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1st Special Session of the ITPGRFA Governing Body

7 December 2021 | Online

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture – ITPGRFA

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Delegates adopted the interim budget and called for all parties to contribute to the core budget to ensure all Treaty operations continue until the ninth session of the Governing Body can convene in 2022.

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Photo courtesy of Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ninth session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), originally scheduled for December 2021, has been postponed to May 2022. Consequently, this Special Session was convened virtually to adopt an interim budget for 2022, to enable continued functioning of the Treaty and its Secretariat.

The draft interim budget for 2022 had already been reviewed and agreed upon by the Governing Body’s Bureau. It was addressed by the Governing Body, together with a draft resolution, which indicates, among other things, the adoption of the interim budget is without prejudice to any decisions that the Governing Body may take on the Core Administrative Budget for the 2022-2023 biennium at its Ninth Session. A correspondence procedure allowed parties to submit comments and raise questions on the draft interim budget.

Concluded under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the ITPGRFA is a legally binding instrument that targets the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security. It establishes a Multilateral System for facilitated access to a specified list of PGRFA including 35 crop genera and 29 forage species. It institutionalizes monetary and non-monetary benefit-sharing from the utilization of these resources in the areas of commercialization, information exchange, technology transfer, and capacity building. The Treaty was adopted on 3 November 2001 by the FAO Conference, following seven years of negotiations. It entered into force on 29 June 2004, and currently has 148 parties.

The First Special Session was held on 7 and 8 December, from 12:00-3:00 pm CET (UTC+1). The ENB summary of this meeting is available on this page.

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