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COP 8 Decision VIII/23

Agricultural biodiversity

A. Cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition

The Conference of the Parties

Recalling decision VII/32, paragraph 7, that requests the Executive Secretary to undertake the necessary consultations and bring forward options for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition within the existing programme of work on agricultural biodiversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and to work together with relevant organizations in order to strengthen existing initiatives on food and nutrition, enhance synergies and fully integrate biodiversity concerns into relevant work, with a view to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 and other relevant Millennium Development Goals;

1. Welcomes with appreciation the progress made in enhancing synergies and integrating biodiversity concerns into the work of other initiatives, and on the development of options, as presented in the note by the Executive Secretary on options for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition (UNEP/CBD/COP/8/26/Add.2);

2. Extends its appreciation to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and other contributors to the process;

3. Adopt s the framework for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition, as contained in the annex to the present decision, which builds upon existing national activities;

4. Decides to integrate the elements of the framework into the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity at its in-depth review at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

5. Urges Parties and other Governments to integrate biodiversity, food and nutrition considerations into their national biodiversity strategies and action plans and other national plans and activities, including national plans of action for nutrition and strategies for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

6. Requests the Executive Secretary to continue to collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, the World Health Organization (WHO) , the Standing Committee on Nutrition of the United Nations (SCN) and other stakeholders, regarding the implementation of the cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition and to report on the progress with the view to contributing to the in-depth review of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity;

7. Requests the Executive Secretary and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to integrate the cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition into the Memorandum of Understanding between the Convention and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, when the Memorandum is next updated;

8. Requests the Executive Secretary to make available to Parties and relevant international organizations the outcomes of the Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB) for consideration in the framework of the in-depth review of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

9. Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, the World Health Organization, the Standing Committee on Nutrition of the United Nations, and other relevant organizations and initiatives, taking into account ongoing work, to implement the cross‑cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition;

10. Invites the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to take note, at its first meeting, of the cross-cutting initiative and to collaborate in its implementation ;

11. Recognizes that activities under this initiative should be implemented taking into account the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2004.

Annex

PROPOSED FRAMEWORK FOR A CROSS-CUTTING INITIATIVE ON BIODIVERSITY FOR FOOD AND NUTRITION

A. Rationale

1. Biodiversity is essential for food security and nutrition, and offers key options for sustainable livelihoods. Environmental integrity is critical for maintaining and building positive options for human well-being. Existing knowledge warrants immediate action to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity in food security and nutrition programmes, as a contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Such action would counteract the simplification of diets, agricultural systems and ecosystems, and the erosion of food cultures. Considering the difficulty in precisely identifying optimal diets, a diversity of foods from plants and animals remains the preferred choice for human health. Traditional food systems provide positive synergies between human and ecosystem health, and culture offers an essential context for mediating positive dietary choices.

2. An interdisciplinary initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition, based on the ecosystem approach that makes the most of locally-available biodiversity and initiative to address nutrition problems will assist countries and stakeholders in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Without urgent action that directly engages the environmental, agricultural, nutrition and health communities, biodiversity and the positive options offered by domesticated and wild biodiversity for addressing food security, nutrient deficiencies, and the emerging burden of non-communicable disease, will be lost.

B. Aim

3. The overall aim of the initiative is to promote and improve the sustainable use of biodiversity in programmes contributing to food security and human nutrition, as a contribution to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 1, Goal 7 and related goals and targets and, thereby, to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity, its conservation and sustainable use.

C. General considerations

4. The initiative is to be implemented as a cross-cutting initiative within the existing programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, and should complement relevant activities under this and other programmes of work and cross-cutting initiatives of the Convention. In addition, the initiative should build upon and strengthen other relevant existing initiatives, and avoid duplication of effort.

5. The initiative will apply the ecosystem approach, using interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral approaches in order to integrate health, education, agriculture and environmental objectives. In examining potential solutions to food and nutrition problems, activities under the initiative will look first to the biodiversity resources of local ecosystems, including existing intra-species diversity. As well, the social and cultural importance of food—as an inherent aspect of human existence and community organization—should be recognized as a positive motivating force for healthy diets and ecosystems.

