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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Bolivia joins the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

21/10/2016

The Plurinational State of Bolivia, in the exercise of its sovereign rights, has deposited the instrument of accession to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and will become a Contracting Party on 4 December 2016. The deposit of the instrument follows the adoption of Law No. 801 of April 25 2016 of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.

This sovereign act, in accordance with its sovereignty over its plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, is founded on the conviction that both the Country and the Contracting Parties to the Treaty may mutually benefit from the participation of an effective multilateral system.

“This System, which reflects the interdependence of all countries, facilitates access to a negotiated selection of plant genetic resources that are key for food security and sovereignty; and makes possible the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use”, said Kent Nnadozie, Ad Interim Secretary of the Governing Body of the International Treaty.

Bolivia is among the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world and it is rich in traditions and cultures related to the management of native plant genetic resources, and is a centre of origin of quinoa. The National Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Innovation (INIAF) under supervision of the Ministry of Rural Development and Land, plays a key role in crop conservation and works with agro-biodiversity community centers where in situ conservation activities are carried out. This work involves small producers who are themselves custodians of plant genetic resources.

In addition to that work, the National Germplasm Bank of INIAF holds 18,434 ex situ accessions of great value to agricultural biodiversity. These include more than 3,000 accessions of quinoa, 1,500 of potato (of which 900 are regularly grown), 1,400 of corn, and 1,000 varieties of peanuts among other species of agricultural importance.  In addition to that, the Bank monitors the collection to ensure the viability of all varieties and collaborates with 19 partner institutions in the framework of the National Genetic Resources System, in order to conserve, manage and use genetic resources of the country.

Bolivia is also a member of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of FAO and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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