FAO’s plant ge­netic re­sources treaty gets strength­ened, US joins hand

The num­ber of coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Treaty on Plant Ge­netic Re­sources for Food and Agri­cul­ture reaches to 143

Rural & Marketing - - PLANT GENETICS -

The United States is the new­est mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Treaty on Plant Ge­netic Re­sources for Food and Agri­cul­ture, a ground-break­ing in­stru­ment that works to strengthen global food se­cu­rity by pro­mot­ing the con­ser­va­tion, shar­ing, and sus­tain­able use of agri­cul­tural plant ge­netic re­sources.

José Graziano da Silva, DG, Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the United Na­tions (FAO) and Thomas M. Duffy, Chargé d'Af­faires ad in­terim of the US Em­bassy to Rome, marked the en­try into force of the treaty for the US dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the UN food agency's Rome head­quar­ters re­cently.

"The United States looks for­ward to work­ing with US stake­hold­ers and in­ter­na­tional part­ners to con­tinue to strengthen the Treaty to con­serve the re­sources needed for agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­silience and food se­cu­rity," said Duffy.

"We wel­come the mem­ber­ship of the United State of Amer­ica and we hope that as new coun­tries join the In­ter­na­tional Treaty, the in­creased ex­change of ma­te­rial and the flow of ben­e­fits re­sult­ing from their use will trans­late in more sup­port to lo­cal farm­ers in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries who con­serve seeds and other plant­ing ma­te­rial," said Graziano da Silva.

"Bio­di­ver­sity can help us face the im­pacts of cli­mate change. We need to en­sure that farm­ers have ac­cess to seeds, and to pro­mote and sup­port breed­ing pro­grammes in dif­fer­ent re­gions to find the best way to adapt. That is what FAO's Seed Treaty is all about," added the FAO Direc­tor-Gen­eral.

The United States of­fi­cially de­posited its cer­tifi­cate of ad­her­ence to the treaty with FAO three months ago, trig­ger­ing a three month count-down to its en­try into force for the coun­try.

Five other coun­tries — Ar­gentina, Bo­livia, Guyana, Tu­valu and Chile — also re­cently be­came ac­tive con­tract­ing par­ties to the treaty. And An­tigua and Bar­buda have also de­posited its cer­tifi­cate of ad­her­ence and so is poised to be­come so by mid-2017.

Boost to rich ge­netic repos­i­tory

The Treaty's cen­tre­piece is its "Mul­ti­lat­eral Sys­tem" that fa­cil­i­tates ac­cess to a globe-span­ning col­lec­tion of plant ge­netic re­sources, ex­clu­sively for use in re­search, breed­ing and train­ing ef­forts — and which in­cludes mea­sures to en­sure the fair and eq­ui­table shar­ing of any fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits that re­sult.

The Mul­ti­lat­eral Sys­tem cur­rently ap­plies to 64 food, feed and graz­ing crops main­tained by In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search Cen­tres or un­der the man­age­ment and con­trol of na­tional gov­ern­ments and in the public do­main. Those who ac­cess the ma­te­ri­als must be from the Treaty's rat­i­fy­ing na­tions and must agree to use the ma­te­ri­als only for re­search, breed­ing and train­ing pur­poses.

The world's largest col­lec­tion of plant ge­netic ma­te­rial, the Mul­ti­lat­eral Sys­tem now cov­ers over 1.5 mil­lion crop "ac­ces­sions" — sam­ples of plants, seeds, or crop va­ri­eties or pop­u­la­tions held in gene banks or main­tained by breed­ing pro­grammes. The sys­tem has since 2007 trans­ferred 3.2 mil­lion of these ac­ces­sions for re­search and breed­ing ef­forts.

The United States holds some of the largest public and best-doc­u­mented crop gene bank col­lec­tions in the world, with more than 576,600 doc­u­mented crop ac­ces­sions to its name. These will now be­come much more widely avail­able un­der the Treaty's Mul­ti­lat­eral Sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.