6. A commitment to sustainability is essential to the success of the initiative The initiative will explore the potential of local and national markets to transact and deliver a greater diversity of plant food types to consumers, and to return greater value to those producing biodiversity-based products.

7. Activities under the initiative should be responsive to community needs, and developed with full community participation and engagement. Activities should seek to increase participation of local and indigenous communities in national and international institutions, programmes and processes, and should seek to increase coordination between all levels. Activities should contribute to ‘learning by doing’ and to adaptive management. Activities should be implemented taking into account the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (the “Right-to-Food Guidelines”) adopted by the FAO in November 2004. Finally, existing activities should be scaled upwards to address a more global, cross-sectoral agenda, without losing local and cultural specificities.

D. Elements

Element 1. Developing and documenting knowledge

Operational objective 1

To substantiate the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition, in particular clarifying the relationship between biodiversity, dietary diversity and food preferences, and the relevant links between human health and ecosystem health.

Rationale

Current evidence on the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition is sufficient to warrant immediate action, but more work is needed. Developing and documenting knowledge of these links will provide a sound scientific basis for the initiative, allowing for the better design of activities, and the development of comprehensive public awareness-raising initiatives on the importance of biodiversity to human diets and health, and the link between human health and ecosystem health.

Activities

1.1 Compilation, review and analysis of:

(a) Existing scientific information, indigenous and traditional knowledge on the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition (in a manner consistent with Article 8(j) and related provisions of the Convention) according to national legislation ;

(b) Case-studies on the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition;

(c) The value of biodiversity for food and nutrition.

1.2 Stimulating further research and the generation and systematic compilation of new data.

1.3 Development of an indicator (or indicators) on biodiversity in use for food, consistent with decision VII/30.

Ways and means

FAO and IPGRI will take the lead on developing the evidence base for the initiative. IPGRI will work with FAO to increase the usability, for the initiative, of existing FAO databases and information resources. The first report of the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources and the second report of the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources, among other resources, will contribute to building the evidence base for the initiative. In addition, FAO, through its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, could support countries in generating, compiling and disseminating new cultivar-specific nutrient‑composition data, as could the CGIAR International Agricultural Research Centres, through the HarvestPlus initiative. An examination of available data will serve to identify where in-depth case studies would be most useful. On the basis of knowledge gathered, FAO, IPGRI and the Secretariat could support, in collaboration with relevant partners, development of the indicator(s) and related activities as outlined under other elements of the initiative (e.g., development of a communication strategy). Noting the role of Parties, other Governments and relevant national and regional organizations as the primary source of data, there is a need to identify mechanisms to strengthen local infrastructure and human resources for the generation of such data.

Element 2. Integration of biodiversity, food and nutrition issues into research and policy instruments

Operational objective 2

To mainstream the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into agendas, programmes and policies related to nutrition, health, agriculture and hunger and poverty reduction.

Rationale

Existing research and policy instruments often overlook the importance of biodiversity and associated knowledge in addressing local problems of hunger and malnutrition. In nutrition studies, the most commonly used research instruments aggregate food data into broad categories, obscuring the contribution of individual species or cultivars to human nutrition and health. Under prevailing regulatory frameworks, food quality standards that are not adapted to local foods may also inadvertently constrain food producers, limiting their ability to provide an array of species and varieties to markets. Policies, programmes and projects aimed at addressing poverty reduction and food security sometimes emphasize the provision of staple food sources and dietary supplements while overlooking the value of locally available diverse food sources. In these cases, the value of biodiversity for food and nutrition, especially to poor and disadvantaged groups, is not fully realized. A proactive focus on biodiversity will be needed in order to encourage practitioners and researchers to modify current approaches, and to shift research and policy emphasis towards examining issues of food quality, and not simply food quantity.

