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Seed rescue and conservation following disasters










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    Infographic
    Rescuing, restoring and protecting seed systems in emergencies 2021
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    After natural disasters, access to local seed is crucial for communities to get back on their feet and improve their livelihoods, food and nutrition security. However, rescuing and restoring seed systems is often not considered in national or regional emergency response planning. This infographic provides a visual summary of the different phases in the project “Foundations for rebuilding seed systems post Cyclone Idai: Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi”. It shows the immediate, short-, mid- and long-term response to the impact of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. The stages presented in this infographic can be a model for other genebanks and governments, specifically in countries and regions with higher risk of natural disasters, to integrate seed system support in emergency preparation and response planning. “Foundations for rebuilding seed systems post Cyclone Idai: Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi” is a joint Food and Agriculture Organization and International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture project. It was implemented by the genebanks of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, in close collaboration with local partners and farming communities.
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    Booklet
    Foundations for rebuilding seed systems post Cyclone Idai – Achievements and insights from project implementation.
    Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
    2023
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    When Cyclones Idai and Kenneth made landfall in Southern Africa in March and April 2019 respectively, the consequences were devastating for farmers, who lost local seed reserves including crop wild relatives and crops ready for harvest. The cyclones and related floods affected more than 3.8 million people in Southern Africa and destroyed nearly 800 000 hectares of standing crops in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Next to emergency relief efforts on food, health and shelter, the project 'Foundations for rebuilding seed systems post Cyclone Idai: Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe' aimed to improve food and nutrition security and livelihoods in the longer term. In the project, national gene banks and farmers collaborated to rescue, regenerate and return seed to affected communities in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and to strengthen national and regional planning for the protection of local seed systems in the future. The project has been implemented by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and FAO in partnership with the national gene banks of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and was financially supported by the Government of Germany and the Kingdom of Norway. This report summarizes the achievements and insights of the project from September 2019 until September 2022.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Practical guide for the application of the Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Conservation of orthodox seeds in seed genebanks 2022
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    FAO has developed the "Practical guide for the application of the Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Conservation of orthodox seeds in seed genebanks" to be used as a companion volume to the Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The action steps of the genebank workflow are presented in a sequential manner and provide guidance on the complex steps and decisions required when operating a seed genebank. The accompanying summary charts for the respective action steps underscore the intended use of this practical guide as a handbook for routine genebank operations for the conservation of orthodox seeds. While this practical guide is particularly useful for genebank technicians for their day-to-day activities, it may also be used as a basis for the development of standard operating procedures and quality management systems. Genebank managers will also find it useful for conducting training exercises.

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