Last updated: 08/09/2016

Briefing on policy and legal matters for genebank managers

 The Secretariat of the International Treaty briefed twenty genebank managers of institutions that are signatories of agreements with the Governing Body under Article 15 of the International Treaty on relevant policy and legal matters on the occasion of a coordination meeting organized in Rome. 

The briefing, held on 21 November, mostly covered themes and issues that are being dealt with by the Ad Hoc Technical Advisory Committee on the Standard Material Transfer Agreement and the Multilateral System, such as distribution of genetic material for farmers for direct use, non-food and non-feed uses of genetic material in the Multilateral System, and the interfaces between the International Treaty and the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing.

 These international genebanks have been distributing accessions of crops listed in Annex I of the International Treaty for research, training and breeding under the Treaty’s Standard Material Transfer Agreement since 2007 and as of 2009 also accessions belonging to other crops. They regularly report to the Treaty’s Governing Body on such distribution of germplasm and operate under its policy guidance.

The Genebank managers were also briefed on the launch of EASY-SMTA, a new online tool that facilitates both the electronic generation and the reporting to the Governing Body of standard material transfer agreements.

The genebank managers, attending the first annual meeting of the new 5-year CGIAR Research Programme on Managing and Sustaining Crop Collections, expressed appreciation for the briefing. They remarked the importance of aligning the day-to-day operation of the genebanks with the policy guidance articulated under the framework of the International Treaty. During the briefing the genebank managers also demanded that further interactions should continue to be facilitated through close coordination between the Secretariat of the International Treaty and the CGIAR Consortium Office.