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Eleventh regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-11)
11-15 June 2007 | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters, Rome, Italy
Special Event on the MYPOW

Summary Report

Monday, 11 June 2007

June 2007

Summary Report

Monday, 18 June 2007


Emerging Issues in the Management of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Towards A Multi-Year Programme of Work

On Saturday, 9 June 2007, in the lead up to the eleventh regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-11), a special event was held at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy. The event, entitled "Emerging Issues in the Management of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Towards a Multi-Year Programme of Work," offered delegates and observers an opportunity to engage in discussions with experts on issues related to the Commission's draft Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW).

After Eng Siang Lim, Chair of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Malaysia), opened the session, participants watched a short film on the work of the Commission and listened to an introductory presentation on the draft MYPOW provided by Clive Stannard, Commission Secretariat. Two substantive sessions followed. The first concerned the status and challenges for genetic resources for food and agriculture. Experts on plant, animal, aquatic and forest genetic resources, and micro-organisms and insects, made observations on: status and needs of genetic resources for food agriculture; their value; major threats to genetic resources; interdependency of genetic resources; and likely future trends. The second session focused on cross-sectorial matters, with presentations and discussions on: applying the ecosystem approach; a typology of effects of transgene flow for biotechnology; and international cross-sectorial matters on genetic resources. In the case of both sessions, the presentations were followed by enthusiastic discussion among participants and presenters of the issues raised.

The well-attended special event appeared to finish on a positive note, with participants seemingly pleased to have heard from and consulted with experts, and with a general sense of anticipation about the week ahead pervading the halls of the FAO.

Opening Session
Eng Siang Lim, Commission Chair, welcomed participants to the special event, explaining that the event provided the opportunity for participants to discuss how to move forward with the Commission’s work.
Clive Stannard, Secretariat, provided an introduction to the draft MYPOW.
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Status and Challenges
Godfrey Mwila, Chair of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Zambia), presented on plant genetic resources.

Barbara Rischkowsky, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (Syria), discussed animal genetic resources.

Roger Pullin, formerly at the WorldFish Center, presented on aquatic genetic resources.
Lennart Ackzell, Expert on Forest Resources (Sweden), gave an overview of forest genetic resources.
Jeff Waage, Imperial College London (UK), discussed “micro-organisms and insects, biological control.”
A Focus on Cross-Sectorial Matters
Serge Garcia, formerly Director of the Fishery Resources Division, FAO, outlined the application of the ecosystem approach.
Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury (New Zealand), presented on “Biotechnology: A typology of effects from transgene flow.”

Carlos Correa, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), presented on international cross-sectorial policy matters on genetic resources.

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