The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture negotiates Global Plans of Action that seek to create an efficient system for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Global Plans of Action are intended as comprehensive frameworks to guide and catalyse action at community, national, regional and international levels through better cooperation, coordination and planning and by strengthening capacities. They contain sets of recommendations and priority activities that respond to the needs and priorities identified in global assessments: the reports on the state of the world’s genetic resources for food and agriculture. Global Plans of Action are adopted by the relevant Governing Bodies of FAO, i.e. the FAO Conference or the FAO Council, or by special intergovernmental conferences convened at their request. The Commission oversees, monitors and evaluates the implementation of the Global Plans of Action.
The Global Plan of Action for Forest Genetic Resources
The Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources was agreed upon by the Commission at its Fourteenth Regular Session and adopted by the FAO Conference in 2013.
Priority areas for action include improving the availability of, and access to, information on forest genetic resources; in situ and ex situ conservation of forest genetic resources; sustainable use, development and management of forest genetic resources; and policies, institutions and capacity building.
The Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
The Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is a strategic framework for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic diversity. It was adopted by the FAO Council in November 2011 and reaffirms the commitment of governments to the promotion of plant genetic resources as an essential component of food security through sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change.
The Second Global Plan of Action is a rolling action plan. It is based on the findings of The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and inputs from a series of regional consultations and from experts. It updates the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, adopted in 1996 at the FAO International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources, for which the Commission had acted as preparatory committee. The rolling Global Plan of Action is a supporting component of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources
In 2007, the International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held in Interlaken, Switzerland, adopted the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and the Interlaken Declaration. The outcomes of the Interlaken Conference were subsequently endorsed by the FAO Conference as a major contribution to the overall international framework on agricultural biodiversity. The FAO Conference requested the Commission to oversee and assess the implementation of the Global Plan of Action.
The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity welcomed the Global Plan of Action and invited its Contracting Parties, other governments, indigenous and local communities, farmers, pastoralists, animal breeders, relevant organizations and other stakeholders to ensure its effective implementation (Decision IX/1).
The Global Plan of Action aims to provide a framework that supports and increases the effectiveness of national, regional and global efforts to sustainably use, develop and conserve animal genetic resources, to facilitate the mobilization of resources, including adequate financial resources, and to promote a pragmatic, systematic and efficient approach that harmoniously addresses the development of institutions, human resources and cooperative frameworks in animal genetic resources management.
In 2009, the Commission adopted the Funding Strategy for the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources.