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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) has produced a summary report of the special seminar, daily web coverage and reports, and a summary and analysis of CGRFA 13. To download our report, click the HTML or PDF icons below.
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Biodiversity Policy & Practice
Special Information Seminar on Climate Change and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: State of Knowledge, Risks and Opportunities
And

Thirteenth Session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA 13)

16 July 2011 and 18-22 July 2011 | FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

Summary Highlights of the Session

CGRFA 13 The thirteenth regular session of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA 13) was held from 18-22 July 2011 at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy.

After a week of lengthy contact group discussions, often late into the night, the meeting adopted the Second Global Plan of Action (GPA) on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA), a major milestone in the CGRFA Multi-year Programme of Work (MYPOW). CGRFA 13 also adopted a much welcomed roadmap on climate change and genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA), and decided to establish an Ad hoc Technical Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) for GRFA. Furthermore, the meeting considered: biotechnologies for the conservation and sustainable use of GRFA; cooperation with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other international conventions and organizations; aquatic genetic resources; biodiversity of micro-organisms and invertebrates for food and agriculture; targets and indicators; MYPOW implementation and review; and the Commission's status and profile.

Delegates leaving Rome felt that the meeting had been a success, particularly in view of the action to be taken by the Commission on climate change and ABS. However, with respect to the last-minute conclusion of the GPA and the overall very heavy agenda, some noted that the Commission is experiencing growing pains as it continues the expansion of its activities into all sectors of GRFA management and is faced with new challenges such as climate change and ABS implementation.

Piazza Navona in Rome.
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)

Highlights for Friday, 22 July 2011

The CGRFA 13 closing plenary convened at 6:30 pm on Friday. Delegates adopted the meeting's report paragraph by paragraph, making minor amendments, with the exception of the section on aquatic genetic resources and review of the MYPOW, pending informal consultations on the inclusion of aquatic genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction in the State of the World report on aquatic genetic resources. Plenary was suspended at 8:30pm to allow for further consultations.

At 9:30 pm plenary resumed. Reporting on the outcomes of the small group, Egypt presented a proposal stating that the Commission would continue its work towards a first State of the World (SoW) report on aquatic resources, initially focusing on cultured aquatic genetic resources, and come back to the issue at CGRFA 14. Delegates then approved the resulting changes in the revised MYPOW and adopted the meeting's report.

Regional groups and a representative of civil society organizations made closing statements, expressing their appreciation to the Chair and the Secretariat, commending the collaborative atmosphere of the Commission's work. CGRFA Secretary Linda Collette lauded the meeting's outcomes as step towards raising the profile of GRFA issues on international agendas, and Chair Mozafari gaveled the meeting to a close at 10:25 pm.

Download the IISD RS summary and analysis of the meeting in HTML or PDF format.

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Visit the web coverage for Friday, 22 July 2011.

Poongyeon Lee (Republic of Korea)
Mario Arvelo (Dominican Republic), speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC).
Wieslaw Podyma (Poland), speaking on behalf of the European Union.
Huda Mubarak Al-Dosari (Qatar), speaking on behalf of the Near East Region.
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A view of the small group on aquatic genetic resources.
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Paulino Franco de Carvalho Neto (Brazil)
Francois Pythoud (Switzerland)
Amar Tahiri (Morocco)
Dina El-Khishin (Egypt), reporting on the progress of the small group on aquatic genetic resources.
Javad Mozafari Hashjin, CGRFA Chairperson, applauding the close of the Session.

Highlights for Thursday, 21 July 2011

Delegates met in plenary in the morning to consider: cooperation with international instruments, conventions and organizations; status and profile of the Commission; election of Chairs and Vice-Chairs; and aquatic genetic resources. The Contact Group on the GPA for PGRFA met in the afternoon and evening to finalize consideration of the GPA.

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Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 21 July 2011.

*Download the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report for Thursday, 21 July 2011 in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format), or Spanish (in HTML or PDF format).

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The view of the plenary.
Ali Al-Shurai (Yemen), speaking on behalf of the Near East Region.
Brad Fraleigh (Canada), upon being elected the new CGRFA Chairperson.
Godfrey Mwila, Global Crop Diversity Trust
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L-R: Lamis Chalak (Lebanon) and M. Saboor Shirzad (Afghanistan)
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Contact Group Co-Chairs consulting with each other.

Book Launch: Plant Genetic Resources and Food Security
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The launching of a new book, "Plant Genetic Resources and Food Security: Stakeholder Perspectives on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture," edited by Christine Frison (back row, in red), Francisco Lopez (front row, fifth from right) and José T. Esquinas (back row, second from left). The book, published by Bioversity International, FAO and Earthscan, is part of the "Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity" series, which is co-edited by Michael Halewood (back row, far right).

Side Event on Funding Strategy for the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action
Friedrich-Carl Bruns, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to FAO
Irene Hoffmann, Chief of Animal Genetic Resources Branch, FAO
Linda Collette, CGRFA Secretary

Highlights for Wednesday, 20 July 2011
CGRFA 13 delegates heard a report on progress in the contact group on the GPA for PGRFA in the morning, and addressed animal genetic resources; access and benefit-sharing; biodiversity of micro-organisms and invertebrates for food and agriculture; targets and indicators; aquatic genetic resources; human and financial resources for MYPOW implementation; and MYPOW review. The contact group on the updated GPA for PGRFA met during the afternoon and in the evening.

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Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 20 July 2011.

