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International

Current projects

Current projects

Sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture

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
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Building capacity for the preparation of The Second Report on the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources

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
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Foundations for rebuilding seed systems post Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi

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 – 29.02.2020, extended until 31.12.2020
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Breathing New Life into the Global Crop Conservation Strategies

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 – 14.07.2022, extended until 31.10.2022
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Implementation of the European Evaluation network (EVA) on wheat/barley, vegetable crops (carrot, lettuce, pepper) and maize

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: 01.07.2019-30.06.2022, extended until 30.11.2022
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Development of a globally agreed list of descriptors for in situ Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) documentation

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.

Project duration: 01.06.2019 - 31.05.2020, extended until 31.12.2020
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AQUAGRIS : A Registry of Farmed Types of Aquatic Genetic Resources

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 – 31.12.2020
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