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Highlights and images for 19 July 2023

Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy

The day’s deliberations proceeded on a conciliatory note, as delegates shifted to more technical discussions on a number of relatively new areas for the Commission, including the role of soil microorganisms for agriculture production and links to human health.

Delegates discussed among others, the following agenda items:

  • Microorganism and Invertebrate Genetic Resources (MIGR);
  • Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR);
  • Aquatic Genetic Resources (AqGR); and
  • the future organization of the Commission’s intersessional work.

Want to dig deeper into the talks? Read the full Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

Microorganism and Invertebrate Genetic Resources (MIGR)

Under this item, delegates discussed the following topics:

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Animal Genetic Resources

Delegates endorsed the report of the 12th Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

They also discussed and endorsed the Review of the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action on AnGR, in line with its four priority areas:

  • characterization, inventory and monitoring of trends and associated risks;
  • sustainable use and development;
  • conservation; and
  • policies, institutions and capacity building.

Delegates further endorsed the ongoing preparations of the third report on the State of the World’s AnGR , noting persistent funding gaps.

Dan Leskien, CGRFA Secretariat

Dan Leskien, CGRFA Secretariat

Aquatic Genetic Resources

Delegates endorsed the Report of the Fourth Session of the ITWG on AqGR, noting work on linkages with cross-sectoral matters, most notably in the fields of climate change, access and benefit-sharing, and digital sequence information.

Delegates also recognized the central role of the information system AquaGRIS for the implementation of the GPA-AqGR and stressed the need for Secretariat assistance and capacity building regarding its use.

Paul Boettcher, FAO

Paul Boettcher, FAO

The Commission’s Mode of Operation 

Discussions on this topic focused on the future organization of intersessional work. Delegates considered different options for establishing bodies on either MIGR or BFA or both. Opinions varied across regions and countries and Chair Januarie established an open-ended contact group, co-chaired by Canada and Brazil, to discuss different options and find an acceptable solution.

Benoit Girard, Canada, with Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Benoit Girard, Canada, with Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

The collaborative spirit from the morning discussion carried into the afternoon as delegates sailed through substantive agenda items. Leaving the meeting, several members expressed appreciation for Chair Januarie’s leadership in catching up on the agenda. 

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 19th Session of the UN FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis