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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Global Information System

Global Information System on PGRFA

Article 17 of the International Treaty states that

"Contracting Parties shall cooperate to develop and strengthen a global information system to facilitate the exchange of information, based on existing information systems , on scientific, technical and environmental matters related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. "

At its Sixth Session in 2015 the Governing Body adopted the Vision and the first Programme of Work on the Global Information System(GLIS) as contained in Resolution 3/2015. The Vision states that GLIS “integrates and augments existing systems to create the global entry point to information and knowledge for strengthening the capacity for PGRFA conservation, management and utilization". The Governing Body also translated the Vision into seven objectives and a programme of work with concrete activities for the period 2016-2022.

The Governing Body established a Scientific Advisory Committee on Article 17 to advise the Secretary on general recommendations on the development of the System and its components, the discovery of new areas of work with potential impact on the system, and the selection of pilot activities for the System and, upon request of the Secretary, other initiatives and actions to sustain the operations of the System and the further update of the Programme of Work. The first meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee  took place in Rome in November 2016. The Committee considered the issue of Digital Object Identifiers and the development of partnerships. 

Partnerships and collaborations

In adopting the Resolution the Governing Body also requested the Secretary to continue participating in the Joint Facilitation Unit of Divseek with the view to enable synergies with the Global Information System. It further requested the Secretary to invite the DivSeek stakeholders to report on the implications for the objectives of the Treaty of the technologies underlying the DivSeek initiative and to elaborate a synthesis report for the consideration of the Governing Body at its the Seventh Session in 2017.

The Governing Body also requested the Secretary to continue promoting initiatives to support national and regional programmes in the development and transfer of information technologies for, and data analysis of, plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, such as the Capfitogen Programme and the Platform for the Co-development and Transfer of Technologies.

The Governing Body also encouraged the Secretary and the Contracting Parties to promote synergies and connections among existing information systems and national and regional information networks, as well as with the operations of the Multilateral System and the projects funded by the Benefit-sharing Fund for the documentation of PGRFA.

The Programme of Work on GLIS takes into account the development of linkages with FAO systems and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Clearing House Mechanism, among other systems. The Programme of Work will also contribute to the development of national and regional inventories and information systems and networks.

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