*Download the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report for Wednesday, 20 July 2011 in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format), or Spanish (in HTML or PDF format).
Francois Pythoud (Switzerland)
Brad Fraleigh (Canada) presenting the report of the Contact Group on the updated Global Plan of Action.
Modesto Fernández (Cuba), speaking on behalf of GRULAC.
Erdenejargal Tumurbaatar (Mongolia)
Thomas Meier (Germany)
Mohamed Lemine Ould Haki (Mauritania)

Side Event on Biocultural Community Protocols and the Ark of Livestock Biodiversity
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Examples of products made from the dung and wool of local camel breeds from Rajasthan, India, which can serve as strong incentives for local livestock keepers to continue their customary use and conservation of animal genetic resources.
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L-R: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, League for Pastoral Peoples; Hanwant Singh Rathore, Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan; Jacob Wanyama, Africa LIFE Network; and Abdul Raziq Kakar, Society of Animal, Veterinarian and Environmental Scientists. Speakers emphasized the need for recognition of the role of livestock keepers as custodians of indigenous livestock breeds and explored how biocultural community protocols can help establish community ownership over traditional breeds and associated grazing areas, as well as clarify to policy makers the direct linkages between animal genetic resources and local socio-cultural contexts.

Highlights for Tuesday, 19 July 2011
CGRFA 13 delegates continued to consider items related to the Commission's MYPOW, namely the cross-sectorial matter of policies and arrangements for ABS for GRFA, and: cooperation with the ITPGRFA; progress in implementation of other CGRFA recommendations on PGRFA; and forest genetic resources.

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Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 19 July 2011.

*Download the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report for Tuesday, 19 July 2011 in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format), or Spanish (in HTML or PDF format).
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Dan Leskien (far right), CGRFA Secretariat
Elżbieta Martyniuk (Poland), speaking on behalf of the European Union.
Tashi Yangzome Dorji (Bhutan)
Liz Matos (Angola), speaking on behalf of the African Group.
Sanaa Abdulwahhab Abdulazeez (Iraq)
Kakoli Ghosh, FAO, briefing delegates on follow-up to recommendations made at the 12th CGRFA session.
M. Saboor Shirzad (Afghanistan)

Side Event on Agrobiodiversity, Climate Change and Food Security
Andy Jarvis, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, provided an overview of a partnership between CGIAR and the Earth System Science Partnership, which aims to combine climate and agricultural sciences towards improved environmental health, rural livelihoods, and food security.
Ahmed Amri, International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, illustrated a methodology for using ex situ collections to select climate change-related adaptive traits.
Emile Frison, Bioversity International, emphasized that both species and genetic agrobiodiversity will play an increasingly key role in adaptation to and mitigation of progressive climate change.

Highlights for Monday, 18 July 2011

CGRFA 13 opened on Monday, 18 July 2011 at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Delegates adopted the meeting's agenda and the timetable and considered items relating to the Commission's MYPOW, namely the updated GPA for the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA, the role of biotechnologies for the conservation and utilization of GRFA, and climate change and GRFA. A contact group on the GPA met in the evening and into the night.

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Visit the web coverage for Monday, 18 July 2011.

*Download the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report for Monday, 18 July 2011 in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format), or Spanish (in HTML or PDF format).

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The dais during the opening plenary.
Linda Collette, CGRFA Secretary
Valérie Normand, CBD Secretariat
Shakeel Bhatti, ITPGR Secretary
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Lamis Chalak (Lebanon), speaking on behalf of the Near East Region.
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Asmerom Kidane (Eritrea), right

Highlights from Around the Meeting
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A quote of the former President of the United Arab Emirates, found in the FAO atrium.
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Amadu Tejan Jalloh (Sierra Leone), left, waiting patiently for the meeting to begin.
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L-R: Neth Daño, ETC Group, Patrick Mulvany and Jonathan Ensor, Practical Action
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The delegation from Kenya.
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Picking up conference papers at the documentation centre.
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Poring over the ENB daily.
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Looking at the photos on the ENB webpage.
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Delegates from Asia sharing a laugh before plenary resumed after several hours' delay on the final day.
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Taking advantage of complimentary refreshments outside a side event.
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Scouring for useful literature in the FAO publications room.
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Local staff assisting with technical support and distribution of documents.
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Gift of the former President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
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CGRFA banners calling for biodiversity for hunger eradication.
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A painting outside of the Iran Room at FAO.
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
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Related Links
CGRFA 13 resources
*Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Website
*CGRFA 13 meeting website
*Provisional annotated agenda and time-table
*Programme of the Special Information Seminar

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Fourth Session of the Governing Body (GB 4) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), 14-18 March, Bali, Indonesia
*IISD RS coverage of CGRFA 12, 19-23 October 2009, FAO Headquarters, Rome Italy
*IISD RS coverage of the Special Information Seminar - “Policies and Arrangements for Access and Benefit-sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture,” 17 October 2009, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS coverage of ITPGR GB 3, 1-5 June 2009, Tunis, Tunisia

*IISD RS coverage of ITPGR GB 2, 29 October - 2 November 2007, UN Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS coverage of ITPGR GB 1, 12-16 June 2006, Madrid, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of the First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, 3-7 September 2007, Interlaken, Switzerland
*IISD RS coverage of CGRFA 11, 11-15 June 2007, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
*IISD RS archive of meetings on Commission on Genetic Resources (CGRFA) and ITPGRFA
*Biodiversity-L - A mailing list for news on biodiversity and wildlife policy
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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