The Trust has supported the development of a set of conservation strategies collaboratively produced by experts in the plant genetic resources community. The strategies outline the key actions necessary for efficient and effective conservation and use of critically important food crop diversity. The strategies can contribute to decision-making on allocation of resources. The conservation strategies are an important means of identifying:
- the collections that should be of highest priority for support by the Trust and other donors, and the appropriate roles for such collections within a global system;
- the collaborative arrangements necessary for efficient and effective conservation;
- conservation and use needs, including in collecting, storage and maintenance, distribution, and research;
- appropriate roles for other stakeholders in the conservation, regeneration, documentation and distribution of crop diversity.
The Trust has supported two complementary and mutually reinforcing strategy approaches. These are:
- to identify key collections of priority crops on a regional basis and capacity and opportunities for cooperation and synergy within and between regions (regional strategies);
- to identify globally important collections, needs and roles on a crop-by-crop basis (crop strategies).
This process has brought together genebank managers, researchers, and other experts on plant genetic resources from developing and developed countries. The strategies, although commissioned by the Trust, have been developed independently by the different communities involved, and are expected to evolve as the situation of collections around the world changes.
Reviewing the strategies
The Trust recently reviewed all the conservation strategies prepared thus far by crop and regional communities, to identify common constraints as well as promising directions regarding the ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources globally. The resulting paper tries to provide insight into the current challenges to planning the rational global system envisioned in the strategies. Please download the full paper below. A condensed version of this paper has recently been published in Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, also available below.