Home > CGRFA-16

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

Summary Highlights, 28 January -  3 February 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

Cho Chang Yeon, CGRFA 16 Chair, gavels the meeting to a close

A view of Rome

Delegates from Canada, the US, Poland and the Netherlands discuss the draft negotiating text


Highlights for Friday, 3 February 2017

CGRFA 16 The CGRFA 16 closing plenary convened on Friday afternoon where delegates adopted the meeting's report and reflected on the meeting's deliberations, including its decisions. Delegates made numerous amendments to ensure that the report adequately reflects the outcome of the deliberations held during the week, including on digital sequence information on genetic resources for food and agriculture, animal genetic resources and the MYPOW.

In their closing statements, all regions praised the Chair and the Secretariat for a successful meeting. They reiterated the important role that genetic resources can play in climate change adaptation and resilience and achieving the SDGs. Several expressed their appreciation for FAO’s enhanced efforts on biodiversity.

Chair Cho Chang Yeon thanked all participants and gaveled the meeting to a close at 7:17pm.

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
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page.

+ Visit the web coverage for Friday, 3 February 2017


View of the plenary from the dais


Mayra Caldera, US

Médi Moungui, Cameroon

Pierre du Plessis, Namibia


Brad Fraleigh, Canada

Thomas Meier, Germany

Javad Mozafari Hashjin, Iran


Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Natural Resources, FAO


Highlights for Thursday, 2 February 2017

CGRFA 16 delegates met in plenary to hear reports from informal and contact group deliberations on the Report on the State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (SOW-BFA); access and benefit sharing (ABS) and the Commission’s Strategic Plan and Multi-year Programme of Work 2018-2027 (MYPOW), followed by discussions on the draft strategic plan and MYPOW. They also discussed: cooperation with other international organization and agreements; other matters; and a draft resolution on the CGRFA’s contribution to the SDGs.

Deliberations on ABS were held in a contact group throughout the day and in plenary in the evening.

+ Download the daily report for Thursday, 2 February 2017, in English (in HTML or PDF format)
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The draft negotiating text distributed during the afternoon plenary


Kent Nnadozie, Ad-Interim Secretary, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)

M'Naouer Djemali, Tunisia


Matthew Hooper, New Zealand

Vânia Cristina Rennó Azevedo, Brazil

W.L.G. Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka


Brad Fraleigh, Canada, speaks with Pierre du Plessis, Namibia


Highlights for Wednesday, 1 February 2017

CGRFA 16 delegates met in plenary to continue discussing sectoral matters including: review of implementation of the second Global Plan of Action on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GPA-PGR 2); preparation of the third report on the State of the World’s PGRFA (SOW-PGR 3); review of implementation of the GPA for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources (GPA-FGR); and status of the Commission’s work on microorganisms and invertebrates.

The contact group on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) met at lunchtime and in the evening to discuss intersessional work on ABS elements in agricultural subsectors. The Committee on the Strategic Plan and Multi-year Programme of Work 2018-2027 met in the evening.

+ Download the daily report for Wednesday, 1 February 2017, in English (in HTML or PDF format)
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Delegates raise their placard to speak


Kim van Seeters, the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Regional Group

Dickson Nguni, Zambia

Ji Hee Jeong, Korea  


Flavia Zammit, EU

Tomotaro Nishikawa, Japan

Seuseu Tauati, Samoa, speaking on behalf of the South West Pacific


Delegates huddle to discuss matters informally


Highlights for Tuesday, 31 January 2017

CGRFA 16 delegates met in plenary to continue discussing cross-sectoral matters, including: access and benefit-sharing (ABS) for genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA); review of the work programme on climate change and GRFA; and review of implementation of targets and indicators for GRFA.

Delegates also addressed sectoral issues, including: the outcomes of the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Working Group on Aquatic Genetic Resources (ITWG-AQGR) and the draft of the first report on the State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources (SOW-AQGR); the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the ITWG on Animal Genetic Resources (ANGR); and the review of implementation of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) on ANGR.

The open-ended Committee on the Commission’s Strategic Plan and Multi-year Programme of Work (MYPOW) 2018-2027 met in the evening.

+ Download the daily report for Tuesday, 31 January 2017, in English (in HTML or PDF format)
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View of the dais during the morning plenary


Eiji Domon, Japan

Nii Quaye-Kumah, Ghana, speaking on behalf of the Africa Group


Rosaliza Jajuli, Malaysia

Kathryn Garforth, CBD Secretariat

Antonio Gonzalez, International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty



Highlights for Monday, 30 January 2017

The sixteenth session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA 16) opened on Monday, 30 January 2017, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome, Italy. Delegates met in plenary to address cross-sectoral matters under the Commission’s Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW), including the preparation of the report on the State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (SOW-BFA); the role of genetic resources for food security; and access and benefit-sharing (ABS) for genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA). Delegates also agreed to establish an open-ended committee to discuss the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2018-2027 and elements to be included in the next version of the Commission’s MYPOW covering the same period.

+ Download the daily report for Monday, 30 January 2017, in English (in HTML or PDF format)
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View of the panel (L-R): Eva Müller, FAO; Ren Wang, FAO; Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO; Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General, FAO; Cho Chang Yeon, CGRFA 16 Chair; Irene Hoffmann, CGRFA Secretary, FAO; René Castro-Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, FAO; CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias; and Anna Lartey, FAO


Cho Chang Yeon, CGRFA 16 Chair

Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General, FAO


René Castro Salazar, Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, FAO

Irene Hoffmann, CGRFA Secretary, FAO

CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias



Highlights for Saturday, 28 January 2017

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.

+ Download the daily report for Saturday, 28 January 2017, in English (in HTML or PDF format)
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Irene Hoffmann, CGRFA Secretary, 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


Moctar Sacande, Forestry Department, FAO

Florence Poulain, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO

Shawn McGuire, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO


Delegates ask questions during the discussion

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