15
National and International Programs

Crop genetic resources have national and global importance. They are a valuable part of the cultural agricultural heritage of all nations, and their effective management and use are of strategic importance to national food security. Genetic resources are important to the agriculture of nations far beyond the geographic centers of origin or diversity. Access to and control of germplasm and information are important international issues, which are extensively debated at the international level. This chapter addresses the role of national programs in managing genetic resources and the need to develop an equitable and stable international system to guide the collection, management, conservation, and use of crop genetic resources for the benefit of all nations.

NATIONAL PROGRAMS

The primary purpose of a national system is to ensure that the genetic resources needed in agriculture, forestry, and conservation programs are available, evaluated, conserved, and used. This is a long-term requirement to safeguard national food production now and in the future, and it should be a responsibility of an official public agency. A national agency should assume the responsibility for carrying out a national policy on germplasm use and conservation and interact with other parts of the government structure that have responsibility for quarantine and research.

The germplasm activity in a country may be centralized or diffused,



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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies 15 National and International Programs Crop genetic resources have national and global importance. They are a valuable part of the cultural agricultural heritage of all nations, and their effective management and use are of strategic importance to national food security. Genetic resources are important to the agriculture of nations far beyond the geographic centers of origin or diversity. Access to and control of germplasm and information are important international issues, which are extensively debated at the international level. This chapter addresses the role of national programs in managing genetic resources and the need to develop an equitable and stable international system to guide the collection, management, conservation, and use of crop genetic resources for the benefit of all nations. NATIONAL PROGRAMS The primary purpose of a national system is to ensure that the genetic resources needed in agriculture, forestry, and conservation programs are available, evaluated, conserved, and used. This is a long-term requirement to safeguard national food production now and in the future, and it should be a responsibility of an official public agency. A national agency should assume the responsibility for carrying out a national policy on germplasm use and conservation and interact with other parts of the government structure that have responsibility for quarantine and research. The germplasm activity in a country may be centralized or diffused,

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies public or private, large or small, or various combinations of these. When several organization are involved in germplasm management, the centralized coordination of information and documentation of the holdings in various collections is desirable. A national plant germplasm system must have the capacity and a policy to assemble germplasm (through active collecting or exchanging); process and store materials; grow, test, and evaluate; regenerate and distribute samples; and maintain appropriate data. There is considerable variation among countries in the level of genetic resources activity, ranging from virtually none to rather large programs, such as that in the United States (National Research Council, 1991a), usually as part of national agricultural research systems. Only a limited number of countries, however, have clearly defined national objectives and policies and with an adequate infrastructure to preserve the germplasm resources necessary beyond their immediate needs. Why are National Programs Necessary? Access to diverse breeding materials essential to crop improvement is a major benefit provided by national programs. While the genetic diversity of major crop species has been extensively collected, much of the genetic diversity of others has not. This is especially true of many indigenous species that are poorly known outside the country or region where they are used. National programs are most appropriate for conserving these resources, since these minor species (in a global sense) may not command a high priority for international action. The Importance of Exchange Collections frequently include accessions obtained from other collections, and germplasm exchange operates in both directions. Plant germplasm exchange has played an important role in broadening the base of plant breeding, even in those countries that have a wide range of indigenous genetic resources. It has been shown that nations around the world benefit from the introduction of crops from other regions (Kloppenburg and Kleinman, 1988) (Table 15-1). Participants in National Programs Most existing collections have originated through the efforts of individuals involved in plant breeding, botanical and evolutionary

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies studies, or other research. For example, botanical gardens and arboretums have historically played a role in the collection, conservation, and exchange of certain types of germplasm (Plucknett et al., 1987); although intraspecific variation maintained is generally quite limited. In most countries, active collections are held in public agricultural research institutes. In some countries, private institutions and universities are the principal repositories. Status of National and Regional Programs National plant genetic resources conservation programs vary considerably in organizational structure, in the nature of materials conserved, and how those are used. Although many nations have some level of plant germplasm activity related to agriculturally important plants, there is no nation, to the committee's knowledge, that has a comprehensive approach to the identification and conservation (in situ or ex situ) of all, or even the most common, plant species extant in the country. Collections of agricultural crop species are most frequently handled by a branch of the crops research unit of the agriculture ministry. It could be argued that food and fiber crop species (including forestry species) should receive added priority attention in conservation programs, and they generally do when these types of programs exist. However, the conservation of economically important species as well as the protection of ecosystems would often be better if national policies and strategies dealt comprehensively with biological diversity. The committee examined many national and regional efforts to manage crop genetic resources. Although not exhaustive, this activity has provided an overview of the present general status and needs of conservation, management, and use at the national level. The Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe Genetic resources work in Eastern Europe has a long tradition going back to the pioneering research and discoveries of Russian academician N. I. Vavilov. In the former socialistic system, genetic resources programs were guided by the Scientific-Technical Board for Wild Species and Cultivated Agricultural Plant Collection as part of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance encompassing the Soviet Union and all East European countries. They were coordinated by the N. I. Vavilov All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR). As a result, the collection and conservation of genetic resources were well established in that region. Local landcares

