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Special Event: The Contribution of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture to Resilience and
16th Session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA 16)

28 January and 30 January - 3 February 2017 | FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

Highlights for Saturday, 28 January 2017

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 28 Jan | 30 Jan | 31 Jan | 1 Feb | 2 Feb | 3 Feb | Summary
A view of Rome

Delegates gather for the Special Event on the Contribution of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture to Resilience

CGRFA 16 Participants to the Special Event on the Contribution of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture to Resilience, organized by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), discussed how biodiversity and ecosystem services help protect food production against the impact of long-term environmental changes and shocks created by natural and human-made disasters.

Approximately 120 attendees from government agencies, farmers, the private sector and civil society considered the role that biodiversity for food and agriculture can play for emergency relief, including how the conservation and sustainable use of plant, animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources can help address damage from disasters and contribute to disaster risk reduction (DRR).

The group agreed on several key messages to be transmitted to the CGRFA for further consideration, including the need for: better metrics for biodiversity and approaches to quantify the role of biodiversity and traditional knowledge for DRR and resilience; making genetic resource conservation an integral approach of agricultural resilience strategies; guidance on selecting, accessing and breeding appropriate genetic resources; more collaboration among agricultural sectors; investment in gene banks and breeding for DRR; and awareness raising. Participants also underlined that heterogenous landscapes provide better buffers in case of disasters because they deliver a wider variety of ecosystem services.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided digital coverage and a summary report of the Special Event: The Contribution of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture to Resilience. In addition, IISD Reporting Services produced daily reports, daily digital coverage, and a summary and analysis report from CGRFA 16. The summary and analysis report is available in HTML and PDF format.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Opening Remarks


View of the panel during the opening remarks


Sally Berman, Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division, FAO

René Castro Salazar, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, FAO


Charles Godfray, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, University of Oxford, UK

Sylvie Wabbes, Strategic Objective 5 (Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises) Team, FAO


Delegates ask questions during the discussion


Brad Fraleigh, Canada

Javad Mozafari Hashjin, Iran

Bram De Jonge, Oxfam Novib


Delegates during the session


Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture: An Issue for Emergency Relief?


View of the panel during the session


Nora Berrahmouni, Forestry Department, FAO

Etienne Bonbon, Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)


Moctar Sacande, Forestry Department, FAO

Florence Poulain, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO

Shawn McGuire, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO


Irene Hoffmann, CGRFA Secretary, FAO


Carl Lessard, Canada

Cesar Tapia, Ecuador



Beyond Emergency Relief: Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture in a Context of Changes and Crises


View of the panel during the afternoon session


Mark Davis, Climate and Environment Division, FAO

Karen Sudmeier-Rieux, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


William Wigmore, Ministry of Agriculture, Cook Islands

Hesiquio Benítez Díaz, Mexican Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO)

Julie Bélanger, CGRFA Secretariat


Delegates participate in the discussion


Gigi Manicad, Oxfam Novib

Afaf Abdelrahim Elguzouli, Sudan

Desterio Ondieki Nyamongo, Kenya



Around the Venue


Delegates speak informally



Levan Ujmajuridze, Georgia

Jean Marie Batiebo, Burkina Faso


Delegates review documents

Irene Hoffmann, CGRFA Secretary, FAO, speaks with delegates


Delegates stretch between sessions


Delegates speak informally




Daily Web CoverageAbout | 28 Jan | 30 Jan | 31 Jan | 1 Feb | 2 Feb | 3 Feb | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of the Special Event: The Contribution of Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture to Resilience,
and CGRFA 16, has been provided by FAO