Last updated: 26/01/2015

Global Information System on PGRFA

Global Information System on PGRFA Article 17 of the International Treaty states that “Contracting Parties shall cooperate to develop and strengthen a global information system to facilitate the exchange of information, based on existing information systems, on scientific, technical and environmental matters related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture".

The large number of ongoing initiatives, their diverse nature and scope, and the variety of stakeholders involved, require the establishment of strategic partnerships to allow them to collaborate and provide more effective and coordinated support to plant breeding, and to the implementation of the Multilateral System.

In order to facilitate progress in the development of the Global Information System foreseen in Article 17, the Secretariat is establishing strategic partnerships and participates in the development of information systems and tools, under the guidance of the Governing Body. Some of the major activities are:

-Research on stakeholders and users’ needs;

-Creation of inventories and databases on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;

 -Development of linkages with the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Clearing House Mechanism, the Genesys portal, the World Information Sharing Mechanism for the implementation of the Gobal Plan of Action , Eurisco, Grin-Global and other relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements;

In this context the Secretariat of the International Treaty supports the implementation of DivSeek jointly with the Global Crop Diveristy Trust. DivSeek is a global intiative aiming at faciliatiing the linkages between genomics, phenomics and publicly available accessions. The Secretariat has also participated inthe development of the White Paper on DivSeek.

Policy Process

At its Fifth session in Muscat in September 2013, the Governing Body of the International Treaty adopted the Resolution 10/2013, Development of the Global Information System on plant Genetic Resources in the context of Article 17 of the International Treaty, and requested the Secretary to call for an expert consultation. 

It also adopted the Terms of Reference for such consultation and encouraged Contracting Parties, non-Contracting Parties, relevant stakeholders and funding mechanism to provide financial support for the development of the Global system.

The Expert Consultation, which will take place in San Diego, California (USA) on 7 and 8 January 2015, will:

(i) Facilitate the assessment of needs and advise the Secretary on the identification of activities and priorities for information exchange;

(ii) Conduct a review of major ongoing initiatives, projects and programmes at national, regional and international levels of relevance for the development of Article 17 of the International Treaty

(iii)  Identify information gaps on scientific, technical and environmental matters on PGRFA;

(iv)  Identify best practices and appropriate methodologies for the strengthening of an effective global information system;

(v) Conduct and publish the necessary background study papers, in cooperation with Contracting Parties and relevant stakeholders and subject to availability of resources, an online survey on the major components of the Global Information System;

(vi) Advise the Secretariat in the drafting of the vision paper on the Global Information System referred to in Article 17 of the Treaty as a conceptual basis for a work programme to be presented to the Governing Body at its next session for its consideration.