Corn photo

Highlights and images for 20 July 2023

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

Discussions on intersessional work occupied delegates through the day as they pondered the modalities, best options, and topics for the future organization of intersessional work. 

In the morning, the contact group established on Tuesday reported strong convergence on the establishment of an Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) on microorganism and invertebrate genetic resources (MIGR) and an expert team on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (BFA). The group continued discussions in the afternoon, during plenary and in a contact group. 

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

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

During the debate on the Strategic Plan for the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), delegates noted, among others, progress made in the implementation of the CGRFA Strategic Plan 2019-2027. They appreciated the extension of the Commission’s policy portfolio to include aquatic genetic resources, the integrated management of BFA, and MIGR.

Next, parties heard reports on CGRFA cooperation with international instruments and organizations. Kent Nnadozie, Secretary, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), presented the document on the Commission’s cooperation with the Treaty, which highlights areas of cooperation in PGRFA.

Dan Leskien, CGRFA Secretariat, conferring with delegates and Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Dan Leskien, CGRFA Secretariat, and Deidré Januarie, CGRFA Chair, conferring with delegates

The Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen) highlighted its work in the daily operation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, announcing that this year the number of deposited seed samples in the Global Seed Vault has surpassed 1.3 million, stressing that the seeds remain the property of the depositing seed banks.

The International Seed Federation presented their work contributing to conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture, underlining the importance of ensuring that breeders need facilitated access to seeds. 

Delegates from Europe consulting during a break

Delegates from Europe consulting during a break

The International Fund for Agricultural Development highlighted collaboration with seed banks, and their work in support of genetic diversity for climate adaptation, including climate resilient crops. She underlined that more effort is required at national level to align actions with national policies.

The Convention on Biological Diversity highlighted that their cooperation with CGRFA and FAO has spearheaded new areas of work, and underlined the Commission’s crucial role in providing technical and scientific information for implementing the GBF.

The Secretariat announced plans to convene CGRFA 20 from 24 - 28 March 2025 at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Benoit Girard (Canada) and Mariana Marshall Parra (Brazil) were elected Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of CGRFA 20.

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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