Activities

2.1 As appropriate, i ntegrate biodiversity concerns into nutrition instruments, inter alia:

(a) Food-based dietary guidelines;

(b) Food composition analysis and dietary assessments;

(c) National policies and plans of action for nutrition;

(d) Relevant regulatory frameworks and legislation at national and international levels.

2.2 Integrate biodiversity for food and nutrition concerns into food security and poverty reduction strategies, inter alia:

(a) National Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers;

(b) The right to food;

(c) Food security projects and programmes, including: household food security projects, school feeding programmes, home gardens; and

(d) Emergency response and preparedness.

Ways and means

FAO, IPGRI, WHO, SCN and the Secretariat, as appropriate, will work with relevant partners (including those identified in section E, below) to advance activities under this element, including through their work on the development of standards, and provision of support to member countries, their agencies responsible for nutrition, universities, and extension services, acknowledging them as the primary beneficiaries of the initiative.

Element 3. Conserving and promoting wider use of biodiversity for food and nutrition

Operational objective 3

To counter the loss of diversity in human diets, and in ecosystems, by conserving and promoting the wider use of biodiversity for food and nutrition.

Rationale

Diversity is being replaced by uniformity in the agricultural market place, and in human diets more generally. Yet a diverse resource base remains critical to human survival, well-being, the elimination of hunger and providing the basis for adaptation to changing conditions (including environmental change). Promoting the broader use of biodiversity promises to contribute to improved human health and nutrition, while also providing opportunities for livelihood diversification and income generation. Indigenous and local communities, and the preservation of their local socio‑cultural traditions and knowledge, play a critical role, as do women, for the maintenance of diverse food systems. These combined outcomes can serve to reduce poverty, providing important contributions to maintain and enhance biodiversity conservation efforts at multiple scales.

Activities

3.1 Conservation and sustainable use of crop and livestock genetic diversity, including wild relatives of domesticated animals and plants.

3.2 Identification and promotion of species currently underutilized or of potential value to human food and nutrition, including those important in times of crisis, and their conservation and sustainable use.

3.3 Promotion of genetically diverse and species-rich home gardens, agroforest ry and other production systems that contribute to the in situ conservation of genetic resources and food security .

3.4 Conservation and sustainable use of wild resources, including those that support bushmeat and fisheries, including maintaining viable stocks of wild species for sustainable consumption by local and indigenous communities.

3.5 Promotion, conservation and sustainable use of important biodiversity , at all levels associated with agricultural, forestry and aquaculture systems.

3.6 Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal species relevant for food and nutrition.

3.7 Support al l forms of food production of indigenous and local communities, in accordance with Article 8(j) and related provisions of the Convention.

3.8 Identifying and promoting crop diversification for biodiverse food crops to be used for food and nutrition.

3.9 Protection and promotion of biodiversity friendly markets by addressing regulatory issues;

3.10 Promotion of technology transfer to improve technical capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for the conservation and sustainable use of important species, wild relatives, neglected and under-utilized species .

3.11 Research and conservation of native plants or animals, local races, wild relatives of cultivated or domesticated species in order to improve the knowledge on their genetic variability, regarding important traits for agriculture such as: biotic/abiotic resistance, yield and nutritional value.

3.12 Use of biodiversity to broaden the genetic base of cultivated crops to, increase food production and improve the nutritional value of food while taking into account the environmental impact of agriculture.

3.13 Support to the study and development of production and commercialization of non-conventional biodiversity-based products, including processing of non conventional biodiversity-based food.

3.14 Strengthening of local infrastructure and human resources training in order to establish standards of identification and quality of dai l y admissible ingestion.

3.15 Transforming and/or treating residues of processed raw materials.

3.16 Integration of benefit-sharing objectives into national and international frameworks dealing with biodiversity for food and nutrition , as appropriate, taking into account existing benefit sharing systems.

