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How we work

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is among the Earth’s most important resources.  Thousands of species and their genetic variability make up the web of life and are indispensable to adapt to new conditions, including climate change. The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is committed to conserving biodiversity for food and agriculture and promotes its sustainable use for food security, human well-being and development worldwide, for current and future generations.

 

The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is the only permanent intergovernmental body that specifically addresses biological diversity for food and agriculture. It aims to reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.

The Commission initiates, oversees and guides the preparation of global sectoral and cross-sectoral assessments of genetic resources for food and agriculture. These assessments address the state of biodiversity and genetic resources in the respective sectors, along with their uses, drivers that contribute to their erosion, and the challenges and opportunities involved in conserving and using them in a sustainable manner to contribute to food security and nutrition. The global assessments are prepared through participatory, country-driven processes.

In response to the main gaps and challenges identified in the global assessments, the Commission may decide to agree on policy responses, such as Global Plans of Action through which governments commit to take action to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and genetic resources in their respective sector. Implementation of these policy instruments is monitored by countries through the Commission which, on the basis of the implementation results produces new global assessments of the sectors at about every ten years.