PGR provide the basis for the genetic improvement of food commodities and other crops essential for food security and people’s livelihoods world wide. WANA region is relatively rich in plant diversity. It has two centres of origin: Mediterranean and the Near Eastern of more than 150 cultivated plant species, e.g. wheat, barley, lentil, forage species and many fruit trees.
These species are feeding over 38% of the world’s population. Wheat alone accounts for about one-third of global food production.
PGR programmes in the WANA Region are at different stages of development, depending on country size, resources and on government policy.
Regional Conservation Strategy for WANA was developed in June 2006 including a recommendation to establish a PGR Network under AARINENA since its success hinges on strengthening coordination within and among countries of the region.
Strengthening the capacities of specialized national institutions;
Organize workshops, information dissemination activities to stimulate the exchange of experiences among scientists;
Organize several activities to bridge the gap between research and development; and;
Foster cooperation among participating countries.
Network Composition: “ Regional Plant Genetic Resources Network” Coordinating Board of the Network Secretariat F F F F F F 2 3 1 Regional States Level NGOs Research Institutions Universities Private Sector F Focal Point WG2 WG1 4 WG4 WG3
I ncludes members from the participating countries representing the institutions identified as the focal points.
The CB will meet annually and will be hosted by the institution, which the chairman represents . The CB may form Technical Advisory Committees and ad-hoc committees to study and follow up on certain technical matters and specific tasks, or attend to some specific issues.
Institutions, identified as focal points in member countries, may be either universities, research institutions or other competent, well established and renowned institutions depending on the set up and organizational structure in each of the countries in the region.
The working groups are located in the centers of excellence institutions and will be selected at this meeting based on discussion of the priorities.
The host institution of the working group would provide local facilities and expenses, but funds for regional programs and research activities, training and collection and dissemination of information would be sought from national and/or multilateral sources including cost sharing.
The long-term objective of the network is to gradually become self-supporting and assume more of its own expenses.
At the initial stages, external inputs and technical backstopping by BI, FAO and ICARDA are essential. Contributions by various governments will be determined by the Co-coordinating Board in consultation with AARINENA.