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Voluntary guidelines to support the integration of genetic diversity into national climate change adaptation planning












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    Book (series)
    Innovations in cryoconservation of animal genetic resources
    Practical guide
    2023
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    The livestock sector faces a range of challenges, including climate change, emerging diseases, competition for natural resources and evolving demand for animal-source foods, which is increasing globally, especially in developing countries. Genetic diversity of livestock is a key resource for allowing livestock keepers to address these challenges, but this diversity has been in a state of decline. The diminishing genetic diversity thus represents yet another obstacle for sustainable livestock production. Cryoconservation (i.e. ex situ – in vitro conservation) of genetic resources through gene banking provides one of the most powerful tools governments and other stakeholders have to manage genetic diversity in both the short and long term and thereby provide future generations with the tools to meet the challenges ahead. Gene banking genetic resources fits within the context of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, which was developed and adopted by FAO Member Nations. Specifically, Strategic Priority 9 of the Global Plan of Action is “Establish or strengthen ex situ conservation programmes” and Strategic Priority 11 urges countries to “Develop approaches and technical standards for conservation. To assist countries in the implementation the Global Plan of Action, FAO worked with experts from around the world to prepare technical guidelines. In 2012 FAO published FAO Guidelines on Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources. Gene banking is a long-term effort that needs to be viewed in terms of decades rather than years, as demonstrated by similar systems for agricultural crops. The responsibility for establishing such resources lies squarely within governments’ roles of providing public goods and food security. Gene banking of animal genetic resources is a technology-intense undertaking and the associated technologies are in a continual state of research and development. The livestock sector also continues to evolve rapidly. Since the development and release of the previous guidelines, numerous changes have taken place. Critical among these is a greater appreciation of the opportunities for actively utilizing cryopreserved material to enhance management of in vivo populations, rather than as simply an “insurance policy” to protect breeds against extinction. This key development has led to further changes in gene bank management. First, interaction with users of the stored material has increased. This in turn has created a need to involve stakeholders more closely in the management of genetic collections and to better monitor and document the processes of gene banking to ensure quality management.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Evaluation of FAO’s contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 2
    Protection and fair share of genetic resources for food and agriculture
    2021
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    Genetic resources for food and agriculture are essential to global food production in the face of population and consumption growth and are the building blocks for developing new materials adapted to changing climates, environments and production demands. This study focuses on the links between FAO’s policy work on genetic resources and its related actions at national level. It identifies some of the key opportunities and challenges to expanding and improving its genetic resources work in the context of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) and reviews the degree to which its work contributes to Zero Hunger. The review finds that FAOs work on genetic resources builds on its comparative advantage and mandate in data aggregation and dissemination. FAO is also well positioned as the leading institution on genetic resources for food and agriculture. However, many less developed countries are not very involved with the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It appears difficult for less developed countries to keep pace with new FAO guidelines, standards and tools. The study recommends that technical and institutional support to enhance national capacity and frameworks should be practical, with a less bureaucratic and technical approach. FAO should continue to produce its State of the World reports, ideally more frequently with data from more countries. Genetic resource support mechanisms should focus more on establishing multi-stakeholder platforms to reduce the risks associated with government transitions and priority changes, especially in developing countries.
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    Document
    Biocultural Community Protocols for Livestock Keepers 2010
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    Biocultural Community Protocols are a new approach that provides livestock-keeping communities the opportunity of documenting and showcasing their role in the management of animal genetic resources and agro-ecosystems. They offer insights into the all-important socio-cultural dimensions of livestock diversity that have remained invisible during standard livestock research on animal genetic resources. They provide an opportunity for communities to tell the story from their perspective and bring t o light issues that researchers and development workers have not paid attention to so far. They describe the ritual and ceremonial meaning of livestock, they document traditional resource management and drought adaptation strategies, they identify the factors that may have led to the decline of a breed, and they make specific requests to outsiders for recognition of their role as custodians of biological diversity. Establishment of a biocultural community protocol involves a facilitated process in which a community or group of livestock keepers reflects about the meaning of their breeds, their own role in maintaining it and their vision and concerns for and about the future. The reflections are put on paper, and the community is informed about existing national rules and international legal frameworks that support its role in biodiversity conservation. Although the number of biocultural community protocols that has been established by livestock keepers is still limited, they have alrea dy validated the concept and there is an enormous interest among other communities in developing their protocols. Biocultural community protocols contribute to the implementation of several international frameworks. The most important of these are the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. They also correspond to and implement the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as well as the Voluntary Guidelines to S upport the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. Furthermore, they may provide an answer to the increasingly debated question of how to protect the rights of small-scale livestock keepers in a global scenario in which Intellectual Property Rights become ever more prevalent in animal breeding. At community level, the development of biocultural community protocols strengthens interest in the conservation of indigenous livestock breeds and i nitiates a discussion about how to deal with factors undermining conservation

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