Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Target 13: By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.
The genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed or domesticated animals and of wild relatives is in decline as is the genetic diversity of other socio-economically and culturally valuable species. As such the genetic diversity which remains needs to be maintained and strategies need to be developed and implemented to minimize the current erosion of genetic diversity. While substantial progress has been made in safeguarding many varieties and breeds through ex situ storage in genebanks, less progress has been made in situ. In situ conservation, including through continued cultivation on farms, allows for ongoing adaptation to changing conditions (such as climate change) and agricultural practices. In addition, both in situ and ex situ conservation of wild relatives of crop plants and other socio economically valuable species, as well as selected wild species of plants and animals, should be improved inside and outside protected areas. Implementation:
The programme of work on agricultural biodiversity as well as the FAO Global Plan of Action for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, the FAO Global Plan of Action for animal genetic resources and the International Initiative on Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition provide guidance on the types of actions which can be taken to reach this target. Indicators and baseline information: Indicators for this target are ex situ crop collections, and the genetic diversity of terrestrial domestic animals. Other indicators could include trends in the genetic diversity of cultivated plants, fish species of major socio-economic importance and the number of genebank accessions. Assessments carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization48
could provide baselines for assessments towards this target.
Options for milestones for this target include:
- By 2014, programmes for in situ conservation of crop and livestock genetic diversity and other socio-economically valuable species, as well as for selected wild species of plants and animals, are included in national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
Food and Agriculture Organization (2007). The State of the World’s Animal and Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture. Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the United Nations. Rome.