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Report of the First External Review of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP)









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    Book (stand-alone)
    Manual of Seed Handling in Genebanks
    Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8
    2006
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    Genebanks are the storehouses of plant genetic resources, providing the raw material for the improvement of crops. They play a key role in contributing to the sustainable development of agriculture, helping to increase food production and thus to overcome hunger and poverty. Inherent resistance to pests and diseases can be bred into crop plants, reducing the need to use chemicals that can have deleterious effects on farmers and the environment. The seeds contained in genebanks are a vital and irreplaceable resource, a heritage which must be conserved to provide future agricultural options in a world facing climate change and other unforeseen challenges. The sustainable conservation of genetic resources depends on effective actions by genebank staff, who play a critical role in ensuring that germplasm is effectively and efficiently conserved. They need to apply proper procedures for handling seeds to ensure their survival and availability to present and futur e generations. The practical manual on Procedures for Handling Seed in Genebanks (Hanson, 1985), published by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR), a predecessor of Bioversity International, has helped genebank curators and technicians in seed conservation in the past. Research over recent decades has yielded advances in knowledge regarding seed physiology and seed-storage behaviour. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) in 2004 and related agreements have changed the global framework of germplasm ownership and benefit-sharing. The development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and associated controversies have important implications for the ways genebanks manage their germplasm, notably to prevent the unintentional introgression of exotic genes, including transgenes. All of these new opportunities and challenges called for an update of the 1985 handbook for genebanks. This manual addresses these recent changes, and is intended to ensure that seed handling in genebanks meets today’s requirements. The new manual is complemented by an interactive self-learning module, found on the CD ROM included in this package. The manual and self-learning module are intended to help address the challenges associated with the shortage and frequent turnover of qualified genebank staff, particularly in developing countr ies.
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    Report of the Sixth External Program and Management Review (EPMR) of the Centro Internacional de Agricoltura Tropical (CIAT) 2008
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    Two key findings from the review were the need to overcome governance and management shortcomings and to clarify CIAT’s future strategic research agenda. The Panel recommended improvements in seven categories: organization and planning of research, research management, specific research topics, regional organization of research, intellectual property, center management, and governance. The Council agrees with the Panel that the Center needs to quickly emerge from the most recent turmoi l and instability by rethinking its research strategy and by revitalizing its leadership. The SC concurs that this is a crucial time for CGIAR donors to invest collectively in CIAT’s turnaround, subject to program, governance and management changes detailed in the EPMR report.
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    Report of the Third External Programme and Management Review of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) 2007
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    The Report of the Third EPMR of ICRAF was discussed at the Fifth Meeting of the SC (April 10- 12, 2006) in the presence of Panel Member, Dr. Chris Harwood (on behalf of Prof. Jeffery Burley, Panel Chair, who was unavailable due to illness), the Chair of ICRAF’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Eugene Terry, and the Director General of ICRAF, Dr. Dennis Garrity. The SC thanks the Panel Chair and Members for a constructive, frank and thorough report offering a clear overview and assessment of ICRA F’s research, management and governance. The Panel clearly recognizes the seminal contributions ICRAF has made to defining and advancing the science of agroforestry and the importance to the CGIAR of developing and implementing a strategic vision for systemsbased integrated natural resources management (INRM) that fully involves both the biophysical and social sciences. The Panel notes, in particular, that the Center undertook nine CCERs in the intervening seven years, including four in 2005 alone, and that the Panel carefully reviewed each of these. In response to the 2nd EPMR (1998), the Center developed a new strategy document in 2000, has monitored and adapted its organizational arrangements to address its updated strategy, reorganizing programs and integrating the research and development-support aspects of its agenda within each global theme in 2003, ultimately leading to a new Vision and Strategic Planning Framework adopted in 2005. The Panel endorses ICRAF ’s vision, mission and goals and found them well-aligned with the new System priorities. Indeed, the Panel confirms that “ICRAF is well positioned to address the new CGIAR priorities…and can contribute to each of the five CGIAR system priority areas”. The Report of the 3rd EPMR makes 15 constructive recommendations: 2 concerning strategic research priorities, 4 on Regions and Systemwide programs, 6 on Governance and Management, and 3 on internal organizational changes. The EPMR Repor t offers as well 43 detailed suggestions for the Center and its Board to consider. The SC fully endorses all 15 recommendations. It is pleased to note that ICRAF agrees with and is already moving to implement 11 of these, and that it is committed to further analyzing in detail the remaining 4 recommendations. Given the nature of the recommendations and concerns these raise, the SC recommends that a smaller-scale, focused review be undertaken in 12 months’ time of ICRAF’s progress in ad dressing 4 of these recommendations, as enumerated below.

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