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies TABLE 15-1 Percentages of Regional Food Crop Production and Industrial Crop Area Accounted for by Crops Associated with Different Regions of Diversity   Regions of Diversity Regions of Production Chino-Japanese Indo-chinese Australian Hindustanean West Central Asiatic Mediteranean African Euro-Siberian Latin American North American Total Dependence Food crops (percent production)                       Chino-Japanese 37.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 16.4 2.3 3.1 0.3 40.7 0.0 62.8 Indochinese 0.9 66.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 31.9 0.0 33.2 Australian 1.7 0.9 0.0 0.5 82.1 0.3 2.9 7.0 4.6 0.0 100.0 Hindustanean 0.8 4.5 0.0 51.4 18.8 0.2 12.8 0.0 11.5 0.0 48.6 West Central Asiatic 4.9 3.2 0.0 3.0 69.2 0.7 1.2 0.8 17.0 0.0 30.8 Mediterranean 8.5 1.4 0.0 0.9 46.4 1.8 0.7 1.2 39.0 0.0 98.2 African 2.4 22.3 0.0 1.5 4.9 0.3 12.3 0.1 56.3 0.0 87.7 Euro-Siberian 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.1 51.7 2.6 0.4 9.2 35.5 0.0 90.8 Latin American 18.7 12.5 0.0 2.3 13.3 0.4 7.8 0.5 44.4 0.0 55.6 North American 15.8 0.4 0.0 0.4 36.1 0.5 3.6 2.8 40.3 0.0 100.0 World 12.9 7.5 0.0 5.7 30.0 1.4 4.0 2.9 35.6 0.0  

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies Industrial crops (percent area)                       Chinese-Japanese 8.3 4.7 0.0 1.4 7.4 27.5 0.1 0.0 45.4 5.1 91.6 Indochinese 5.0 43.5 0.0 7.1 2.9 0.0 22.6 0.0 18.8 0.0 56.4 Australian 0.0 51.2 0.0 0.0 1.8 3.3 0.0 0.0 15.4 28.3 100.0 Hindustanean 2.6 14.2 0.0 7.2 20.5 17.2 0.9 0.0 35.2 2.1 92.7 West Central Asiatic 1.5 14.7 0.0 0.0 4.5 14.2 0.1 0.0 56.6 8.4 95.5 Mediterranean 0.0 3.9 0.0 0.2 2.4 25.3 0.0 0.0 31.8 36.5 74.9 African 1.3 16.3 0.0 0.1 10.6 0.4 22.4 0.0 46.0 3.0 77.7 Euro-Siberian 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.1 12.8 41.3 0.0 0.0 17.5 27.9 100.0 Latin American 0.2 30.4 0.0 0.4 5.9 0.4 25.7 0.0 28.0 9.1 72.1 North American 0.0 3.7 0.0 0.0 8.3 33.1 0.0 0.0 39.6 15.3 84.7 World 2.1 13.7 0.0 2.0 10.8 18.2 8.3 0.0 34.4 10.5   NOTE: Reading the table horizontally along rows, the figures can be interpreted as measures of the extent to which a given region of production depends on each of the regions of diversity. The column labeled "total dependence" shows the percentage of production for a given region of production that is accounted for by crops associated with nonindigenous regions of diversity. Due to rounding error the figures in each row do not always sum to 100. SOURCE: Kloppenburg, J.R., and D.L. Kleinman. 1988. Seeds of controversy: National property versus common heritage. Pp. 175–203 in Seeds and Sovereignty: The Use and Control of Plant Genetic Resources, J.R. Kloppenburg, Jr., ed. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. Reprinted with permission, ©1988 by Duke University Press.

