LOGO AG
 

Third Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

01/05/2009The Third Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will bring together in Tunis, from 1 to 5 June 2009, more than 300 participants to discuss about the future regulation and implementation of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing.

The meeting will gather delegates from 120 Contracting Parties and a large number of observers from other countries, from UN Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and the civil society.   One of the main topics of the agenda is the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing, the innovative mechanism established by the Treaty to facilitate the exchange of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and to set up the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of these resources, on a complementary and mutually reinforcing basis.

The Session will be an opportunity for participants to know more details about the status and current operations of the gene pool, which initiated to facilitate the exchange of the 64 food crops included in Annex I of the Treaty in January 2007.  Delegates and observers will receive information about the collections included in the Multilateral System and will revise the draft procedures for dispute settlement, which is one of the main tools to guarantee the fairness of the system.


Call for Proposal 2008/09

The second main pillar of the Multilateral System is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.  The Second Session of the Governing Body delegated the seven members of the Bureau, who represent the different FAO regions, the possibility to open the call for project proposals.  The Call was opened in December 2008 and it is foreseen that a number of projects will be awarded grants of maximum 50,000 USD dollars.  The announcement of the Projects to be funded through the Benefit-sharing Fund will be done during the Third Session of the Governing Body.

The projects proposals submitted focused on the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, on-farm conservation and managing of plant genetic resources, information exchange, technology transfer and capacity-building.  The number of eligible Pre- proposals received by the Secretariat of the Treaty was over 300.  

The fair and equitable distribution of benefits arising from the use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the establishment of the Benefit-sharing Fund was one of the main requests coming from developing countries Contracting Parties and a number of civil society organizations in the Second Session of the Governing Body in 2007.

This first Call for Proposals, which was possible thanks to the generous contributions made by Norway, Italy and Spain, makes the Benefit-sharing Fund operative and recognizes the contribution of farmers of all the world in conserving, improving and making available these resources, relevant for the food security of humankind..

Other issues of interest will be the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, farmers' rights and the cooperation with other organizations.

This Treaty is crucial in the fight against hunger and poverty and essential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 1 and 7. No country is self-sufficient in plant genetic resources as all depend on genetic diversity in crops from other countries and regions. International cooperation and open exchange of genetic resources are therefore essential for food security.

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