International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Tunisian Minister of Environment Opens International Meeting


Global Information System of FAO International Treaty

Tunis, Tunisia, 07 November 2018 – “This training workshop is very beneficial and will enable our national genebank to share skills and knowledge acquired here with genebanks in other Arab and African countries,” H.E. Riadh El Mouakher, Tunisian Minister of Local Affairs and Environment, said at the opening of the FAO International Treaty Workshop on the Global Information System.

Speaking from Rome, Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty, said, “The Global Information System is a fast-growing system that currently contains 776 000 registered materials from all around the world. We hope to encourage all Contracting Parties to make full use of its services, so that plant breeders and scientists can benefit from it.”

The Tunisia Workshop on the Global Information System (GLIS), which was opened by H.E. Minister El Mouakher along with the FAO Sub-regional representative, Mohamed Amrani and the Director of the Tunisian national genebank, M’Barek Ben Naceur, drew more than 25 participants from various countries in the Near East and North African region, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan and Turkey. In addition, Tunisian genebank curators, plant breeders and researchers, and experts involved in on-farm conservation activities also participated in this regional Workshop, along with representatives of international agricultural research centers, notably the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).


Article 17 (The Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture) of the International Treaty calls for Contracting Parties to “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, with the expectation that such exchange of information will contribute to the sharing of benefits by making information on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture available to all Contracting Parties.”


We are enthusiastic about the Global Information system of the International Treaty and how this will assist plant scientists, breeders and researchers,” said Mr Ben Naceur, Director of the Tunisian National Genebank.

The Workshop enabled users to learn about the assignment of Digital Object Identifiers to plant materials, recent experiences with the application and use of the GRIN-Global database, and about progress made by projects funded by the Benefit-sharing Fund in Turkey with wheat landraces and in the evaluation of wheat varieties in the region.

The GLIS Workshop in Tunis was held by staff from the Secretariat of the International Treaty under the auspices of the National Genebank of Tunisia in close cooperation with the FAO Sub-regional office in Tunis, with funding support from the Government of Germany.

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