|Last updated: 24/02/2015|
November 2011 marks the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by the FAO Conference. The successful implementation of the Treaty in the past years has been the outcome of more than 15 years of work at FAO. On the occasion of this major Anniversary, a high-level celebration will be hosted by FAO on 14th November and will be convened under the patronship of the High-level Task Force of the ITPGRFA’s Benefit-sharing Fund.
Since its adoption by the FAO Conference on 3rd November 2001, the Treaty has been considered the first legally binding instrument of the 21st century — and it remains at the cutting edge of such a new, results-driven and output-oriented multilateralism. Its Multilateral System is a global gene-pool of more than 1.5 million samples of plant genetic material that Contracting Parties of the Treaty govern collectively and multilaterally. This gene pool constitutes the basis of more than 80% of the world's food derived from plants and it is becoming our most important tool for adapting agriculture to climate change in the years to come.
The ratification of the Treaty by 127 Contracting Parties implies that many governments have now recognized the importance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, the threats affecting their survival, and the need to develop specific policies in order to conserve these genetic resources and make wider use of them. Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture have reached the global agenda and raised the attention of policy makers and politicians.