The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
(International Treaty) is celebrating 15 years since it has been entered
into force on June 29, 2004. Now boasting a membership of 146 Contracting
Parties, including the European Union, the International Treaty has been
acknowledged by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO) as one of the Organization's "top 10 achievements."
Since its entry-into-force in 2004, the International Treaty has become
FAO's flagship work on agricultural biodiversity. The Treaty has brought
together countries and partner organizations around the world to conserve
and use the world's precious plant genetic resources sustainably, both in
the form of seeds of plants that provide food and nutrition, and the vital
information pertaining to seeds and other plant material. Contracting
Parties and donors have expressed appreciation for the International
Treaty's work to conserve these invaluable natural resources, particularly
in developing countries and centers of crop biodiversity.
Aside from its 15th anniversary, the year also marks the 8th biennial
Session of the International Treaty's Governing Body (GB) that will take
place in the FAO Headquarters in Rome on November 11-16. Over 700 delegates
and stakeholders will attend the GB and make some critical decisions that
will guide the future work of the International Treaty.