Coordinating international efforts to improve the management of animal genetic resources for food and agriculture requires periodic assessments of the global state of these resources, of countries’ capacities to manage them and of the state of the art in their management. The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture has established a cycle of global assessments involving the preparation of “State of the World” reports. The first of these reports was published in 2007. A second is planned for 2015, after which the intention is to publish a further report every ten years. The first report provided the basis for the development of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources.