In 1996, the Global Plan of Action was adopted by 150 member countries at the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources held in Leipzig, Germany.
The Global Plan of Action was endorsed by the Twenty-Ninth Session of the FAO Conference in 1997. The GPA was endorsed by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and by Heads of State and Government at the 1996 FAO World Food Summit. Furthermore, it was incorporated into the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) as a supporting component, (Article 14) and provided the priority basis for its Funding Strategy (Art.17).
In 2009, the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture agreed to update the Global Plan of Action. The Commission requested FAO to prepare the updated Global Plan of Action based primarily on the gaps and needs identified in the Second Report, taking into account further contributions from governments, as well as inputs received from regional meetings and consultations. The updated Global Plan of Action was considered by the Commission in 2011.
Following the recommendations of the Commission, seven regional consultations were organized to gather inputs for the GPA update: