Italy Contributes to Benefit Sharing Fund of Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

21 May 2010: Italy announced a contribution of 1.2 million euros to the benefit sharing scheme managed by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) established under the framework of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The fund supports projects in developing countries that help to conserve rare varieties of food crops. Many of these investments will contribute to climate change adaptation in developing countries, in addition to positively addressing global biodiversity and agro-biodiversity. The treaty calls for 1.1% of the sales of commercial products from patented products that use one of 64 food crops to be contributed to the benefit-sharing fund. The fund is on track to raise US$10 million this year and has already invested in 11 projects aimed at smallholder farmers. [FAO Press Release]