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies and old cultivars have been well collected and programs begun notably in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, (formerly East) Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Republics of Montenegro and Serbia, and the Slovak Republic (Table 15-2). VIR also holds one of the largest worldwide collections of cultivated species. However, today it seems unlikely that there will be adequate central and local support to sustain work on genetic resources at these centers. For example, letters written by the director of the program in Bulgaria point out the extreme lack of financial resources that is forcing this center to cut back its work drastically, or even cease operating altogether, with a major loss to the world community. Similar problems exist at VIR. In general, genetic resources have had a higher priority in agricultural research in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. Although the principle of free exchange of genetic resources has been supported, the accessibility of the collections to the international community has been hampered by a backlog in the development and availability of adequate computerized information systems. A major step forward has been realized through the establishment of a number of European data-base systems, as part of the European Cooperative Program for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (ECP/GR), for specific crops. However, these systems are under serious threat in the wake of political developments in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe, and the enormous economic problems that have followed. Shortage of funds and change national priorities in a transfer to a market economy are taking their toll. While it is still difficult to assess the actual situation, it is obvious that international support is needed to avert the wholesale loss of valuable collections in most of these countries. Western Europe Since the 1950s, conservation of crop genetic resources has received increasing attention in western Europe. Previously, genetic variation was primarily assembled as part of breeding programs or in the context of taxonomic and ecogeographical studies at Universities and other specialized institutions. However, concern about genetic erosion has become widespread, and many countries have established a variety of activities specifically aimed at conservation of genetic variation (Table 15-2). Since 1959, many of these activities in Europe have been stimulated by the European Association for Research on Plant Breeding (EUCARPIA) through the Genetic Resources Section

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies TABLE 15-2 European Data Bases That Serve Important Roles in Coordinating Working Group Activities in the European Program Crop or Species Institute Allium spp. HRI, Wellesbourne, United Kingdom Avena spp. FAL, Germany (West) Barley ZIGuK, Germany (East) Beta spp. CGN, Netherlands Prunus spp. NGB, Sweden Rye PBAI, Poland Cultivated Brassica spp. PBAI, Poland Pisum spp. Wiatrowo Experimental Station, Poland Sunflower   Cultivated species CRI, Szeged, Hungary Wild species IFVC, Republics of Montenegro and Sebria Forages   Tristeum flavescens and Arrhenatherum elatius Research Station of Grasses, Roznava, Slovak Republic Poa spp. FAL, Germany (West) Lathyrus latifolius, L. sylvestris, L. heterophyllus, and L. tuberosus Institut de Biocénotique Experimentale des Agrosystèmes, Universitéde Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, France Medicago, perennial species Groupe d'Etude et de Contrôle des Varietée des Semences, INRA, La Minière, Guyancourt, France Bromus spp. RCA, Hungary Trifolium alexandrinum, T. resupinatum, and wild related taxa Field Crops Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel Lolium spp. Instituto del Germoplasma, CNF, Bari, Italy Annual species, Phalaris spp., Vicia spp. and Hedysarum   Dactylis spp. and Festuca spp. PBAI, Poland Trifolium subterraneum annual species INIA, Spain Phleum spp. NGB, Sweden Trifolium pratense Federal Agricultural Research Station, Changins, Switzerland Lolium multiflorum, L. perenne, and Trifolium repens WPBS, Aberystwyth, Wales NOTE: The following acronyms are listed: CGN, Center for Genetic Resources; CNR Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche; CRI, Cereal Research Institute; FAL, Institut für Planzenbau and Pflanzenzüchtung der Bundesforschungsantalt für Landwirtschaft; IFVC, Fruit and Viticulture Research Institute; HRI, Horticultural Research Institute; INIA, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias; INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agrnomique; NGB, Nordic Gene Bank; PBAI, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute; RCA, Research Center for Agrobotany, Institute for Plant Production and Qualifications; WPBS, Welsh Plant Breeding Station; ZIGuK, Zentralinstitut für Genetik and Kulturpflanzenforschung. SOURCE: Adapted from International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. 1990. Annual Report 1989. Rome: International Board for Plant Genetic Resources.

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies National genetic resources conservation is organized in a variety of ways, ranging from national germplasm banks, such as those of Germany [West], Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, and a consortium of the Nordic countries, to coordinated institutional activities, such as those in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, and Portugal. Mandates and objectives vary from conserving what is still available nationally to occasionally more basic approaches, for example, sampling overall genetic variation of certain crop species. Programs tend to be largely opportunistic, with a few exceptions for individual crops, emphasizing exploitation rather than systematic long-term conservation of overall biodiversity. However, there are signs of change. The European Parliament decided in 1991 to establish a new and separate budget line for a European Community Program on the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources to be executed through the commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture. This program is presently under consideration. Eastern, Southern, and Southeastern Asia Among the major germplasm banks of the world are those of the People's Republic of China which hold 4000,000 samples, with 200,000 accessions in long-term storage. Japan and India, each with under 100,000 accessions in long-term storage, are also among the most recent in establishing centralized modern long-term storage facilities. The Japanese seed storage facility at Tsukuba is, perhaps, the most mechanically sophisticated seed storage of its kind in the world. It went into operation in 1979 and expanded in 1986. In Beijing, a modern seed storage facility has recently been put into operation, and in India, a new central seed storage facility and laboratories are being developed with bilateral financial assistance. As in other regions of the world, there is variety in the organizational pattern of genetic resources conservation programs in the various countries of Asia. Most are nationally coordinated programs, with centralized institutional germplasm bank for cultivars, for example, in Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Indonesia, the People's Republic of China, Thailand, and the Republic of Korea. Some countries have only special collections while others (for example, Myanmar) have no germplasm programs. Many have central coordinating councils or committees, but these need to be strengthened. Important to the region is the germplasm collection of the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center in Taiwan. In addition to seed collections, clonal materials are maintained in

