News

Meeting Seeks to Galvanize Support for Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

7 December 2010: A high-level meeting with representatives of more than 60 countries was organized by the Government of Italy under the theme "Leading the Field," to raise support for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (ITPGR), its Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF), and its role in addressing food security in a time of climate change.

The Treaty aims to facilitate international cooperation and fair exchange of genetic resources. It was recognized as one of the four pillars of the new international regime on access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources, and the Fund has been accepted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an instrument for adaptation to climate change.

The main focus of the discussions during the 7 December 2010 event in Rome, Italy, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), was the importance of the Funding Strategy of the Treaty, and in particular its BSF, to which Italy, together with Spain, Norway and Australia, are major donors. The meeting highlighted the need to reach the target of raising US$116 million for the Fund by 2014. It also aimed to develop a clear message for the Fourth Session of the Governing Body of the Treaty to support the preservation and to promote in situ crop diversity. The meeting was supported by the Government of Italy with support of the ITPGR Secretariat. [Meeting website] [FAO Press Release]