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United Nations First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Interlaken, Switzerland | 3-7 September 2007
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Scientific Forum on AnGR in Interlaken

The first International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) for Food and Agriculture began on Monday morning, 3 September, in Interlaken, Switzerland. After a brief opening to elect the Bureau and adopt the agenda, delegates spent the day in a Scientific Forum hearing presentations and engaging in discussions on various aspects of AnGR.

Monday, 3 September
Opening Session

Samuel Jutzi, Director, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO, opened the meeting and thanked the Swiss Government for hosting this event.

Conference Chair Manfred Bötsch stressed the importance of AnGR and asked delegates to consider the agenda and annotated agenda.

Fritz Schneider, Swiss College of Agriculture, chaired the Scientific Forum on AnGR.
Scientific Forum

Carlos Seré, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya, presented the paper on drivers of change and prospects for AnGR.

Ken Laughlin, European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders, suggested that the Forum attempt to identify the real drivers for both reducing and protecting biodiversity.

Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, explained that rapid changes to AnGR could be attributed to policies relating to the introduction of exotic breeds and subsidies.

Fernando Madaleña, Brazil, highlighted issues relating to the management of farm AnGR and reiterated the need to refocus on utilization and evaluation.

Michèle Tixier-Boichard, National Agricultural Research Institute, France, presented the paper on inventory, characterization, and monitoring.

Richard Clarke, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, UK, highlighted the danger of focusing on livestock numbers as opposed to genetic diversity.

Milan Zjalic, International Committee for Animal Recording, Italy, underscored the importance of promoting standardized methods while also allowing for variances in countries' programmes.

Jacob Wanyama, Vetaid, Mozambique, stressed the need to identify the uses of inventories before compiling them.

Chanda Nimbkar, Animal Husbandry Division, Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute, India, presented the paper on sustainable use and genetic improvement of animal breeds.

Raúl Perezgrovas Graza, Institute of Indigenous Studies, University of Chiapas, Mexico, called for a stronger focus on livestock keepers, small-scale farmers, local expertise and rural issues.

Jan Philipsson, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, noted that the most effective strategy for genetic diversity is to focus on sustainable use.

Xuan Li, South Centre, favored a binding treaty to stimulate use and conservation of AnGR.

John Woolliams, Roslin Institute, UK, outlined the scienfitic case for conservation, underscoring the need to prepare for rapid climate change in production systems.

Nitya Ghotge, ANTHRA, India, drew attention to the need to consider the roles and responsibilities for conserving AnGR.

Arthur da Silva Mariante, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, presented an overview of AnGR in Brazil and highlighted conservation measures implemented since 1983.

Related Links

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
ANGR International Technical Conference web site
Meeting Documents

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Linkages Biodiversity and Wildlife Issues page
ENB Coverage of CGRFA 11, 11-15 June 2007
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ENB Coverage of CGRFA 10, 8-12 November 2004