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies Researchers selectivity pollinate an experimental crop of hybrid onions growing in breeding cages. Several successful varieties released by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research have provided higher yields and longer storage duration. Credit: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and several other Asian countries. Botanic gardens, arboreta, and parks play an important role in conversation programs in Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia. In Indonesia, education of the public on the importance of conserving genetic resources is an integral part of the national effort, and public institutions, as well the general public, are encouraged to participate in maintaining many endangered species (Sastrapradja et al., 1985). Latin America and the Caribbean Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cubae, Guatemala, and Mexico have established coordinated plant genetic resources conservation programs organized within the framework of the agricultural research institutions of the ministries of agriculture. Similar programs are emerging in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile. The Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE, Tropical Agriculture Research and Training Center) in Costa Rica serves a coordinating role in the Central American region. In other countries, modest collections are held by public or private institutions. For the most part,

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies there is little coordination among them. Considering the importance of the wide array of plant species throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the present level of organization and support for genetic resources conservation is alarmingly inadequate. Many gaps exists in national collections, especially collections of locally important plant species. The largest national program and ex situ collection of material is that of the Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia (CENARGEN, National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology) in Brazil. CENARGEN and independent institutions that are coordinated through CENARGEN and Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRRAPA, Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research) conduct extensive collection efforts. Some collection efforts are made by international centers and germplasm banks outside Brazil, but in the absence of the necessary infrastructure (staff, laboratories, and storage facilities), the level of collection activities is relatively low. In situ conservation is important in both the lowland and highland tropics and subtropics and thus, so is the need to conserve natural ecosystems. Although national authorities in Latin America recognize the urgency to build the capacity to acquire, conserve, and use germplasm, economic constraints and personnel shortages frequently place this activity at a low priority. One model of a cooperative interregional program in Latin America is the Andean crop network of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador that focuses on indigenous crop resources. For the past 25 years these countries have been collecting, documenting, maintaining, and characterizing more than 30 crops, including grains, tubers, and fruits that have been and are major staples for the highland populations of these countries (National Research Council, 1989b). The CATIE germplasm bank in Costa Rica serves as a regional research and training center designed primarily to serve the Central American nations. In practice, its activities and influence extend beyond that region. CATIE initiated the Genetic Resources Project in 1976 with the help of international funding. It has an active evaluation program and maintains 5,000 accessions, representing 335 species, that are being grown out. There are about 6,000 accessions of seed in long-term, cold storage facilities that are capable of holding seed material at -17¹C and 5 to 7 percent relative humidity. Africa The national genetic resources conservation programs in Africa have recently been described in considerable detail (Attere et al., 1991;

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies Ng et al., 1991). In general, most activities have occurred over the past decade, although several germplasm collections originated from earlier breeding programs (for example, sorghum in eastern Africa and plantation crops in western and central Africa). Africa is endowed with great genetic diversity, but this wealth has not been adequately conserved and utilized (Thitai, 1991). There is, however, a growing awareness of the need to avert the loss of these important resources. Currently, there is activity on genetic resources in about 30 countries that ranges from collection work to more coordinated comprehensive national programs (Attere et al., 1991; Thitai, 1991). The increased efforts that have occurred over the past decade are not widely recognized. Although these changes are paralleled in other regions of the developing world, they are more impressive in Africa because of the paucity of prior activities. Africa covers a number of traditional centers of diversity. In recent years, a degree of regionality has emerged, particularly in the Southern African Development and Coordination Conference countries (Angola, Botswana,Lesotho, malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Consultations have led to the proposal for a regional program for southern Africa and a regional germplasm bank (Kyomo, 1991). A program of collection, conservation, and distribution has been established for the Great Lakes countries of Burundi, Rwanda, and Zaire (ne Nsaku, 1991). The program in Ethiopia, which was established in 1976, presently holds more than 45,000 accessions in a national center (Thitai, 1991). Because of the interrelationships between Mediterranean countries and earlier regional programs, most countries of northern Africa have national programs, all with some form of seed storage and a national coordinator. More than 25 countries comprise eastern and southern Africa and the island states. Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda (eastern Africa); Burundi, Rwanda, Zaire (central Africa); Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (southern Africa); and Mauritius have defined national programs (Attere et al., 1991). National genetic resources programs are at various stages of development in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan (Thitai, 1991). Genetic resources activities are ongoing in many other countries. The 22 countries of western Africa show the widest range of development of national programs. Twelve have no national program at all, whereas Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal have more advanced national programs.

