Tenth Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-10)

8-12 November 2004, Rome, Italy

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Highlights for Monday, 8 November 2004

The tenth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-10) opened on Monday, 8 November, at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Rome, Italy. An opening ceremony was held to mark the Commission’s twentieth anniversary. Delegates elected the meeting’s officers, adopted the agenda and timetable, and addressed issues relating to plant genetic resources. Above photo L-R: The CGFRA-10 opening dais with Emile Frison, International Plant Genetic Research Institute (IPGRI), Hamdallah Zedan, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), David Harcharik, FAO and Jose Esquinas, CGRFA Secretary.

Celebration of the commission’s 20th anniversary

Hamdallah Zedan
, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), highlighted examples of interaction between the CBD and the CGRFA.

FAO Deputy Director General, David Harcharik, opened the celebration of the Commission’s 20th Anniversary and drew attention to the Commission’s achievements and future challenges in biodiversity conservation for sustainable development.

Panama, on behalf of G-77, expressed appreciation for the Commission’s work. Above photo: Horacio J. Maltez (Panama)

Emile Frison, Director General of the International Plant Genetic Resource Institute (IPGRI), on behalf of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), highlighted the establishment of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

The Netherlands, on behalf of European Union, highlighted the Commission’s achievements, including the Global Plan of Action (GPA) and the ITPGR. Above photo: Hans Hoogeven (The Netherlands on Behalf of the European Union)

The SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC) outlined its regional programme for conservation of plant genetic resources, and expressed hope to provide assistance in implementing the ITPGR and the GPA. Above photo: Godfrey Patrick Mwila (SDC)

The ETC Group welcomed the establishment of international gene banks and of the Global Crop Biodiversity Trust. Above photo: Pat Mooney (ETC Action Group)

Above photo: Hans Hoogeven, The Netherlands congratulates
David Harcharik, FAO Deputy Director General and Jose Esquinas, CGRFA Secretary on the Commission's 20th Anniversay.

Cgrfa-10 opening session:

Louise Fresco, FAO’s Assistant Director General for Agriculture, highlighted the need to lay the basis for CGRFA’s future work.

CGRFA-9 Chair Robert Bertram (US) opened the session and presided over the nomination of the CGRFA-10 Chair.

Eng-Siang Lim (Malaysia) was elected to Chair CGRFA-10 

Above photo: Joćo Miguel Lomelino de Freitas nominated three Vice-Chairs on behalf of the OECD Group.




Chair Lim drew attention to the report of the second session of the International Technical Working Group on PGRFA (ITWG-PGR) and noted the follow-up to the recommendations on certain elements of the Global System and the progress report in preparation of the second report on the State of the World’s PGRFA. Above photo: Chair Lim in discussion with Grethe Evjen (Norway)

CANADA proposed that the secretariats of the CGRFA and the Governing Body provide views on collaboration. Above photo: Campbell Davidson (Canada)

Second State of the World Report:

AUSTRALIA cautioned against arduous reporting burdens and duplication with other organizations’ work. Above photo: Bill Roberts (Australia)

ANGOLA expressed concern about diminishing support for agricultural research and declining capacities to utilize genetic resources for food security in poor countries, and prioritized thematic studies in this regard. Elizabeth Matos (Angola)

Facilitating Mechanism:

Monitoring of GPA’s implementation:

The US suggested that the objective of the facilitating mechanism be to facilitate the GPA’s implementation through technical and financial measures. Above photo: Peter Bretting (US)

NORWAY highlighted inadequate efforts for the restoration of genetic material lost during disasters. Above photo: Grethe Evjen (Norway)

International networks:

IPGRI regretted that NGO's and farmers' groups could not attend a recent meeting of its Genetic Resources Policy Committee. Above photo: Cary Fowler (CGIAR)

Amb. Fernando Gerbasi (above), Chair of the Trust’s Interim Panel of Eminent Experts, indicated that 17 regional and sub-regional funding strategies have been developed and will be implemented starting in late 2004-2005.



The FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Biological Diversity for Food and Agriculture organizes three sessions on “Mainstreaming Agricultural Biodiversity for Food Security,” from Monday to Wednesday, 8-10 November. The event aims to explore different emerging issues relating to biodiversity and food security, and outcomes will be reported to the Commission on Thursday, 11 November. 

On Monday, 8 November, a session was held under the theme “Integrated agro-ecological approaches and community-based adaptive management.”

A series of presentations addressed: the ecosystem approach in capture fisheries; integrated pest management; and community-based management of animal genetic resources.



Above photos: Kevern Cochrane and Gabriella Bianchi of the FAO Fisheries Department gave an overview on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.

Links |

CGRFA Homepage
CGRFA-10 documents
ITPGR Homepage
ITPGR IC-2 documents
CGRFA-9 ENB Summary Report (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
ITPGR IC-1 ENB Summary Report (HTML, PDF, TEXT)

FAO homepage


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