Oat seeds
27 October 2017

France takes action to preserve cultivated biodiversity

France is committed to conserving the diversity of the genetic heritage of cultivated plants (plant genetic resources). The new actions undertaken by France in this area demonstrate its continued interest in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
 
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is carrying out two new actions in favour of preserving plant genetic resources:
 
  • The launch of a call for projects, in September 2017, provides support for initiatives on the characterisation and sustainability of plant genetic resource collections for cultivated plants. This call for projects has a €300,000 budget. These monies are additional to the resources that have already been mobilised since 2015 to assemble a team dedicated to structuring the preservation of these resources.
 
  • In this way, dozens of plant varieties, managed by INRA, are deposited into the common pool provided for in the ITPGRFA: 80 varieties of aubergine, 603 varieties of oat and 36 varieties of triticale. These varieties will be accessible to all interested research and selection users, on an international basis.
 
In addition, the French seed sector is now lending its support to the commitment to preserve plant genetic resources, with a significant annual financial contribution which will benefit actions aimed at conserving genetic diversity.
 
In this context, Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, welcomes the commitment from the National Interprofessional Association for Seeds and Plants (GNIS), which is the first voluntary contribution from a national seed sector to the ITPGRFA.
 
For the Minister, "France attaches great importance to this Treaty, which is essential in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Next week, the Ministry will participate in the biennial meeting of the ITPGRFA’s governing body, in Rwanda. On this occasion, it will reiterate its support for the Treaty".
 
Promoting plant genetic resources
Seed production and varietal innovation play a major role in maintaining competitiveness and the environmental performance of agriculture, relying heavily on available plant varieties and plant genetic resources. The challenge of conservation lies in ensuring the availability of cultivated biodiversity for the future and, in particular, in contributing to the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.
France has ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, which came into force in 2004, aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and which creates a common pool of plant genetic resources.
 

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27 October 2017