Ways and means

Most of the activities outlined under this element will be pursued under the Convention’s existing programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, and the FAO Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In particular, activities 2, 4, 11 and 12 of the Global Plan of Action could advance activities under the initiative for the conservation and diversification of plant genetic resources. Action under the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (in particular, under target 9) will also contribute to the conservation of plant genetic diversity. In considering the role of animal products in relation to nutrition, the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources provides an important technical and operational framework for guiding activities on conserving animal genetic diversity. In terms of market-related activities, activity 14 of the Global Plan of Action will support the development of markets for biologically diverse food products. In addition, there are opportunities for cooperation with the BioTrade Initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to, inter alia, provide technical assistance and create an enabling policy environment. Planned activities could be tested through pilot projects in selected countries, in order to evaluate effectiveness and develop approaches.

Element 4 – Public awareness

Operational objective 4

To raise awareness of the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition, and the importance of biodiversity conservation to meeting health and development objectives, including the elimination of hunger.

Rationale

Biodiversity programmes and policies can be made more relevant to policymakers and stakeholders, and more effective on the ground, by making clear the crucial links between biodiversity and human well-being. When rural people perceive that biodiversity has greater value through positive impacts on both income and health, they are more likely to maintain and protect it. In addition, issues of food production as they relate to nutrition and health can serve to mobilize both urban and rural consumers who may not otherwise be motivated by environmental or ethical arguments to support agricultural sustainability. Food security issues can then serve as a way to re-establish links between local production and global consumption, and between the rich and poor.

Activities

4.1 Development of a communication strategy, and associated publications and other materials to address the general public, decision makers, local communities, and the nutrition, agriculture, health and environment communities.

4.2 Convening of regional and national workshops to raise awareness of the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition, and of activities supporting these links.

Ways and means

Awareness-raising activities would be integrated under the Convention’s programme of work on communication, education and public awareness, and related activities by FAO, IPGRI, WHO and other relevant organizations. Activities under target 14 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation would further support implementation of this element.

E. Key partners and initiatives

8. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition ( SCN), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations University (UNU) and other intergovernmental organizations are encouraged to include biodiversity-related considerations in the implementation of their programmes and strategies, including but not limited to:

  • The Global Plan of Action to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (prepared through the Secretary-General’s Millennium Project) and in particular its action plan on hunger;
  • The Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;
  • The FAO World Food Summit Plan of Action;
  • The WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; and
  • The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development.

9. Similarly, Governments and other international and national institutions; the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and other research and academic associations; civil-society organizations and movements, including the Slow Food Movement, indigenous and local community organizations; and the private sector, are encouraged to contribute to the initiative.


B. International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity

The Conference of the Parties

1. Welcomeswith appreciation the progress made by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) other collaborators and stakeholders, with the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity, and the report of the International Technical Workshop on Biological Management of Soil Ecosystems for Sustainable Agriculture, organized by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Londrina, Brazil, from 24 to 27 June 2002;

2. Notes that the conservation and sustainable use of soil biodiversity is an important issue beyond agricultural biodiversity and is relevant to most terrestrial ecosystems;

3. Further notes that soil biodiversity is impacted by human activities beyond agriculture as well as natural influences;

4. Endorses the framework for action contained in the annex to the present decision as a basis for the further implementation of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity Initiative;

5. Calls upon Parties and other Governments to integrate soil biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into their national strategies and action plans and to put in place multisectoral programmes and initiatives for the conservation and sustainable use of soil biodiversity, at both national and subnational levels;

6. Decides to integrate the framework for action into the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity at its in-depth review at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

7. Invites Parties, other Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders to:

(a) Support and, where appropriate, implement the International Soil Biodiversity Initiative;

(b) Supply further case‑studies on soil biodiversity to the International Soil Biodiversity Initiative in order to further strengthen the Initiative; and

8. Urges Parties and relevant organizations to identify research activities to address knowledge gaps on soil biodiversity and their implications for land use practices.

