Biodiversity
 

Biodiversity @ FAO

Instruments

International agreements, global plans of action and other instruments play an important role in the regulation of the use, transfer, protection, management and trade of biological diversity at the regional, national and international levels. These instruments include:

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

This legally-binding Treaty covers all plant genetic resources relevant for food and agriculture. The objectives of the Treaty are the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

International Plant Protection Convention

This international Convention aims to protect all plants from pests of plants (including plants that are invasive alien species). The Convention focuses on the prevention of the spread of pests that threaten the environment and biological diversity, including those affecting uncultivated/unmanaged plants, wild flora, habitats and ecosystems. The Convention helps ensure that relevant agencies and officials have access to lists of plants, plant products, other regulated articles and trade pathways that may carry such pests. It takes into consideration both direct and indirect damage by pests, so it includes weeds.

Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries

The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries recognizes that fisheries and aquaculture provide an important source of food, employment, income and recreation for people throughout the world. The principles, goals and elements for action were adopted by more than 17O members of FAO in 1995. With representatives from members of FAO, inter-governmental organizations, the fishing and aquaculture industries and non-governmental organizations participating in its elaboration, the Code represents a global consensus or agreement on a wide range of fisheries and aquaculture issues. Governments, in cooperation with their industries and communities, have the responsibility to implement the Code.

Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources

The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources is the outcome of a country-driven process of reporting, analysis and discussion and includes 23 strategic priorities for action to promote the wise management of these vital resources. It was negotiated by the Commission on Genetic Resoucres for Food and Agriculture, adopted by the International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in 2007, and subsequently endorsed by the FAO Conference. The Interlaken Declaration on Animal Genetic Resources, affirms countries’ commitment to the implementation of the Global Plan of Action and to ensuring that the world’s livestock biodiversity is utilized to promote global food security and remains available to future generations.

Global Plan of Action on the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources

Drawn from findings and needs identified through the first report on The State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the rolling Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was adopted at the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources, held in Leipzig, Germany in 1996. The rolling Global Plan of Action is a framework, guide and catalyst for action with respect to plant genetic resources at the community, national, regional and international levels. It seeks to create an efficient system for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, through better cooperation, coordination and planning, and through the strengthening of capacities. The Leipzig Declaration that adopted the rolling Global Plan of Action affirmed government-level commitment to implementing the Global Plan of Action within the context on national efforts to strengthen world food security.

Currently, the Global Plan of Action is under review; the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is expected to adopt the updated Global Plan of Action, at its Thirteenth Session, in 2011.

International Code of Conduct for Germplasm Collecting and Transfer

A code aiming to promote the rational collection and sustainable use of genetic resources, prevent genetic erosion, and protect the interests of both donors and collectors of germplasm. Among other elements, it sets out minimum responsibilities of collectors, sponsors, curators and users of collected germplasm, in the collection and transfer of plant germplasm. The Code is addressed primarily to governments and is to be implemented in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other legal instruments protecting biological diversity or parts of it. The Code was adopted by the FAO Conference in 1993, and negotiated through the Commission, which also has the responsibility of overseeing its implementation and reviewing it.

Genebank Standards

The Genebank Standards address seed storage conditions and standards for the exchange and distribution of seeds from active collections. In 2009, the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture requested FAO to revise the Genebank Standards in cooperation with the relevant international organizations to ensure up-to-date conservation of plant genetic resources, for consideration at its Thirteenth Regular Session.



Animals Plants Forests Aquatic organisms
Soils Microbes and invertebrates Pollinators Nutrition
Protected areas Agricultural heritage Ecosystem approach Socio-economics
Gender Indigenous people Children and youth Biosecurity