Many of the species in the European flora are wild species related to our cultivated plants (crop wild relatives). They are not only a component of ecosystems, but also an important resource for plant breeding. However, natural populations are increasingly threatened by climate change and other causes. Conservation of these species takes place in situ, i.e. in their natural habitats, where they can continue to adapt to changing environmental conditions so that genetic diversity is maintained. In addition to conservation, a basic prerequisite for the targeted use of these genetic resources inbreeding and crop improvement is, among other things, standardized documentation and the availability of this information. The aim of the project is to enable the documentation of crop wild relative populations conserved in situ in Europe according to agreed in situ descriptors in the European Internet search Catalogue EURISCO. This user-oriented provision will significantly facilitate and improve conservation.
The project is embedded in the European Cooperation Program for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR). The aim of ECPGR is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Europe.
Project duration: 15.11.2021 – 31.12.2023
More information on the European Cooperative Programme on Plant Genetic Resources
The Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources adopted by the FAO Conference in 2013, identified the availability of, and access to, information on forest genetic resources (FGR) as one of the priority areas for further action by countries and the international community. The First Report on the implementation of the Global Plan of Action was presented to the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) in February 2019. The preparation of this report confirmed that there is a continued need for increasing countries’ understanding on technical concepts and approaches related to the management of FGR, including the reporting requirements for monitoring the implementation of the Global Plan of Action and for preparing global assessments on FGR. The CGRFA also requested FAO to initiate the development of a new global information system on FGR. The expected outcome of the project is increased availability of information on FGR for policy-making and action at national, regional and global levels.
Project duration: 01.11.2020 – 31.10.2023
At the beginning of 2019, the FAO published the first report on the State of the World‘s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (SoWBFA Report), which was produced under the leadership of the Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA). The report describes the state and current management of biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA) and shows what future requirements will exist with regard to sustainable use and conservation. The aim of the project is to improve the conservation and sustainable use of BFA and to continue the SoWBFA process. The CGRFA member states will be supported in the development and implementation of actions, which should result in the adoption of a global plan of action (GPA) by the FAO conference. This includes the organisation of four regional capacity-building workshops for increased awareness of the state of biodiversity for food and agriculture. Up to five front-runner countries will be identified for the development of a national strategy for genetic resources for food and agriculture and supported in the development and implementation of national strategies, action plans and projects. In addition, guidelines for country action will be developed to help the countries prepare national strategies and action plans and implement national measures.
Project duration: 01.09.2020 – 31.12.2022
Based on the first World Status Report on Forest Genetic Resources, the CGRFA (Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture) agreed in April 2013 on a Global Action Plan for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources. At the beginning of 2019, the first report on the implementation of the Global Plan of Action was adopted and the member states were called upon to further advance its implementation. Currently, the member states of the CGRFA are requested to prepare the national reports for the preparation of the second World Status Report on Forest Genetic Resources and to provide the information for the second report on the implementation of the Global Plan of Action. The aim of the project is to support the National Focal Points for forest genetic resources in the preparation of the national reports and in providing the information for the second report on the implementation of the Global Plan of Action. The project provides technical assistance and training through regional workshops. Additional information on forest genetic resources will be gathered and analysed through expert meetings and reviews of scientific literature for the preparation of the report. The overall objective of the project is to increase the capacity of the National Focal Points, especially in developing countries, and to promote regional networking of stakeholders. The activities and results of the project make an important contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources and to the UN sustainability goals.
Project duration: 01.07.2020 - 30.06.2023
This project aims to increase the immediate and long-term food and nutrition security in cyclone Idai (2019) affected communities of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique through improved national and regional planning and coordination and assessing the loss of plant genetic resources, so that a baseline can be established and strategy developed for restoring germplasm, and rebuilding and strengthening local seed systems.
The objectives are
1. to better coordinate and plan activities for the reconstruction of local seed systems in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique through the development of plans and regional strategic frameworks and establishment of regional and national coordination platforms and committees.
2. to establish the ex-ante and post-ante trends and status of local seed systems in cyclone Idai affected communities in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.
3. to provide short-term measures to seed insecurity in Cyclone Idai affected communities through the provision of suitable genetic resources.
4. to strengthen the capacity of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique to implement the International Plant Treaty through the provision of targeted capacity development and policy guidance activities and products.
5. to raise awareness of the impact of extreme weather events on biodiversity and local seed systems through the development of targeted communication products and activities.
Project duration: 15.09.2019 – 31.05.2022
The aim of this project is to revise and update comprehensive global strategies for the efficient and effective conservation of the genetic diversity of key crops and help identify priority germplasm collections for support, upgrading, and/or capacity building. The global crop conservation strategies will promote the rationalization of conservation efforts at regional and global levels, for example through encouraging partnerships and sharing facilities and tasks, and will link with relevant regional conservation strategies and other relevant initiatives. Through this project, the Crop Trust, in partnership with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), is hoping to put in place a sustainable, dynamic system for further developing and updating crop strategies into the future.
The main activities proposed under this project are centered around updating selected conservation strategies and creating new strategies by using new and updated information sources and following a `diversity tree’ approach to quantify diversity in a given crop genepool.
Project duration: 15.07.2019 – 31.10.2022
Between 2017 and 2019, two ECPGR projects have set the basis for the formulation, consensus building and establishment of an agreed framework at ECPGR level for the implementation of a European Evaluation Network (EVA). The first project involved representatives of the private and public breeding sectors to discuss how collaboration may be improved Europe-wide to increase the utilization of plant genetic resources in plant breeding. A European Evaluation Network was considered of strategic importance as it would present an opportunity to position plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) at a strategic level within Europe. The second project was dedicated to the organization of two ECPGR workshops for the preparation of a European Evaluation Network (EVA) on wheat/barley and a vegetable crop.
In this context, the aim of the project is the implementation of EVA on wheat, barley, vegetables (carrot, lettuce and pepper) and maize under the coordination of the ECPGR Secretariat. The implementation will allow to consolidate a long-term cooperation between genebanks, research institutions and the breeding sector (public and private) within the European cooperative programme. The expected achievements will allow a leap forward in the level of efficiency and services offered by European genebanks, consolidating interaction between conservation and use of PGRFA.
Project duration: 01.07.2019 - 30.11.2023
The project will address the gaps and the lack of coherence in the documentation methods for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), in particular for Crop Wild Relatives (CWR)
under in situ conditions. Those gaps represent a barrier for the sharing of information in the scientific community and for the development of added-value services for plant breeders and organizations working on agricultural biodiversity. The project will consolidate work done on CWR descriptors by recent initiatives developed at national and international levels from different regions. It will take as the starting point the Core Descriptors for in situ conservation of CWR v.1 published by Bioversity International. The project foresees an on-line consultation with authoritative international experts of the Core Advisory Group (CAG) that will help to approve a revised strategic short list of CWR in situ conservation descriptors. It is predicted to validate the short list in countries representing FAO regions through a global survey. Survey results will be finally validated during face-to-face meetings with selected stakeholders and members of the CAG to achieve general consensus on them.
The project will promote the resulting international validated standard descriptor list for CWR in situ documentation. The project beneficiaries are researchers, plant breeders, and conservationists worldwide.
The list of descriptors developed in the first project phase is already available and can be downloaded here.
Project duration: 01.06.2019 - 30.06.2023
Aquatic genetic resources (AqGR) contribute significantly to global food security, nutrition and sustainable livelihoods. However, information on AqGR at the level of species and below tends to be scattered and incomplete. Although the aquaculture production statistics collected by FAO provide useful benchmark information about the utilization of AqGR in aquaculture at the species level, there is scant information available in terms of the prevalence and production of farmed types. Further, the process of compiling the State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SoW AqGR) revealed that over 1 000 non-wild type farmed types are produced around the world. At the same time, the Country Reports compiled by countries for the preparation of the SoW AqGR revealed that the terminology used for AqGR reporting is not standardized, creating risk for confusion.
The aim of this project is to enhance the ability of national and regional stakeholders to record and track information on AqGR below the level of species (i.e. farmed types) through the provision of information management tools and capacity building, with the direct goal of improving the regulation and monitoring of- and access to AqGR for food and agriculture.
Project duration: 15.12.2018 – 31.03.2023