Annex

INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF SOIL BIODIVERSITY: FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION

A. Strategic principles

1. The strategy for the implementation of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity should adhere to the following principles, many of which have already been emphasized through other processes and/or forums:

(a) Focus on the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods in relation to food security, soil biodiversity and other relevant land‑use activities;

(b) Build on previous experience and knowledge, combining the skills and wisdom of farmers with modern scientific knowledge;

(c) Focus on integrated holistic solutions and technical adaptation to local contexts within a clear framework that builds on the principles for application of the ecosystem approach;

(d) Use participatory technology development and adaptive approaches to develop agricultural systems and land resource management practices for specific situations and farmer typologies that are technically and environmentally appropriate, economically viable, and socially and culturally acceptable;

(e) Develop partnerships and alliances that demonstrate multidisciplinarity and foster synergies and ensure multi-stakeholder participation;

(f) Promote cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches to address different perspectives (social, political, economic, environmental - including soil ecosystem services);

(g) Prioritize actions on the basis of country goals and the needs of direct beneficiaries and locally validate such actions through the full participation of all actors;

(h) Promote innovative and flexible solutions, that are adapted to local conditions, to the problems caused by the unsustainable use of soil biodiversity;

(i) Promote dissemination and exchange of information and data, inline with Articles 8(j) and 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(j) Promote entrepreneurship and marketing strategies for agro-production, especially for household agriculture and food security.

B. Implementation

2. The Initiative is to be implemented as a cross-cutting initiative within the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity, through the coordination, and with the technical and policy support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with appropriate links to other thematic programmes of work of the Convention, particularly those on the biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, mountain and forest biological diversity, and with relevant cross-cutting issues, particularly the Global Taxonomy Initiative and work on technology transfer and cooperation. The Initiative provides an opportunity to apply the ecosystem approach and the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for Sustainable Use. The Initiative will liaise closely with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and its advisory bodies and processes in order to enhance cooperation between the conventions and avoid the duplication of effort.

3. Progress in implementation could be made through focusing, inter alia, on the following strategic areas of action:

(a) Increasing recognition of the essential services provided by soil biodiversity across all production systems and its relation to land management, through:

(i) Research, information management and dissemination, data collection and processing, transfer of technologies and networking;

(ii) Public awareness, education and capacity‑building;

(iii) Adoption of integrated, ecosystem-level approaches for the conservation and sustainable use of soil biodiversity and enhancement of agro-ecosystem functions; in particular in the FAO context focusing on three categories of outputs: assessment , adaptive management and advocacy and training;

(b) Partnerships and cooperation through mainstreaming and cooperative programmes and actions.

C. Goals

1. Promote awareness-raising, knowledge and understanding of key roles, environmental services, functional groups and impacts of diverse soil management practices, including those performed by indigenous and local communities, in different farming systems and agro-ecological and socio-economic contexts.

2. Increase understanding of the role of soil biodiversity in agricultural production, traditionally applied land management practices and ecosystem and environmental health.

3. Promote the understanding of the impacts, ownership, and adaptation of all land use and soil‑management practices as an integral part of agricultural and sustainable livelihood strategies.

4. Promote the mainstreaming of soil biodiversity conservation into land and soil‑management practices.

Objective 1 – Sharing of knowledge and information and awareness-raising

Activity 1.1 : Within a common framework that recognizes the importance of determining processes affecting soil biodiversity, compile, synthesize, and evaluate case studies for practical advice and active dissemination, through, inter alia, the clearing‑house mechanism, for use in awareness‑raising, capacity‑building and informing research. Where research gaps are identified, work with Parties and other Governments to facilitate new knowledge acquisition and dissemination.

Activity 1.2 : Create and strengthen networking arrangements for sharing of information, experiences and expertise with a focus on supporting local initiatives on the ground.

Activity 1.3 : Enhance public awareness, education and knowledge on integrated soil management and agro-ecological approaches.

Activity 1.4 : Develop information systems and databases.

Objective 2 – Capacity‑building for the development and transfer of knowledge of soil biodiversity and ecosystem management into land use and soil management practices

Activity 2.1 : Evaluate capacity‑building needs of stakeholders, including farmers, extension and/or advisory services and development programmes for integrated soil biological and ecosystems management.

