Tenth Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-10)

8-12 November 2004, Rome, Italy
faologo


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The tenth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-10) will convene from 8-12 November 2004 at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Rome, Italy. It will be followed by the second meeting of the CGRFA acting as the Interim Committee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), which will convene from 15-19 November 2004.

CGRFA-10 will open with a brief ceremony to mark its twentieth anniversary and the ITPGR’s entry into force. Delegates will address a range of topics on plant genetic resources, animal genetic resources, and general issues, including: the work of the intergovernmental technical working groups on plant genetic resources (ITWG-PGR) and animal genetic resources (ITWG-AnGR); FAO’s activities on agricultural biodiversity; cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and the draft code of conduct on biotechnology.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE CGRFA

The FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources was established in 1983. Renamed the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 1995, it currently comprises 165 countries and the European Community. The CGRFA’s main objectives are to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture, as well as the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.

The CGRFA develops and monitors the Global System for Plant Genetic Resources and the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. It also facilitates and oversees cooperation between the FAO and other relevant bodies, including the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD. Its regular sessions are held every two years and extraordinary sessions are convened when required. In 1997, the Commission established two subsidiary bodies, the ITWG-PGR and the ITWG-AnGR, to deal with specific issues in these areas.

The development of the Global System on Plant Genetic Resources began in 1983. The Global System contains two key elements: the Report on the State of the World’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) and the Global Plan of Action (GPA) for the conservation and sustainable utilization of PGRFA. The first Report on the State of the World’s PGRFA was presented at the fourth international technical conference held in Leipzig, Germany, in 1996. The GPA, adopted through the Leipzig Declaration, comprises a set of activities covering capacity building, and in situ and ex situ conservation of PGRFA. The Global System also includes: the non-binding International Undertaking on PGRFA; the Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer; gene bank standards and guidelines; the draft code of conduct on biotechnology; crop and thematic networks; the international network of ex situ collections; and the World Information and Early Warning System. Initiated in 1993, the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources provides a technical and operational framework for assisting countries. It is comprised of: an intergovernmental mechanism for policy development; country-based global infrastructure to help States plan and implement national strategies; a technical support programme aimed at the country level; and a reporting and evaluation system to guide the Strategy’s implementation and facilitate collaboration. A communication and information tool called the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System assists the Strategy’s implementation.

Negotiated for seven years under the auspices of the CGRFA, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) entered into force on 29 June 2004, ninety days after the deposit of its 40th ratification. Sixty countries and the European Community have now ratified the Treaty, a legally binding instrument that targets the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA and equitable benefit-sharing for sustainable agriculture and food security. The Treaty establishes a multilateral system (MS) for facilitated access to a specified list of PGRFA, balanced by benefit-sharing in the areas of information exchange, technology transfer, capacity building and commercial development. The list of crops in Annex I, which defines the Treaty’s scope, includes 35 crop genera and 29 forage species.


Links |

CGRFA Homepage
CGRFA-10 documents
ITPGR Homepage
ITPGR IC-2 documents
CGRFA-9 ENB Summary Report (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
ITPGR IC-1 ENB Summary Report (HTML, PDF, TEXT)

FAO homepage

 
 

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