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies   Scope of Collection   Crop and Species Covered Global Regional Institute Oilseeds and green manures       B. campestris, •   PGR, Ottawa, Canada B. juncea   Asia NBPGR, New Delhi, India B. napus Sinapis alba •   FAL, Braunschweig, Germany (West) Vegetables and fodders       B. campestris, B. juncea, B. napus •   IHR, Wellesbourne, United Kingdom B. napus •   FAL, Braunschweig, Germany (West) All Cruciferae crops   East Asian NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan Lactuca spp. •   IHR, Wellesbourne, United Kingdom   •   CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands Okra •   NPGS, United States   •   NBPGR, New Delhi, India Safflower •   NBPGR, New, Delhi India Tomato •   CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica   •   ZIGuK, Gatersleben, Germany (East)   •   NPGS, United States     Asian IPB, Los Baños, Philippines Southeastern Asian vegetables   Southeast Asian IPB, Los Baños, Philippines Cucurbitaceae       Benincasa, Luffa, momordica, Trichosanthes spp. •   IPB, Los Baños, Philippines Cucumis, Citrullus, Cucurbita spp. •   NPGS, United States Citrullus, Cucurbita spp. •   VIR, Leningrad, Russia Cucumis, Citrullus spp. •   INIA, Madrid Spain Eggplant •   CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands   •   NPGS, United States   •   NBPGR, New, Delhi, India Industrial crops       Beet •   FAL, Braunschweig, Germany (West)   •   NGB, Lund, Sweden     Mediterranean Greek Gene Bank, Thessaloniki

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies   Scope of Collection   Crop and Species Covered Global Regional Institute Cotton   Mediterranean Greek Gene Bank, Thessaloniki Sugarcane (seed) •   NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan   •   NPGS, United States Tobacco   Mediterranean Greek Gene Bank, Thessaloniki Jute and kenaf •   BJRI, Dhaka, Bangladesh Forages       Legumes       Centrosema spp. •   CIAT, Colombia   •   CENARGEN, Brazil   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia Desmodium spp. •   CIAT, Colombia   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia Desmanthus spp. •   CSIRO Brisbane, Australia Stylosanthes spp. •   CIAT, Colombia   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia Leucaena spp. •   NPGS, United States Lotononis spp. •   ILCA, Ethiopia   •   Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, United Kingdom Macroptilium spp. •   CENARGEN, Brazil   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia Neonotonia   African ILCA, Ethiopia   •   Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, United Kingdom Zornia spp. •   NPGS, United States   •   CIAT Colombia Trifolium spp.   African ILCA, Ethiopia   •   Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, United Kingdom Grasses       Cynodon spp. •   NPGS, United States Cenchrus spp. •   Seed bank, RBG, Kew, United Kingdom   •   ILCA, Ethiopia   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia Digitaria spp. •   ILCA, Ethiopia   •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia   •   Seed Bank, Kew, RBG, United Kingdom Pennisetum spp. •   NPGS, United States Paspalum spp. •   NPGS, United States Urochloa spp. •   CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies   Scope of Collection   Crop and Species Covered Global Regional Institute Others       Tree species • (Fuel and environmental stabilization in arid areas) Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, United Kingdom Sesame •   KARI, Nairobi, Kenya   •   RDA, Republic of Korea Sunflower   European, Mediterranean Plant Production Research Institute, Slovak Republic NOTE: The following acronyms are listed: AVRDC Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center; BJRI, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute; CAAS, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences; CATIE, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigacióny Enseñanza; CENARGEN, Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos; CGN, Center for Genetic Resources; CIAT, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical; CIP, Centro Internacional de la Papa; CNR, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche; CSIRO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; FAL, Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflnzenzüchtung der Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft,; ICARDA, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas; ICRISAT, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics; IHR, Institute of Horticulture Research; IITA, Internatioanl Institute of Tropical Agriculture; ILCA, International Livestock Center for Africa; INIA, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias; Instituto Nacional de Technologia Agropecuaira; IPB, Institute of Plant Breeding; IRRI, International Rice Research Institute; JBNB, Jardin Botanique National de Belgique; KARI, Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute; NBPGR, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources; NGB, Nordic Gene Bank; NIAR, National Institute of Agrobiological Research; NPGS, National Plant Germplasm System; PGR, Plant Gene Resources of Canada; PGRC/E, Plant Genetic Resources Center; RBG, Royal Botanic Gardens; RCA, Research Center for Agrobotany, Institute for Plant Production and Qualification; RDA, Rural Development Administration; TISTR, Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research; VIR, N.I Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry; ZIGuK, Zentralinstitut für Genetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung. SOURCE: Updated from International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. 1990. Annual Report 1989. Rome: International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. Reprinted with permission, ©1990 by International Board for Plant Genetic Resources.

