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Sipke Joost Hiemstra is Director of the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN) of Wageningen University & Research. He is the coordinator of the Dutch national programme on genetic resources (plants, animals, forest) for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture.
For CGN he is also heading the Animal Genetic Resources group, and acting as the National Coordinator for Animal Genetic Resources in the Netherlands. CGN has established national gene bank collections for farm animal breeds. Moreover, CGN initiates scientific research on farm animal genetic diversity, and gives advice to policy makers, breeding associations, breeding industry and other stakeholders, in relation to the conservation and sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources.
At European level, he is chair of the Steering Committee of the European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources (ERFP), and he initiated the development of the European network of farm animal gene banks (EUGENA) within the ERFP framework.