P2.1. Biodiversity: Towards Regional Approach for Enhancing the Sustainable Use of Plant Agrobiodiversity NENA Region
Biodiversity: Towards Regional Approach for Enhancing the Sustainable Use of Plant Agrobiodiversity NENA Region Presentation Made by <AARINENA> Abeer El-Halwagi Senior Researcher at National Gene Bank of Egypt Organization /Member of AARINENA
Recent developments of PGR in NENA region• Building on previous initiatives and making use of learned lessons, the region is determined to improve its PGR status and development.Two major developments in this regard are singled out:• Establishment of a regional PGR network• Developing a comprehensive PGR Regional Strategy
Near East and North Africa Plant Genetic Resources Network (NENAPGRN)A plant genetic resources network (NENAPGRN) was establishedunder the AARINENA auspices following a decision by theAARINENA 11th general conference in 2008. Objectives of the network• To strengthen coordination and collective action within andamong countries of the NENA region for the conservation andsustainable use of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) in the region. Membership of the network• The network is initially to serve some 29 countries of the regionand intend to cooperate with countries outside the region.
The Strategy for the Near East and North Africa RegionDescription•The strategy has been developed and adopted as a regionalstrategy for NENAPGRN but with intention of having a widerscope to cover as well all countries in the NENA region even ifnot members in NENAPGRN.Goal•The overarching goal of the Strategy is the conservation andsustainable utilization of plant genetic diversity in the Regionthrough promoting concerted coordinated efforts at nationaland regional levels for efficient and effective ex situ as well as insitu conservation of crop of prime importance to the Region.
The Strategy’s Objectives and OutputsObjectives•Conduct collecting missions at national and/or regional level, based ongap analysis for enriching the ex situ collections;•Conduct research efforts on aspects related to defining biodiversity hotspots for in situ conservation and management;•Establishing network of protected areas representing differentecosystems, and transboundary protected areas;•Exchange of experiences and of germplasm.Outputs•Effective conservation, sustainable use and valorisation ofagrobiodiversity;•Capacities strengthened and partnerships enhanced;• Appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks developed.
Elements related to use of Agrobiodiversity: Sustainable use• Promote the utilization of PGRFA originating in the region that is adapted to emerging biotic and abiotic constraints;• Greater attention is needed regarding the conservation and use of PGRFA of neglected and underutilized crops and non-food crops;• Encourage an increased use of germplasm, documentation, characterization and evaluation, need to be strengthened and harmonized and the data need to be made more accessible;• Collect and characterize agrobiodiversity.
PGR information and PoliciesManagement of PGR Information•Establish/Enhance effective mechanism(s) for exchange of PGRinformation at the regional level.Policy and legislation•Harmonize views and policies, rules and regulations related toPGRFA in order to promote seed trade and enhance the regionalexchange of PGRFA, information, and technologies;
Capacity Building• Expand training and enhance capacity in all facets of PGRFA utilization, characterization, evaluation, breeding, and seed production;• Build capacities of farmers, scientists, researchers, technicians and others to better understand the values of agrobiodiversity, factors that threaten it and opportunities for sustainable use;• Develop a national expertise on policies and legislation related to PGRFA conservation and utilization;• Promoting and strengthening public awareness on the importance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.