|Greetings from the PAR Secretariat.
This newsletter brings together information on a wide range of agrobiodiversity topics in which PAR partners and the Secretariat have been involved.
We hope that you find it interesting and take the opportunity to send you all good wishes for the coming year.
Don’t forget, we always welcome suggestions and contributions to the website and to the newsletter which is now sent to more than 4,000 readers worldwide. The more you contribute, the wider our coverage can be of the many important aspects of agrobiodiversity and the more information we can share among the agrobiodiversity community.
Looking forward in an increasingly agrobiodiversity rich year!
- PAR Workshop on Assessing the Effects of Land Use Change on Agrobiodiversity
In collaboration with eight partner organisations, PAR is undertaking a study to develop a framework that will integrate different agrobiodiversity measures to support the analysis of the consequences of land use decisions on agrobiodiversity, ecosystem services and resilience. A first workshop with partner organisations, hosted by the International Pollinator Initiative, took place on 6-9 October, 2014 in Rome, Italy. The participants met to share experiences and to agree on common approaches, methodology for data collection and working practices.
- 15th Regular Session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is coming up!
The 15th Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will be held from 19-23 January 2015 at FAO, Rome, Italy. The meeting will cover subjects such as: Cross-sectorial matters, including the State of the World Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, target and indicators for biodiversity for food and agriculture, Access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources for food and agriculture, Biodiversity and Nutrition, Application and integration of biotechnologies for the conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic resources for food and agriculture, Climate change and genetic resources for food and agriculture; Animal genetic resources; Forest genetic resources; Plant genetic resources; Aquatic genetic resources; Micro-organism and invertebrates; Implementation of the Multi-year Programme of Work; and Cooperation with international instruments and organizations.
- Fifth IPSI Global Conference (IPSI-5) and IPSI side-event at CBD COP-12
Dr. Pablo Eyzaguirre, from the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research and Bioversity International presented the “Indicators of resilience in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS): Indicators for managing renewable resources in pastures and seascapes” at a International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) side-event during the recent meeting of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-12) in October in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. Dr. Eyzaguirre also moderated another side event during COP-12, hosted by the United Nations University Institute for Advances Studies on Sustainability (UNU-IAS) entitled “Mobilizing Resources for Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Production Landscapes and Seascapes”.
- Community Seed Banks in Ethiopia: An innovative approach to improving food security
The community seed bank in Chefe Donsa, a village two hours’ drive east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, collects and preserves the seeds of local crops to ensure farmers have a steady supply of seeds to sow each year.
- Promoting agrobiodiversity conservation and use in Sri Lankan agroecosystems for livelihoods and adaptation to climate change
A major new UNEP GEF supported project that will build resilience and help rural communities meet the challenges of climate change through the conservation and use of agrobiodiversity has recently started in Sri Lanka. The role of agrobiodiversity in helping farmers and rural communities to adapt to climate change and to improve their livelihoods will be explored during this 5-years project. The project, which includes a number of aspects that make it extremely innovative, is being undertaken in collaboration with communities in three different landscapes: Kandyan home gardens, “small tank” systems and “owita” agro-ecosystem.
- Food and farming in the UN climate talks
What do the UN Climate talks mean for food and farming? The global research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and partners are sharing knowledge and exchanging experiences at the UN Climate Talks from 1-12 December and during the Global Landscape Forum, 6-7 December 2014 in Lima, Peru. Of particular interest was the meeting on 6 December: The role of genetic diversity, traditional knowledge and restoration of native plants in climate adaptation and resilience. Speakers included Alejandro Argumedo from Andes, and Marleni Ramirez from Bioversity International.
- Animal Genetic Resources, Access and Benefit Sharing
The confusion of the delegates of the Eighth session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources about how to apply the concept of “Access and Benefit-Sharing” to animal genetic resources was palpable, says Ilse Köhler-Rollefson in her blog written after the recent meeting of the Technical Working Group. You can read more of her thoughts in the blog: Animal genetic resources and “Access and Benefit-Sharing”: not made for each other?
- Course: Integrated seed sector development
Over the last decades, the formal seed system in most developing countries has shifted from a publicly dominated sector to a privately dominated sector. However, throughout the world, the largest quantities of seed are still produced by farmers themselves. Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) recognises the relevance of formal and informal systems and aims to balance public and private sector involvement. The Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation is welcoming application to this course, which will take place from 18 May to 5 June 2015, until 6 April 2015.
- New Publication: Toolkit for the Indicators of Resilience
The “Toolkit for the Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS)” has been published and was officially launched at an event on 17 November 2014, held parallel to the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The Toolkit is a major output of a IPSI Collaborative Activity carried out by UNU-IAS, Bioversity International, UNDP-COMDEKS, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). This project was a continuation of a previous Collaborative Activity by UNU-IAS and Bioversity International, in which the Indicators themselves were developed, and included a revision of the Indicators based on their field-testing and application around the world over the past two years. The revised Indicators and a manual for their practical application in the field have now been compiled into the Toolkit publication.
- A new Bio-Economy web site is born
Promoting a socially just and environmentally sustainable Bio-Economy. A newly launched web-platform for researchers, policy-makers and students to engage with and learn more about approaches within the bio-economy that facilitate poverty reduction in a manner that is socially just and environmentally sustainable
Harvesting rooibos in the Koue Bokkeveld, Western Cape Province, South Africa / Photo credit: Rachel Wynberg