DivSeek signs MOU with International Treaty

June 6, 2022

FAO on behalf of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture have signed an MOU with DivSeek International Network that will see both parties working toward a common goal: improving the interoperability of crop germplasm information systems on a global scale and promoting benefit-sharing with developing country institutions.

The Treaty is a major international agreement to conserve, use and manage plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

We look forward to working with DivSeek to further enhance the global exchange of germplasm information and promote benefit-sharing” said Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Through its multilateral system (MLS), the Treaty makes it possible for farmers and plant breeders to access genetic material from around the world for use in food and agriculture. By enabling global exchange of genetic material, the Treaty combats global crop diversity loss, and helps farmers develop climate-resilient crop varieties. Since 2015, the Treaty has also established a Global Information System (GLIS) that connects and augments existing databases to create a global entry point for information and knowledge pertaining to PGRFA.

DivSeek is a global community that connects, combines and communicates expertise among stakeholders engaged in the management and characterization of plant genetic resources (PGR). DivSeek comprises leading researchers and practitioners drawn from a broad base of academic and research institutions, government agencies, and inter-governmental organizations around the world.

DivSeek’s key role is to facilitate and encourage the open dissemination of information about PGRFA and to promote benefit-sharing derived from their use, while respecting indigenous knowledge and the laws established to protect them.

A number of people have worked very hard to make the MOU a reality over the past years.  Now that it is in place, we believe that DivSeek’s extensive network can provide a platform to help develop technical standards and disseminate information, in a manner that will benefit FAO and its partners,” says Emily Marden, the designated DivSeek Board Member for the MOU.   “The DivSeek community, in turn, will benefit from FAO’s expert support to help DivSeek achieve our objectives that align with the Treaty.”

The partnership will focus on identifying best practices, community standards and technical capabilities required to facilitate the sustainable management of information and data on PGRFA, following F.A.I.R (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-useable) principles.

Graham King, Executive Director of DivSeek, adds “We are delighted at the prospect of working closely with the Treaty, so that scientific and technological advances may not only add intrinsic value to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, but also be applied to developing best practices that encourage equitable access and benefit sharing.”

 Planned works and activities under the MOU will be announced in the coming months.

 “Our partnership with DivSeek, which was requested by our Governing Body, will not be limited to technical standards and tools. The International Treaty is ready to promote dialogue between scientists and policy-makers to further enhance the global systems that govern the production of food from plants and promote benefit-sharing with developing countries,” Secretary Nnadozie said. “I am pleased to note the DivSeek is partnering with developing country institutions and hope that such efforts will continue through this new partnership,” he added

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Contact for more information: [email protected]

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