Activity 2.2 : Develop, apply and adapt indicators and tools for assessment and monitoring of soil health and ecosystem functioning for global, regional, and national use and in line with the framework contained in decision VII/30.

Activity 2.3 : Promote adaptive management approaches for the development and uptake of improved soil biological management practices, technologies and policies that enhance soil health and ecosystem function, and that contribute to sustainable land use.

Activity 2.4 : Mobilize targeted participatory research and development in order to enhance understanding of soil biodiversity functions and ecosystem resilience in relation to land use and sustainable agriculture.

Activity 2.5 : Identify and develop datasets on soil biodiversity at national level that are important for agriculture.

Objective 3 – Strengthening collaboration among actors and institutions and mainstreaming soil biodiversity and biological management into agricultural and land management and rehabilitation programmes

Activity 3.1 : Mainstream soil biodiversity and ecosystem management in agricultural and land management programmes and policies.

Activity 3.2 : Develop partnerships and collaborative activities for the development and implementation of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity Initiative as a partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity, taking into account the need for coordination with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and its ongoing work in order to enhance synergies and avoid duplication of effort and utilizing other existing knowledge from initiatives connected with soil biodiversity in all terrestrial ecosystems.

Activity 3.3 : Promote the participation of indigenous and local communities in both the elaboration and implementation of management plans that relate to soil biodiversity.

Activity 3.4 : Promote collaboration with respect to soil erosion and water management as it impacts upon soil biodiversity.


C. Genetic use restriction technologies

The Conference of the Parties

1. Reaffirms decision V/5, section III (Genetic use restriction technologies);

2. Encourages Parties, other Governments, relevant organizations, and interested stakeholders to:

(a) Respect traditional knowledge and Farmers’ Rights to the preservation of seeds under traditional cultivation;

(b) Continue to undertake further research, within the mandate of decision V/5 section III, on the impacts of genetic use restriction technologies, including their ecological, social, economic and cultural impacts, particularly on indigenous and local communities; and

(c) Continue to disseminate the results of studies on the potential environmental (e.g., risk assessment), socio-economic and cultural impacts of genetic use restriction technologies on smallholder farmers, indigenous and local communities, and make these studies available in a transparent manner through, inter alia, the clearing‑house mechanism;

3. Invites the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to examine, within the context of its work, priorities and available resources, the potential impacts of genetic use restriction technologies with special consideration to the impacts on indigenous and local communities and associated traditional knowledge, smallholder farmers and breeders and Farmers’ Rights;

4. Notes that there is a strong demand for capacity-building and technology transfer, particularly for developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and that adequate resources need to be provided, particularly relating to the assessment of, and decision-making, on genetic use restriction technologies, regarding cultural and socio-economic aspects, in accordance with Articles 12, 16, 17, 18 and 20 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and urges Parties to strengthen capacity‑building initiatives covering environmental, cultural and socio‑economic aspects to enable Parties to make informed decisions and actions on genetic use restriction technologies with the participation of indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders; and

5. Notes that the issues related to genetic use restriction technologies should be disseminated in appropriate language and simplified form, through the clearing-house mechanism and other means.


D. In-depth review of the programme of work on agricultural biological diversity

The Conference of the Parties,

Noting that the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work will take place at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (decision VII/31, annex),

Welcoming with appreciation the progress by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in the inter-sessional period (UNEP/CBD/COP/8/26 and UNEP/CBD/COP/8/INF/24), in particular, in the preparation of the first report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources, and noting that these activities provide timely and valuable inputs for the in-depth review of the programme of work,

1. Extends its gratitude to the Government of Switzerland for the offer to host the first FAO International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2007;

2. Welcomes the recommendation of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, at its tenth session, “that FAO work closely with the Executive Secretary of the Convention, and play a leading role in the in-depth review of the Convention’s programme of work on agricultural biological diversity”;

3. Decides that the process of the in-depth review shall take into account the guidelines for the review of programmes of work (decision VIII/15, annex III); and

4. Requests the Executive Secretary, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and in consultation with other relevant international organizations, to prepare the full review of the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme