From 4-22 April, the course "Contemporary approaches to genetic resources conservation and use", organized by the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN) and the Centre for Development Innovations (CDI), was held in Wageningen.
In a series of lectures and practical assignments, the 20 participants from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe were updated on a range of issues related to the conservation and sustainable use plant genetic resources, including:
- Conservation strategies
- Ex situ management (genebank operations, documentation, molecular marker technology)
- In situ management (community biodiversity management, participatory plant breeding)
- Genetic resources policies (Intellectual Property Rights, Access and Benefit-Sharing)
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (food security and interdependence, conservation and sustainable use, the multilateral system, farmers’ rights)
In the framework of the course, a seminar was organized, with invited experts giving presentations on the impact of climate change on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and their role in responding to climate change, and on crop wild relatives and climate change.
To study the conservation and use of genetic resources in the Netherlands in practice, the course participants made field visits to the Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture in Roelofarendsveen, the breeding company Rijk Zwaan in De Lier, the Historical Agriculture Foundation in Beek, and Tree Nursery Jos Frijns in Margraten.
The course was very well evaluated by the participants. One of them wrote: “For me as a teacher and researcher on plant genetic resources, the course is an important and unforgettable landmark in my career. The interactive nature of the lectures, the hands-on practices and the field trips have made the course all the more interesting. Already I see my lecture notes being totally overhauled as I get back home!”
Interested to join the 2017 course? For information and application go to the CDI website