International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Training and Capacity Development Programme

Non-monetary benefit-sharing activities in the form of training and capacity development are of primary importance for the functioning of the Treaty’s benefit-sharing systems and mechanisms as stated in Article 13.2c of the Treaty.  Under the guidance of the Governing Body, since 2008 the Treaty has been implementing  a number of training and capacity development initiatives, activities and programmes in support of developing countries.

Most of the activities have been implemented in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders like universities and academic organizations, large technical projects and research institutes from developed and developing countries in different regions and on a range of topics.

At its Sixth Session the Governing Body of the International Treaty requested the Secretary to maintain the Capacity Building Coordination Mechanism (CBCM) established in 2011; and to identify existing centres which provide training relevant for the implementation of the Treaty and that could function as partners in an international network of centres of excellence with a complementary curriculum.

The CBCM was established to coordinate existing scientific and technical education and training programmes in areas of direct relevance to the Treaty by building on existing capacities and resources of recognised PGRFA institutions, universities and centres of excellence; and to create synergies and opportunities among the interested stakeholders to develop capacity to carry out interdisciplinary basic and applied research, particularly in support of developing countries.

While the Secretariat of the International Treaty has played a catalytic role, most activities are directly implemented through a Network of Centres of Excellence.  Each Centre operates as a node at domestic level and coordinates a variable number of institutions and organizations with complementary expertise.

The topics covered range from genomics, bioinformatics, genebanks management, trade in PGRFA, information sharing, governance of genetic resources,  access and benefit-sharing law and intellectual property rights.  Some of the services offered by the Centres are: 1) formal education and informal training through postgraduate courses, scientific conferences and technical events; 2) best practices to avoid risks and case studies on various topics; 3) advice and support to users of the Treaty systems

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