Biodiversity & Genetic Resources

Biodiversity & Genetic Resources

Plant genetic resources constitute a very important part of the rich biodiversity of our planet. Conservation and sustainable use of such plant genetic resources is of crucial importance not only for society as a whole but also for the plant breeding sector.

Plant breeding is the science of recombining plant genetics into new varieties. In order to create new varieties each year thousands of genetic resources are screened in observation and disease trials to find the resources with interesting characteristics. Plant breeders, therefore, are dependent on plant genetic resources and need access to the widest genetic diversity available. For these reasons, conservation of access to and sustainable use of plant genetic resources is of crucial importance for plant breeders. In numerous ways plant breeders are directly or indirectly involved  in the conservation and management of plant genetic resources and they ensure the sustainable use of such resources via the process of plant breeding itself.

In the context of plant breeding, access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising out of their utilization is regulated by two international instruments: the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol on the one hand and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on the other.



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