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies TABLE 15-4 Field Germplasm Banks That Accepted Responsibility For Conservation (Active Collections for Vegetative Material), 1990   Geographical Representation   Crop and Species Covered Global Regional Institute Roots and tubers       Cassava •   CIAT, Colombia     Central American INIA, Mexico     African IITA, Nigeria Sweet potato   Asian and Pacific AVRDC, Taiwan   •   IITA, Nigeria Fruits       Banana •   Banana Board, Jamaica     Southeast Asian PCARRD, Philippines     African DGRST, Cameroon Citrus   East Asian Fruit Tree Research Station, Tsukuba, Japan     Mediterranean INIA, Valencia, Spain     Mediterranean and African IRFA, Corsia, France     North American USDA, United States     Latin American CENARGEN, Brazil     South Asian IIHR, Indiaa Subfamily •   University of Malaya, Aurantioideae     Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Industrial crops       Cacao •   University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago   •   CATIE, Costa Rica Sugarcane •   Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, India   •   USDA, Florida, United States Perennial species       Allium spp.       Short-day spp. •   Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israela Long-day spp. •   Research Institute for Vegetable Growing and Breeding, Olomouc, Czech Republic Arches spp. (wild)   Latin American CENARGEN, Brazil Glycine spp. (wild) •   CSIRO, Australia

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies NOTE: The following acronyms are listed: AVRDC, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center; CATIE, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza; CENARGEN, Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos; CIAT, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical; CSIRO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; DGRST, Delegation Generale a La Recherche Scientifique; IIHR, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research; IITA, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; INIA, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias; IRFA, Institut de Recherches sur les Fruits et Agrumes; PCARRD, Philippine Council for Agricultural and Resources Research and Development; and USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture. a Under discussion or awaiting formal agreement. SOURCE: Updated from International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. 1990. Annual Report 1989. Rome: International Board of Plant Genetic Resources. Reprinted with permission, ©1990 by International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. of Phaseolus species and cassava), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (cowpea, yams, and rice), International Center for Research in Agroforestry (multipurpose trees), and others. These institutes have direct linkages, through their plant breeding programs and germplasm collections, to national agricultural research systems, and they serve as effective centers of germplasm exchange. There is no systemwide genetic resources program formally coordinated within the CGIAR that addresses the complete range of plant genetic resources issues. However, the IARCs have organized an intercenter plant genetic resources working group to address issues of common interest. CONSTRAINTS TO EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS The institutional problems largely stem from asymmetry in the availability and, more important, the used of genetic resources in plant breeding and biotechnology in developed and developing countries. Although, with few exceptions, the free exchange of genetic resources is taking place, there is an underlying uneasiness that increased involvement of the private sector in plant breeding may affect this free exchange, if not now, possibly in the future (see Chapter 14). The most important part of the solution is to improve the position of developing countries in plant breeding and seed production. Much of the earlier scholarship and fellowship support to train plant breeders and other agricultural scientists is no longer available. Some progress is being made through the activities of the CGIAR in cooperation with national programs. Much more needs to be done, however,

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies especially in improving the quality of collections. It is generally becoming appreciated that no country is self-sufficient in genetic resources and that all countries can benefit from the free flow of germplasm, especially if there is a strong capability in place to use it (Keystone Center, 1988, 1990, 1991). The standards of management and the facilities that house the collections are also of concern. In response to criticism that genetic erosion was taking place in numerous germplasm banks because of inadequate conversation practices, IBPGR initiated a review of standards. Those germplasm banks that did not meet these standards were encouraged to make the necessary improvements, and some have done so (International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, 1989a). Much has been achieved in collection efforts, training, the establishment of germplasm banks (especially in developing countries), documentation, and research support. However, the funding available for genetic resources activities at both the national and international level does not reflect the substantially increased public and political awareness of the importance of genetic resources (Keystone Center, 1988, 1991). The CGIAR has consistently been a major provider of funds since the early 1970s. Funds from most other international sources have been smaller and, the debates of recent years notwithstanding, have not provided the substantial support that is needed. Clearly enhancement of the CGIAR's role would be the logical means of improving these programs. However, even within the CGIAR system, there is much variability in the emphasis on and quality of germplasm resource endeavors. THE FUTURE The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, gave the biodiversity issue greater visibility and a higher place on the international political agenda. A draft Convention on Biological Diversity has received wide support. While vague and open ended in its general recommendations, the convention's message is clear: people are concerned about the general decline of biodiversity and recognize the need for international action to realize effective programs of plant genetic resources conservation, notably in centers of diversity. The need for substantial additional and sustainable funding by the international community is acknowledged. The convention makes no specific recommendations about the level of funding and its governance or about how policies, strategies, program priorities, and eligibility criteria are to be established. These issues will be subject

