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ABS Elements Elements to Facilitate Domestic Implementation of Access and Benefit-Sharing for Different Subsectors of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture with Explanatory Notes

This document contains the explanatory notes, as welcomed by the Commission and the FAO Conference in 2019, in shaded boxes to complement the ABS Elements. The ABS Elements with their explanatory notes aim to assist governments considering developing, adapting or implementing ABS measures to take into account the importance of GRFA, their special role for food security and the distinctive features of the different subsectors of GRFA, while complying, as applicable, with international ABS instruments.


The State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture presents the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture worldwide. Biodiversity for food and agriculture is the diversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms at genetic, species and ecosystem levels, present in and around crop, livestock, forest and aquatic production systems. It is essential to the structure, functions and processes of these systems, to livelihoods and food security, and to the supply of a wide range of ecosystem services. It has been managed or influenced by farmers, livestock keepers, forest dwellers, fish farmers and fisherfolk for hundreds of generations.

Prepared through a participatory, country-driven process, the report draws on information from 91 country reports to provide a description of the roles and importance of biodiversity for food and agriculture, the drivers of change affecting it and its current status and trends. It describes the state of efforts to promote the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture, including through the development of supporting policies, legal frameworks, institutions and capacities. It concludes with a discussion of needs and challenges in the future management of biodiversity for food and agriculture.

The report complements other global assessments prepared under the auspices of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which have focused on the state of genetic resources within particular sectors of food and agriculture.

In briefEN – FR –  ES –  AR – ZH –  RU –  TR


Proceedings of the International Workshop on Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity has been hailed as a giant step towards the implementation of the third objective of the Convention: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to them. Implementing this third objective is intended to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components – the other two objectives of the Convention.

The International Workshop on Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held in January 2018, addressed one of the key challenges policy-makers face in the development and implementation of access and benefit-sharing measures: the obligation to consider, in the development and implementation of access and benefit-sharing measures, the importance of genetic resources for food and agriculture and their special role for food security.


Coping with Climate Change – The Roles of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Genetic resources for food and agriculture play a crucial role in food security, nutrition and livelihoods and in the provision of environmental services. They are key components of sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They underpin the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic organisms and forest trees to withstand a range of harsh conditions. Climate change poses new challenges to the management of the world’s genetic resources for food and agriculture, but it also underlines their importance. At the request of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO prepared thematic studies on the interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources. This publication summarizes the results of these studies.


Voluntary Guidelines for Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Policies, Programmes and National and Regional Plans of Action on Nutrition

The objective of these guidelines is to support countries in the integration of biodiversity into all relevant policies, programmes and national and regional plans of action addressing malnutrition in all its forms, and specifically to promote knowledge, conservation, development and use of varieties, cultivars and breeds of plants and animals used as food, as well as wild, neglected and underutilized species contributing to health and nutrition.

ENFR –  ES –  ARZH –  RU


Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Integration of Genetic Diversity into National Climate Change Adaptation Planning

The Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Integration of Genetic Diversity into National Climate Change Adaptation Planning (Guidelines), prepared under the guidance of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and approved by the Thirty-ninth Session of the FAO Conference in 2015, address the genetic resources dimension of adaptation planning. The Guidelines take into account the characteristics of different genetic resources for food and agriculture, which face different challenges and opportunities in respect to climate change. The objectives of the guidelines are to promote the use of genetic resources for food and agriculture in climate change adaptation and support their integration into national climate change adaptation planning; to support genetic resources experts and those involved in climate change adaptation to identify and address the challenges and opportunities of genetic resources for food and agriculture in adaptation; and to promote the involvement of genetic resources stakeholders in the national climate change adaptation planning process. The Guidelines follow the structure and approach of the technical guidelines for the National Adaptation Plan process prepared by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The process involves four main elements in each of which a number of steps are proposed.

ENFR –  ES –  ARZH –  RU