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UN Stresses Need for Preventing Loss of Agricultural Genetic Resources

The need for the preservation and study of genetic diversity in agriculture took centre-stage during the FAO’s Commission biennial meeting on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on January 19.

In the context of rapidly advancing climate change and a growing global population, FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo was present at the event to stress the need for prevention plans in action specially to preserve agricultural genetic resources that will feed the world.

“In a warmer world with harsher, more variable weather, plants and animals raised for food will need to have the biological capacity to adapt more quickly than ever before,” the Deputy Director-General said. “Preventing further losses of agricultural genetic resources and diverting more attention to studying them and their potential will boost humankind’s ability to adapt to climate change.”

One of the expected outcomes of this meeting, is a series of guidelines for integrating genetic resources into climate change adaptation plans that the FAO has developed in line with guidance from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The draft guidelines contain a range of recommendations aimed at helping countries to implement them in their policies and strategies.

A representative of the International Seed Federation attended the meeting to share the private sector views on this important subject.

For more information on Biodiversity for Food Security and Nutrition, check out this Flickr Album that FAO posted in 2013:

You can also have a look at this video Emerging, with help from our friends at Suckerpunch, produced for the International Seed Federation: Variety is Life – How the Seed Sector Protects Biodiversity.

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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