Large-scale production and marketing of agricultural crops depend on a limited number of genetically uniform varieties that deliver uniform food products. With this approach becoming global, genetic diversity is endangered. Worldwide, strategies are developed to conserve genetic resources. This course provides state-of-the-art insight into various plant genetic resources management strategies and relevant policies.
Plant genetic resources strategies and policies
Developing resource policies that have an impact
In many parts of the world a relatively small number of high-yielding uniform scientifically bred crop varieties have replaced the many farmers’ varieties that were a feature of earlier times. Various participatory programmes have been developed to support farmers in maintaining genetic diversity in their fields while improving their livelihoods. Gene banks have been established to conserve genetic diversity, and to study and use the properties contained in their collections. In this area, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT-PGRFA) stands out as the agreement with most relevance to the management of plant genetic resources. In addition, the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity significantly influences genetic resources exchange policies. This course is devoted to analyzing plant genetic resources policies and their impact on conservation and use. It aims to support policymakers and other stakeholders in implementing policies and developing appropriate management strategies ex situ and in situ.
Upon completion of the course you will:
- understand current perspectives, concepts and strategies regarding the conservation and use of genetic resources;
- be able to apply genetic resources management strategies which covers aspect of gene bank management and on-farm management;
- be familiar with the history and contents of international agreements, in particular the CBD, IT-PGRFA, WTO-TRIPS and UPOV;
- be able to implement the International Treaty and the Nagoya Protocol, including the Treaty’s Multilateral System, its Standard Material Transfer Agreement, the Funding Strategy and aspects of Farmers’ Rights.
The programme is designed for mid-career professionals working in policy, research, education or development areas. Participants may be employed by ministries, research institutes, universities, companies, NGOs or other organisations involved in plant genetic resources management. Applicants should have at least an MSc or equivalent in training and experience. At least three years of professional experience in a relevant field is required, as well as proficiency in English.