Eleventh regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-11)
11-15 June 2007 | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters, Rome, Italy
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Monday, 11 June 2007

June 2007
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Monday, 18 June 2007

CGRFA-11
Saturday, 9 June - Monday, 11 June - Tuesday, 12 June
Wednesday, 13 June - Thursday, 14 June - Friday, 15 June

CGRFA-11 HIGHLIGHTS
Monday, 11 June 2007

The eleventh regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-11) opened on Monday, 11 June 2007, at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome. The meeting commenced with a short film, which provided an overview of the Commission and its work. This was followed by opening statements from Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General, Natural Resources and Environment Management Department, FAO, and the outgoing Commission Chair, Eng Siang Lim (Malaysia). After addressing organizational matters, including agreeing to nominations for the meeting bureau and adoption of the meeting agenda and timetable, delegates begun considering substantive agenda items.

On the programme of work on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture (AnGR), delegates addressed: the report of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources (ITWG-AnGR); the status of preparations for the International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources, to be held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in September 2007 (Interlaken Conference); The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources; and draft elements of a Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. In relation to the latter, participants focused on the text of the draft Strategic Priorities for Action for the Sustainable Use, Development and Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Strategic Priorities). Discussion of the Strategic Priorities and other elements of the Global Plan of Action for AnGR will continue in plenary on Tuesday.

Opening Session
Welcoming participants to Rome, Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, FAO, observed that the large number of attendees at CGRFA-11 indicated the degree of interest in agenda items.

Chair of CGRFA-10, Eng Siang Lim (Malaysia), observed that CGRFA-11 is taking place against a backdrop of rapidly evolving dynamic global factors, including economic growth and changing consumption patterns.

Bert Visser (Netherlands) was elected Chair of CGRFA-11.
Programme of Work on Animal Genetic Resources

Harvey Blackburn, ITWG-AnGR Chair detailed the report of the group’s fourth session, which convened from 13-15 December 2006, in Rome.

Irene Hoffmann, Chief, Animal Production Service, FAO, outlined the draft agenda for the International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources, to be held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in September 2007.

François Pythoud, Head of International Sustainable Agriculture Section, Federal Office of Agriculture (Switzerland), provided information to delegates on registration, excursions and the Interlaken Conference website. 
During discussions of the text of the draft Strategic Priorities, Australia supported removal of brackets from the introductory paragraphs.

Guinea called for The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources to be translated into all of the FAO’s official languages.

Argentina, with other countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasized that financing for implementation of the draft Strategic Priorities is of fundamental importance.

Eritrea suggested the Interlaken Conference be postponed to allow more time for preparations.

During discussion of the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources, Kenya said that definitions of the term “breed” vary between regions and that a single definition remains elusive in Africa.

The International Indian Treaty Council called on the Commission to protect genetic diversity fostered by indigenous people over thousands of years.
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