Bioversity International Announces it is Reducing European and Developed Country Activities
April 2012: In the April issue of its "Newsletter for Europe," Bioversity International has announced that it will no longer carry out direct research in Europe or other developed country regions, in order to better align with a focus on the use of agricultural biodiversity by smallholders in developing countries, and in situ conservation, as is consistent with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and Bioversity International.
As a result, the April issue will be the final newsletter for Europe. Despite these changes, Bioversity International will continue to host two European programs, the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR) and European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN), although these programs will not be supported with CGIAR funds.
The final issue of the newsletter describes recent activities, including an ECPGR workshop on implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR). Workshop participants discussed collaboration with the Near East and North Africa Plant Genetic Resources Network (NENA PGRN), and approaches to mobilize regional collaboration. The newsletter also: highlights a workshop with the Plant Genetic Resources Secure programme and ECPGR on national programmes to implement conservation strategies for national crop wild relatives and landrace diversity; announces the first accessions to be formally included in the European Integrated Genebank System; and includes a report from the first meeting of the Solanaceae database managers.
On EUFORGEN, the newsletter reports on the activities of the pan-European genetic conservation strategy for forest trees working group, and the establishment of a European Information System (EUFGIS). The group will present its results at an upcoming EUFORGEN workshop on conservation and monitoring of forest genetic resources. It notes that a new research project, Towards the Sustainable Management of Forest Genetic Resources in Europe, was launched in March 2012 to enhance the conservation and use of forest genetic resources as part of sustainable forest management in Europe. EUFORGEN also announced the launching of a draft roadmap from the FORESTTRAC project for future transatlantic research cooperation on adaptation of forest trees to environmental change.
Other updates include advances on the conservation and characterization of wild populations of oregano in Europe, and announcements of various publications on agrobiodiversity and fruit tree biodiversity. [Publication: Bioversity Newsletter, No. 44 - April 2012]