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United Nations First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Interlaken, Switzerland | 3-7 September 2007
FAO
 
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Global Plan Negotiations Start

On Tuesday morning, a welcoming ceremony was held to officially open the first International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) for Food and Agriculture. The ceremony included a performance of traditional Swiss alphorn music and presentations from speakers. The final printed version of The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was presented, and participants welcomed and commented on the new publication. In the afternoon, discussions began on the draft Global Plan of Action for AnGR.

Above: Participants listened to an alphorn trio during the opening ceremony.


Tuesday, 4 September
Opening Ceremony

Doris Leuthard, Federal Councilor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Switzerland, urged delegates to adopt the Global Plan of Action and Interlaken Declaration to reflect a commitment to structured management of AnGR for food security and sustainable development.

Alexander M�ller, Assistant Director-General, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, FAO, said AnGR are particularly important for livelihoods in developing countries, and that at least one livestock breed has become extinct each month over the past seven years.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), noted that parties to the CBD recognize AnGR as essential for food security and both rural and urban communities.
Left: André Nietlisbach, Secretary General, Direction of Economic Affairs, Canton of Bern, Switzerland, welcomed participants to Interlaken and the region.

Right: Urs Graf, Mayor of Interlaken, welcomed participants to his city and wished delegates a successful outcome.
Presentation of The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources

Irene Hoffmann, Chief of FAO's Animal Production Service, launched The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

ICARDA's Barbara Rischkowsky (formerly FAO) outlined the content of the report.

Conference Chair Manfred Bötsch rang a large bell to signal the end of the morning session.
Press Conference

Jacques Chavaz, Assistant Director, Federal Office for Agriculture, Doris Leuthard, Federal Councilor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, and Alexander M�ller, Assistant Director-General, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, FAO, during a noon press conference.
Global Plan of Action for AnGR

Hussein Ibrahim Abu Eissa, Sudan, speaking for the Near East region, called for financial support and capacity building for characterization, compiling inventories and monitoring the region's breeds.

Daniel K.N. Semambo, Uganda, for Africa, highlighted livestock keepers' rights and capacity building at the national level for in situ and ex situ conservation programmes.

Jaime Durango Flores, Ecuador, speaking for Latin America and the Caribbean, called for increased financial resources to implement the Global Plan.

Paul Trushell, Australia, for the South-West Pacific, said that intellectual property rights are best discussed in forums that deal specifically with those issues, such as WIPO.

India, speaking for Asia, suggested that the Global Plan include a clear explanation of what it aims to achieve.

The US, for North America, called for the Global Plan to define specific priorities and actions, based on scientific and technical analysis.

Poland, for the European Regional Group, called for further cooperation with other treaty organizations to better define traditional rights of livestock keepers.

Fadila Al-Salameen, Kuwait, for the G-77/China, said a mechanism on implementation and financing of the Global Plan was imperative.

Utinia Anruti, Kiribati, commented during the ensuing discussion.
Around the Conference

A well-attended evening side event featured a dialogue involving a panel of government and NGO experts.

Councilor Doris Leuthard chatted with a local food vendor during a lunchtime reception.

ENB's Harry Jonas talked with Nchunu Justice Sama, Cameroon, during a break.

A Swissaid administrative staffer hastily created nametags for the evening event.

Related Links

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
ANGR International Technical Conference web site
Meeting Documents

Related ENB Coverage

Linkages Biodiversity and Wildlife Issues page
ENB Coverage of CGRFA 11, 11-15 June 2007
ENB Coverage of the ITPGR Governing Body, 12-16 June 2006
ENB Coverage of CGRFA 10, 8-12 November 2004

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