only four countries 10 reported that they had surveyed the status of CWR, the past decade has seen significant progress in this area, with CWR inventories compiled in at least 28 countries. Some also reported that specific sites for in situ conservation of CWR had been identified. 11 In Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), between 1997 and 2007, 32 inventories and surveys were carried out prioritizing areas of the country where PGRFA were at risk. Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Syrian Arab Republic in collaboration with ICARDA, conducted surveys over the period 1999-2004 to assess the density, frequency and threats to wild relatives of cereals, food legumes, 32 THE SECOND REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S PGRFA Box 2.1 A Crop Wild Relatives Project: increasing knowledge, promoting awareness and enhancing action The global project, ‘In situ conservation of CWR through enhanced information management and field application’, supported by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) and coordinated by Bioversity International, has made significant advances in promoting the in situ conservation of CWR in protected areas. The project works in Armenia, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan and has sought to establish effective partnerships among stakeholders from both the agriculture and environment sectors. The project has comprehensively assessed threats to CWR and identified activities for their mitigation. Outputs have included the development of CWR national action plans; management plans for specific species and protected areas; guidelines for conserving CWR outside protected areas; and improved legislative frameworks for CWR conservation. Selected species of CWR have been evaluated to identify traits of value in crop improvement. Information from the project has been integrated within national information systems and is available through a Global Portal. This, combined with training and innovative public awareness efforts, means that the project is helping to enhance the conservation of CWR not only in the participating countries but also throughout the world. forage legumes and of seven genera of fruit trees and neglected species. At the regional and global level, efforts have been made by several international organizations to carry out inventories and to determine the conservation status of wild plants. An analysis of the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species 12 shows that of the14 important crops for food security, identified in the thematic study,

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    THE STATE OF EX SITU CONSERVATION 1

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    Chapter 4 The state of use CHAPTER

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    96 CHAPTER 4 very similar (approxim

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    98 CHAPTER 4 including rice, maize

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    CHAPTER 4 In the United States of A

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    CHAPTER 4 biosafety monitoring and

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    CHAPTER 4 improvement. While the fi

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    CHAPTER 4 A number of countries 36

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    CHAPTER 4 Different plants are rich

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    CHAPTER 4 breeding activities over

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    118 CHAPTER 4 16 Op cit. Endnote 8.

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    Chapter 5 The state of national pro

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    CHAPTER 5 In some countries includi

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    CHAPTER 5 Africa, Burkina Faso, Cam

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    CHAPTER 5 Box 5.2 India’s Protect

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    CHAPTER 5 the adoption of national

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    138 CHAPTER 5 10 Available at: http

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    Chapter 6 The state of regional and

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    CHAPTER 6 a) those that focus on co

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    146 CHAPTER 6 PGRN has continued to

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    CHAPTER 6 and African countries for

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    CHAPTER 6 few years, the CGIAR Syst

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    CHAPTER 6 • ICBA: 64 ICBA was est

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    CHAPTER 6 Varieties. Central Americ

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    CHAPTER 6 the first SoW report was

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    160 CHAPTER 6 12 Available at: www.

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    Chapter 7 Access to Plant Genetic R

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    CHAPTER 7 Box 7.1 Benefit-sharing u

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    CHAPTER 7 laws, regulations and con

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    CHAPTER 7 regional workshops on Far

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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    Annex 2 Regional distribution of co

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    EUROPE 214 ANNEX 2 ASIA AND THE PAC

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    MAJOR GERMPLASM COLLECTIONS BY CROP

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    MAJOR GERMPLASM COLLECTIONS BY CROP

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    MAJOR GERMPLASM COLLECTIONS BY CROP

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    Appendix 4 State of diversity of ma

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    APPENDIX 4 some country reports. 6

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    APPENDIX 4 option for perennial tax

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    APPENDIX 4 (wild one-grain wheat, T

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    APPENDIX 4 regeneration of existing

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    APPENDIX 4 An operational comprehen

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    APPENDIX 4 FIGURE A4.2 Global yield

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    APPENDIX 4 actively contribute to t

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    APPENDIX 4 Role of crop in sustaina

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    APPENDIX 4 and Myanmar (3 percent).

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    APPENDIX 4 progenitor is the wild s

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    appendiX 4 Ex situ conservation sta

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    APPENDIX 4 Documentation, character

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    APPENDIX 4 The two global chickpea

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    APPENDIX 4 in collections, absence

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    APPENDIX 4 FIGURE A4.5 Global yield

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    338 APPENDIX 4 are also conserved.

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    340 APPENDIX 4 WebPDF/Crop percent2

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    342 APPENDIX 4 90 Op cit. Endnote 2

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    344 APPENDIX 4 159 GCDT. 2007. Glob

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    346 APPENDIX 4 217 Op cit. Endnote

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    348 APPENDIX 4 291 Op cit. Endnote

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    350 APPENDIX 4 366 Ibid. Endnote 35

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    BAAFS Beijing Academy of Agricultur

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    CN Centre Néerlandais (Côte d’I

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    DTRUFC División of Tropical Resear

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    HRIGRU Horticultural Research Inter

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    INIA CARI Centro Regional de Invest

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    IVM Institute of Grape and Wine «M

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    NISM National Information Sharing M

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    REHOVOT Department of Field and Veg

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    SRI Sugar Crop Research Institute,

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    WCMC World Conservation Monitoring

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