The in-trust germplasm collections hosted by the 11 genebanks of the CGIAR Centres contain more than 700,000 samples of plant genetic resources of crops, forages and agroforestry species. Within the terms of their agreements with the International Treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), the Centres are responsible for ensuring that the collections are properly conserved in the public domain, and accessible to users in accordance with the Treaty's Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing. Phase 1 focused on providing a springboard for sustainability and finished in 2006 (see Past Initiatives)
The Project’s second phase builds on the collaborative effort that made Phase 1 so successful. The proposal “Collective Action for the Rehabilitation of Global Public Goods in the CGIAR Genetic Resources System: Phase 2” was submitted to the World Bank which, in September 2006, approved funding of US$10.46 million. Phase 2 is being implemented over a 3 year period starting in January 2007. The overall scope of Phase 2 will be broader than Phase 1, with projected outputs covering a number of strategic areas. Thus, the Project will include strategic planning for training national programme partners, and for enhancing the CGIAR’s capacity for genetic resources research. With a view to optimizing the CGIAR Centres’ contributions to work on the breadth of agrobiodiversity, scoping studies will be carried out on genetic and genomic collections, microbial, fungal, insect and nematode collections, and underutilized plant species. Finally, the Project will analyse the elements and functions of an integrated global system for crop genetic resources conservation and use. It will promote such a system, with the CGIAR genebanks at the core and the CGIAR providing leadership, vision and skills to realise that vision. Read more about the GPG2 Project here.
The challenge of understanding and optimizing the use of the various components of agrobiodiversity has been an implicit concern for SGRP from the outset. The very fact that the CGIAR works not only on crop plant diversity but also on fish, livestock and forest genetic resources has provided the CGIAR Centres with an awareness of, on the one hand, the complex interactions between different sectors and, on the other, common themes and patterns that facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas and learning across components.
The body of work on valuation that is being developed under the aegis of SGRP builds on a long-term interest of the Programme to integrate these different components of agrobiodiversity. It responds positively to calls from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to develop mechanisms to give communities incentives to prioritize the conservation of diversity, and to remove or mitigate perverse incentives that work against conservation objectives and thereby threaten the long-term well-being of communities.
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Eleven Centres together maintain over 700,000 samples of crop, forage and agroforestry genetic resources in the public domain. Of these, 533,000 are designated in-trust for the world community under agreements with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research is an independent entity which provides a new framework for interaction and collaboration between those working in different areas of agrobiodiversity research and share a common concern to maximize its contribution to human well-being. These include a wide range of stakeholders such as international agencies and institutions, networks, national research centers, universities, civil society organizations, private sector and individuals.