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies to further negotiations in future conferences of parties to the convention and during the designation of a secretariat at an existing international organization. Plant genetic resources relevant to agriculture are only part of overall biodiversity. In dealing with plant genetic resources, it is to be expected that existing structures and organizations will be taken into account. While still inadequate for reasons indicated in this chapter, a basic global structure is in place for plant genetic resources. It includes the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, which provides an intergovernmental platform for policies and oversight; the IBPGR, which coordinates and provides technical support at the program level; various regional programs; and ultimately international and national plant genetic resources programs. International cooperation in this structure is well established and accepted as the norm by most participating institutions, with the apparent emphasis in the draft convention on national sovereignty over indigenous plant genetic resources as a basic principle. Various scenarios can be envisaged for the further development of international collaboration in germplasm conservation and use. These include a continued emphasis on national programs, Internationalization through CGIAR, internationalization through FAO, and internationalization through a new consortium of institutions. Continued Emphasis on National Programs Considerable progress has been made at many levels of germplasm conservation and use since 1970. Global activities take place in a coherent framework provided by IBPGR, the IARCs, and many regional programs. An increased awareness of environmental issues and the need to conserve nature in general benefit genetic resources conservation. The primary responsibilities, however, rest with national germplasm banks and the willingness of national governments to make available the resources necessary for crop germplasm conservation or a national genetic resources conservation strategy. A major problem with this approach is that a significant burden rests on developing countries in regions with major plant diversity. The need for development and the scarcity of resources make it unlikely that such countries will be able to assume this burden. Genetic resources issues are attracting considerable political and public attention (see Chapter 14). However, genetic erosion continues to take place inside and outside germplasm banks, and genetic resources cannot be saved by political rhetoric. Only a few developing countries have sound genetic resources programs, other than the

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies IARC programs. This situation is unlikely to change significantly unless substantial and permanent international funding is made available to assist developing countries in financing their germplasm banks, which were largely built with foreign assistance. In the long term, a global system that is able to coordinate and foster activities from in situ conservation to collection, evaluation, storage, distribution, and use would be in the interest of all nations. As the principal users and beneficiaries of conserved germplasm, national programs should have a significant role in this global effort. Internationalization Through CGIAR The CGIAR centers so far provide the strongest programs and links in genetic resources conservation. Although much is being achieved through CGIAR, its programs cover only a limited number of food crops and forages. There is limited coordination among the various commodity-oriented centers and in their relationship to IBPGR. CGIAR could strengthen the genetic resources work of those centers, inasmuch as they already have an international working base, essential facilities, and trained staff; however, this will require additional funding and improved coordination. Most of the commodity-oriented IARCs are located in or near the major centers of species diversity for a large number of the world's food crops. Their present mandate for genetic resources covering specific crops could be extended to include wider regions. Although national germplasm banks currently cooperate with the genetic resources programs of the IARCs for individual crops, in an expanded program, the IARCs could actively promote and support both regional and national conservation programs. This would, however, broaden their responsibilities beyond breeding for specific crops. It would require a systemwide program that would set objectives and priorities independent from those of the individual crop research programs of the various IARCs. Such a program could be strengthened further by establishing within the overall budget of CGIAR a separate item for the genetic resources programs distributed over the IARCs. Regional committees and an overall advisory group could be devised to satisfy technical and national interests. This would have consequences for the role of the IBPGR, which would require consideration and proper linkages to such activities at other centers, and for large areas of the world not served by IARCs. The IARCs are not staffed to assume these tasks at present, however, and some may have little interest in pursuing them, even if funding were made available (Hawkes, 1985).

