Biodiversity / Crop-Livestock / Forages / ILRI

Communicate clearly and concisely, genebank managers advised

There is need to be clear in communication concerning actions and recommendations on germ plasm, experts have been advised.

In a meeting of gene bank managers and leaders held in Nusa Dua, Denpasar, Indonesia, 6th-13th March 2011, the experts were told that although the text that accompanies the recommendations is clear, the summary of recommendations is sometimes vague and can be erroneously interpreted in a much broader basis, and not so much related to the gene bank issues. ILRI was represented by Maria Alexandra Jorge who is the gene bank manager and based in PLE Addis Ababa.

This was the 21st Annual meeting of the Inter Center Working Group on Genetic Resources (ICWG – GR). It was observed that there was still some unfinished policies concerning germplasm acquisition. It was important to decide upfront and agree with providers that we can use materials and give them to farmers for direct use. These include materials for Non food/non feed (e.g. Biofuels purpose) as well as for direct use that are currently outside the MLS, if materials were previously received under an SMTA.

It was scheduled to facilitate the gene bank managers/leaders participation in the Fourth Meeting of the Governing Body of the International Treaty (GB4) the following week, and raise their profile while enhancing their engagement with the Treaty Secretariat and national partners who form its Governing Body. The main agenda of the meeting was to have updates on common areas of work, discuss the collective response to the scoping study for cross cutting issues as well as to do technological exchanges of experiences within gene banks.

Some of the participants present included: ICARDA (Ahmed Amri), ICRISAT (Hari Upadhyaya) IITA (Dominique Dumet), ICRAF (Ramni Jamnadass, Jim Roshetko), Africa Rice (Kayode Sanni), World Fish (Curtis Lind), IRRI (Ruaraidh Sackville–Hamilton, Fiona Hay), Bioversity International (Laura Snook, Michael Halewood, Gerard Moore), SGRP (Emile Frison, David Williams), GENESYS (Michael Mackay), ITPGRFA secretariat (Alvaro Toledo) FAO (Dan Leskien, Stefano Diulgheroff).

During the meeting, the final publications of the SGRP coordination and major achievements were highlighted and future areas of work mentioned. The published reports of the SGRP as well as the GPG2 reports were distributed. The panel also identified nine cross cutting issues (CCI) and the highest priorities included, technical needs, information systems needs, and policy issues.

The meeting was not properly finished due to a Tsunami alert in the last afternoon. The work plan and election of officers was not done. It may continue soon in Brighton and so that they can have a more defined idea about work plans and strategies for the future.

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