The multi-stakeholder constituencies of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) have prioritized the issue of agro-biodiversity as one of prime global importance. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) recognizes the importance of agricultural research and contains special provisions for the exchange of information, transfer of technology and capacity building related to plant genetic resources.
The work of GFAR and the ITPGRFA converge in the need to expand varietal conservation, exchange and use, and the fair sharing of benefits, to include a wide range of species that have huge local significance and in many cases global market potential. Both GFAR and ITPGRFA are keen to facilitate greater collaboration and synergies among the many programmes addressing these crops, a view that has been echoed through discussion with all those concerned about the future of these species.
Over recent years, regional initiatives and multi-partner international actions related to the International Year of Biodiversity have highlighted these links. There is a strong desire for collaborative action in and between regions in order to achieve development impact at scale. Examples are the biodiversity conservation and use frameworks now articulated for Africa and Asia.