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The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture










This report updates the global assessment provided in the first report on The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, published in 2007. It focuses particularly on changes that have occurred during the period since the first report was published. It serves as a basis for a review, and potential update, of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, which since 2007 has provided an agreed international framework for the management of livestock biodiversity. Drawing on 129 country reports, it presents an analysis of the state of livestock diversity, the influence of livestock-sector trends on the management of animal genetic resources, the state of capacity to manage animal genetic resources, including legal and policy frameworks, and the state of the art in tools and methods for characterization, valuation, use, development and conservation.

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FAO. 2015. The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, edited by B.D. Scherf & D. Pilling. FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Assessments. Rome




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    The wise management of the world’s agricultural biodiversity is becoming an ever greater challenge for the international community. The livestock sector in particular is undergoing dramatic changes as large-scale production expands in response to surging demand for meat, milk and eggs. A wide portfolio of animal genetic resources is crucial to adapting and developing our agricultural production systems. Climate change and the emergence of new and virulent animal diseases underline the need to re tain this adaptive capacity. For hundreds of millions of poor rural households, livestock remain a key asset, often meeting multiple needs, and enabling livelihoods to be built in some of the world’s harshest environments. Livestock production makes a vital contribution to food and livelihood security, and to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. It will be of increasing significance in the coming decades. And yet, genetic diversity is under threat. The reported rate of breed extinctions is of great concern, but it is even more worrying that unrecorded genetic resources are being lost before their characteristics can be studied and their potential evaluated. Strenuous efforts to understand, prioritize and protect the world’s animal genetic resources for food and agriculture are required. Sustainable patterns of utilization must be established. Traditional livestock keepers – often poor and in marginal environments – have been the stewards of much of our animal geneti c diversity. We should not ignore their role or neglect their needs. Equitable arrangements for benefit-sharing are needed, and broad access to genetic resources must be ensured. An agreed international framework for the management of these resources is crucial.
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    This summary of the global assessment has been requested by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (see report: http://www.fao.org/3/a-mm660e.pdf; para 38). Sustainable management of the world’s livestock genetic diversity is of vital importance to agriculture, food production, rural development and the environment. The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is an update of the first report and present a global ass essment of these resources. Drawing on 129 country reports, it presents an analysis of the state of livestock diversity, the influence of livestock-sector trends on the management of animal genetic resources, the state of capacity to manage animal genetic resources, including legal and policy.
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    The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 2010

    Plant genetic resources provide a basis for food security, livelihood support and economic development as a major component of biodiversity. The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture demonstrates the central role plant genetic diversity continues to play in shaping agriculture growth in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. It is based on information gathered from Country Reports, regional syntheses, thematic studie s and scientific literature, documenting the major achievements made in this sector during the past decade and identifying the critical gaps and needs that should urgently be addressed. The Report provides the decision-makers with a technical basis for updating the Global Plan of Action on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It also aims to attract the attention of the global community to set priorities for the effective management of plant genet ic resources for the future.

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