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SPC and FAO collaborate on plant genetic resources

SPC and FAO collaborate on plant genetic resources to cap off International Year of Biodiversity

06 December 2010, Suva, Fiji (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) - The International Year of Biodiversity, celebrating our rich heritage on the land, and in the sea, is coming to an end this month, and it is fitting that FAO and SPC are collaborating to hold the first ever Regional Consultation for the Strengthening, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in the Pacific Island Countries in Suva, Fiji, 7-10 December, 2010.

Agro-biodiversity is providing the range of genetic material necessary to ensure we have food and nutritional security, and therefore supporting our survival in an uncertain environment. The Pacific islands needs to embrace this diversity, and protect it from disappearing.

Through Australian government funding, 27 participants will be attending the meeting from 14 countries.

The aim of the meeting is to support the preparatory process of the updated Global Plan of Action (GPA) for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Global Plan of Action).

Since 1996, the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Global Plan of Action) has provided a coherent framework for the conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), including institutional strengthening and capacity-building. As a strategic framework, the Global Plan of Action needs to be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure that it continues to best serve country needs.

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The consultation provides the Pacific region with an excellent opportunity to input into this important document and to highlight the needs of the region with regards to PGRFA. The Pacific region has for the last seven years, had a very active Plant Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN) which has been coordinated by SPC Land Resources Division. The majority of the participants at this consultation are members of this network and as such are well placed to comment on the status of PGRFA in the region in relation to the four thematic areas of the GPA.

ENDS

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