International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Ad Hoc Technical Committee on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture


Established by the Governing Body in 2011, by Resolution 7/2011 and reconvened by subsequently with renewed terms of reference;

Main Purpose

The Committee will: 

  • Review the compilation and summaries provided by the Secretary on the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA;;
  • Based on this review, identify examples and opportunities to support and assist Contracting Parties and stakeholders in promoting, enhancing and further developing the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA as set out in Articles 5 and 6 of the International Treaty;
  • Based on this review, assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Toolbox and prepare concrete recommendations on how it can be monitored, evaluated and improved in order to better guide Contracting Parties and stakeholders for the sustainable use of PGRFA;
  • Provide advice about the possibility of a future Joint Programme on Biodiversity in Agriculture for Sustainable Use of PGRFA based on the documentation prepared by the Secretariat;
  • Based on the above, recommend further steps on how the Governing Body can assist Contracting Parties in advancing the implementation of Articles 5 and 6 of the International Treaty for consideration of the Governing Body at its Ninth Session.

Term of Reference



Two Co-Chairpersons from Contracting Parties to the International Treaty will form part of the Committee – one from a developing country and one from a developed country. The Co-Chairpersons will be elected by members of the Committee designated by the FAO Regions.

Membership and composition

It comprises up to three members from each FAO Region, and seven technical experts designated by the Bureau, upon proposal by the FAO Regions and relevant stakeholders, in particular farmers’ organizations, taking into account the required range of technical expertise, and regional and gender balance.




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Frequency of Sessions

At least one session per biennium, subject to the availability of resources 

Funding Source

Extra budgetary resources



First Session

November 2012

Pattern of Session

2012; 2015; 2016; 2019 (electronic consultation); 2021

Subsidiary Bodies or Groups


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