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies Internationalization Through FAO The FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources and its International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources are based on the notion that genetic resources are the common heritage of humankind (see Chapter 14). This concept implies international responsibility for genetic resources, which is further heightened by the fact that important centers of genetic diversity are located in the less developed and poorer regions of the world. The framework of the undertaking includes the following: A basic legal structure (the undertaking itself) approved by members of the Twenty-Second Session of the FAO Conference; An international forum (the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources) established at the 1983 FAO conference that offers an opportunity for countries to discuss issues related to plant resources; and A financial mechanism (the International Fund for Plant Genetic Resources) through which contributions are received and applied toward conserving and using plant genetic resources. The activities of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources are directed toward the further refinement and implementation of the intent of the undertaking to strengthen the preservation, use, and availability of germplasm. It also addresses issues related to, for example, the establishment of a legal network of base collections, an international fund, and in situ conservation. There is an overlap between the aims of IBPGR and the stated objectives of the FAO commission, as there are among many agencies working in the area of genetic resources. A major proposal of the commission has been the establishment of an international fund to finance genetic resources activities as well as activities in plant breeding and seed production in developing countries. The fund's specific objectives and the types of activities to be supported have yet to be defined. Internationalization Through a New Consortium of Institutions Many efforts related to the conservation of genetic resources, biodiversity, and the environment in general are under way. Many of them could be merged into a new structure, but efforts to do so have not progressed substantially. The programs of FAO and the IARCs, and many national programs, are focused primarily on food crops. Other plant conservation activities are usually undertaken by different

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies organizations including national governments and private organizations, yet it is increasingly evident that these diverse efforts are inextricably linked, or should be. Food crop and related species are one part of the total biological diversity. The species covered under the current efforts of FAO, the IARCs, and national programs must be expanded to perennial tree crops and other woody species of the tropics, many of which are of great value in sustainable agriculture systems and for improving the quality of life poor people in rural areas. Furthermore, although nature conservation efforts have generally focused on in ex situ methods and genetic resources programs have focused on situ methods, in situ and ex situ technologies need to be more broadly applied in all genetic resources conservation programs. A properly structured and adequately funded organization could eliminate some of the institutional isolation and help to bring about a more holistic approach to the conservation of germplasm resources. RECOMMENDATIONS The world scientific and technical community has put in place the beginning of a functional network of both national and international genetic resources programs that are capable of safeguarding germplasm for the future. Present knowledge and rapid developments in a number of fields related to genetic conservation, including modern biotechnologies, provide a good basis for rational and selective conservation. Adequate operational funding remains the bottleneck. Other problems still exist at the geopolitical level, however. Although the debate on the legal and effective ownership continues, genetic erosion also continues to take place, notably in developing countries, where most of the world's untapped genetic resources exist. It is in the interest of world agriculture that countries in regions with major genetic diversity be provided with the means to participate more fully in genetic resources conservation and use of biological resources. International responsibility for conserving, managing, and using genetic resources must be translated into a workable form of funding within a coherent framework that satisfies the basic principles of the FAO International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The options described are complementary. Any strategy should build on the existing framework and activities, stressing national involvement

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Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Crop Issues and Policies and the cooperation of FAO, IBPGR, and the other CGIAR centers. A major criticism of the CGIAR has been that it has no formal legal basis for action among governments. An adequate and appropriate funding mechanism must be established to support national and international conservation, management, and use of genetic resources. Various funding mechanisms have been suggested, ranging from individual donations by interested countries to donations determined by specific criteria (see Chapter 13). International dialogue on the issue has yet to lead to a fully acceptable system. However, a consensus has recently emerged on establishing a global plant genetic resources initiative with a call for a trust fund that would be used to foster growth of local, national, regional, and global programs (Keystone Center, 1991). Developed countries can afford, if they so desire, to maintain their own national germplasm banks in association with active breeding programs. However, external funding is needed to support the national germplasm banks, active collections, and international programs that serve developing countries. Support to national programs should be selective and based on such criteria as the availability of important genetic diversity and the specific interest and long-term commitment of the concerned government. On that assumption, only about 30 to 40 base collection germplasm banks worldwide would be needed to safeguard genetic resources. An annual contribution of US$5 million to each germplasm bank would probably allow a reasonable genetic resources program to be carried out (see Chapter 13). An additional US$40 million annually will be needed for general applied research, evaluation, and documentation programs. This adds up to a total of about US$240 million annually. Although this is a sizable sum, global commercial seed sales were estimated to be about US$30 billion (Barton and Christensen, 1988; Office of Technology Assessment, 1984), most of which were in developed countries. When a germplasm banks has an efficient design and cost-effective equipment, the operating cost, excluding regeneration, is modest. For instance, the power consumption at IRRI costs under US$1 per accession each year (T. T. Chang, personal communication, June 1992). Increased collaboration and pooling of existing resources are essential to implementing new international efforts in the face of dwindling resources, both financial and biological.