By adopting a Global Action Plan on Aquatic Genetic Resources, the Commission responded to the needs for action identified in the State of the World Report on Aquatic Genetic Resources published in (2019). To monitor the implementation of the Global Plan of Action, the Commission recommended to develop appropriate indicators. These could be integrated into the Global Information System on Aquatic Genetic Resources, which currently under development at FAO.
To strengthen biodiversity for food and agriculture, the Commission adopted a "Framework for Action on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture”. This framework will be revised again once the results from the development of the CBD's Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework are adopted at CBD´s COP 15.
The Commission also intends to contribute to the discussions on Access and Benefit Sharing and Digital Sequence Information currently underway at the CBD in the context of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and to draw attention to the special features of genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the central international coordination and negotiating body for biological diversity for food and agriculture. Established in 1983 for the coordination of plant genetic resources, the Commission has been responsible since 1995 for the genetic resources of crops, livestock, forest plants, aquatic genetic resources, microorganisms and invertebrates. Important cross-cutting issues are access to genetic resources and equitable benefit sharing, biotechnology for the conservation and use of genetic resources, monitoring and indicators, and ecosystem approaches.
In its multi-year work programme on biological diversity for food and agriculture (MYPOW), CGRFA has set goals and milestones. The BMEL participates in the implementation of the MYPOW with various projects.
The 178 CGRFA member states meet every two years in plenary session to coordinate global activities for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and genetic resources for food and agriculture. At the same time, CGRFA advises other FAO bodies on these issues and coordinates with other international bodies for biodiversity, such as the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Commission has set up 4 Intergovernmental technical working groups (ITWG)
• on plant genetic resources (ITWG-PGR)
• animal genetic resources (ITWG-AnGR)
• Forest Genetic Resources (ITWG-FGR)
• aquatic genetic resources (ITWG-AqGR)
• Expert Group on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (Ad hoc Technical Expert group on Access and Benefit Sharing ABS)
which meet alternately to the plenary every 2 years.