Welcome to EUCARPIA Genetic Resources 2017
The impacts of global change on crop production and food security are already hitting hard in Europe and the rest of the world. An essential component of efforts to mitigate these impacts is the production of new varieties of crops which can thrive in more extreme, changeable and uncertain environmental conditions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has emphasized the need for greater use of both within and between species diversity in farming systems in order to provide sufficient options for the adaptation of crops as an insurance against climate variability. We are therefore dependent on the continual availability of a wide pool of plant genetic resources to sustain our food and economic security, yet despite the vast pool of resources that exists, we face significant hurdles in mobilizing them for effective and sustainable use.
This conference will tackle this worldwide issue by addressing the functionality of the PGR use system which starts with wild and cultivated plant genetic resources, involves conservation, crop improvement and seed delivery systems, ultimately results in the harvesting and marketing of crop produce, and involves the full suite of PGR stakeholders. The system is severely impeded, particularly due to problems with access to plant genetic material and associated information, missing policies and ineffective implementation of existing ones, and capacity building needs in all areas of the PGR use spectrum. In our interdependent world, this is a global issue impacting the plant breeding and agricultural industries, large and small-scale farmers, and ultimately on food and economic security in Europe and beyond.
The conference is organized by the European Association for Research on Plant Breeding (EUCARPIA) Genetic Resources section, in association with the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR).
The conference aims to increase our understanding of the challenges we face as a community of stakeholders in PGR conservation and sustainable use, and of opportunities for transformation in the PGR use system. In plenary we will learn from the experiences of actors in all elements of the system, and in parallel workshop sessions tackle specific issues impeding the system’s functionality. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion and resolution on future needs to support a workable and sustainable PGR use system.
- PGR conservation – in nature, in production systems and in genebanks
- Breeding for diverse farming systems – the roles of the formal and informal sectors
- Collaborative approaches in plant breeding – public–private partnerships and participatory practices
- Marketing diversity – enhancing the enabling environment for crop diversification
- Valuing plant genetic diversity – what are the costs and benefits of PGR conservation and use?
- The in situ–ex situ conundrum – can we move to a truly integrated approach?
- Searching for diversity – how can information flow be streamlined to improve access to PGR?
- Accessing plant genetic diversity – what are the obstacles and how can they be overcome?
The conference calls for the participation of actors in all aspects of the PGR use system and targets: public research institutes; governmental bodies; private plant breeding companies and independent plant breeders; the commercial seed and plant production industries; public genebanks; farmers and seed producers; farmers’ associations; seed networks; NGOs; civil society organizations; and international organizations or specific initiatives relevant to PGR use.
Location and host
The conference will be held in Montpellier, France at The Corum (montpellier-events.com). It will be hosted by INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research), CIRAD (Centre for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development), IRD (Research Institute for Development), Agropolis Fondation, ARCAD (Agropolis Resource Centre for Crop Conservation, Adaptation and Diversity), and Montpellier SupAgro.