AGP - detail
GCP/RAS/240/JPN - Capacity building and regional collaboration for enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources in Asia
Project classifiers
GCP, Conservation Agriculture, Seeds, plant genetic resources
Summary text
This proposed project was developed in response to the call by the CGRFA, needs identified by the GCP/RAS/186/JPN participating countries, and interest expressed by new neighbouring countries. Project objective is to build capacity in addressing existing gaps for PGRFA conservation and use and establish a country driven, Asia wide PGRFA system that supports sustainable agricultural development in the region.
Full description

This proposed project was developed in response to the call by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, needs identified by the GCP/RAS/186/JPN participating countries, and interest expressed by new neighbouring countries.

The National Programmes for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as a whole, including all contributing stakeholders (gene-banks, breeding institutes, seed producers) will be the immediate beneficiaries. Final beneficiaries will be farmers for which more efficient and need oriented policies and supporting services will be made available.

The prospect for sustaining the work after the project has ended is good. The project involves institution capacity building and promotion of the implementation of the GPA-PGRFA and its monitoring. This will have strong catalytic effect for the conservation and sustainable use of PGR in each country. The project will assist the setting up of a PGRFA National Information Sharing Mechanism (NISM) in the new beneficiary countries for gathering and sharing information on the past and current activities on PGRFA conservation and use conducted by the national stakeholders.  The information will be properly recorded and shared among the stakeholders and with other interested parties.  The training, guidance and support provided by the project to the countries and their stakeholders will enable them to continue using the NISM computer application for updating information and monitoring the implementation of the Global Plan of Action on PGRFA (GPA), as well as for other uses.

The improved NISM computer application will enhance its effectiveness and assist countries and the users to mine the information. This will help decision-making.  The upgraded computer applications will enable countries to monitor the implementation of the GPA. This will also be useful for the world community that is concerned with the conservation and use of PGRFA. These activities will be conducted with technical backstopping of the FAO lead technical unit, which has developed the NISM computer application and is responsible for its maintenance through Regular Programme 2AP01.

National PGRFA-websites and databases will be mirrored under the FAO World Information and Early Warning System on PGRFA (WIEWS), as has been the case for all countries of the GCP/RAS/186/JPN project.  A similar approach will be applied for the regional Asian-NISM-GPA website. This will enhance accessibility to the information and sustainability for the maintenance of the websites should member countries have difficulties in maintaining their websites.

As the number of participating countries involved in this project is high, there could be some delay in getting agreement from all the countries to initiate the project activities. All efforts should be made to minimize this obstacle.

During the establishment of PGRFA National Information Sharing Mechanisms under GCP/RAS/186/JPN project, concern over bio-piracy and intellectual property rights on PGR and information deterred some national stakeholders from joining the network or sharing their information freely.  This issue may occur again and needs to be addressed adequately at the onset of the project activities.  Increased public awareness of the value of sharing information and close cooperation with international legal instruments, such as the International Treaty that promotes the conservation and sharing of PGRFA and related information, may help to resolve this issue.

Fluctuation and change of national focal points and officers representing their institutes caused some delay in the implementation of the work plan in certain countries in the previous project.  It is hoped that this situation will not occur and the change of personnel or movement of government officers will not affect the work.

Focal points representing their institutions to the PGRFA network need to have the authority to gather and share information from their institutions. In addition, national focal points need to allocate sufficient time to discharge their duties.  Incorporation of duties and responsibilities of focal point and/or PGRFA database manager into permanent job positions at the national levels would be helpful to ensure the success of the work and the sustainability of PGRFA National Information Sharing Mechanisms once established.   Political will and support from the high level authorities of the country and the stakeholders are very important for the success of the work and smooth implementation of the project. The importance of the planned outputs and the high number of participating countries which are Parties to the Treaty are significantly favourable preconditions.


Project outputs/results/impact

The expected outcome will be a country-driven Asia-wide PGRFA network for sharing information on PGRFA activities and improving coordination and partnership among countries and national stakeholders, to strengthen national capability and effort in the conservation and use of PGRFA for sustainable agricultural development in the region. Outputs will be as follows: 1. A well-developed and functional Asia-wide coordinated PGRFA network for enhancing information sharing and collaboration in the project member countries established. 2. Past and current activities related to the 20 GPA priority activity areas in the project member countries documented and updated, needs and priorities identified, and information made publicly accessible. 3. Strengthened institution capacity in and collaboration among member countries for the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA including indigenous PGR. 4. An improved computer application for managing PGRFA information developed in close collaboration with FAO headquarters and project member countries. 5. Regional elements to contribute to the updating process of the Global Plan of Action on PGRFA developed through national assessments and a regional consultation.

Project duration
Mar 2009 - Feb 2012
Project budget
1,372,449 USD
AGP Contact
DIULGHEROFF, Stefano (AGPM), Information Management Officer, Room C778 - Ext. 55544
Project partner information

Cambodia , Kingdom of
Lao, Peoples' Democratic Republic of
Myanmar, Union of
Nepal, Federal Democratic Republic of
Regional Asia & Pacific
Sri Lanka
Thailand, Kingdom Of
Viet Nam

Geografic reference
Regional, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam