“Resilient seed systems: tools and techniques for climate change adaptation”

Giving farmers better access to crop and crop varietal diversity will strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change. Climate and crop modeling tools are increasingly used to project the adaptive capacity of a given crop to the expected changes in climate. The results of these modeling exercises can be used to design strategies to access and use crops and crop varieties that are better adapted to future climate-changes in specific sites. Researchers, genebank managers and farmers could then attempt to gain access to potentially useful plant genetic resources through the multilateral system of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Once obtained, they could evaluate these new plant genetic resources in farmers’ fields.

(Photo: R.Vernooy)

(Photo: R.Vernooy)

Bioversity International is assisting Bhutanese and Nepali research and development agencies to design and implement a comprehensive capacity building strategy to access and use plant genetic resources in the context of climate change adaptation. The workshop “Resilient seed systems: tools and techniques for climate change adaptation,” held in Thimpu, November 26-28, 2013, aimed to strength the capacity to integrate climate modeling in crop improvement strategies. Topics covered were: identification of farmers’ perceptions of climate change; analysis of climate changes and their impact on seed systems; identification of plant genetic resources that have potential to adapt to identified climate changes; mechanisms for the acquisition of plant genetic resources that have potential to adapt to identified climate changes; and planning of field testing of newly acquired plant genetic resources. 20 participants from Bhutan and 8 from Nepal attended the workshop. GIS tools introduced were DIVA-GIS, MaxEnt, and the climate analogue tool. Resource persons were Prem Mathur, Sarika Mittra, Michael Halewood and Ronnie Vernooy.

Photo: R. Vernooy
Photo: R. Vernooy

 

The workshop was hosted by the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) of the Ministry of Agricutlure and Forests of Bhutan. The national genebank of Bhutan is located at NBC. A workshop news link can found here: http://www.bbs.bt/news/?p=34226

 

Visiting the NBC. (Photo: R. Vernooy)

Visiting the NBC. (Photo: R. Vernooy)

GRPI2 mid-term review workshop report available

GRPI2 mid term review workshop report

Report of the GRPI2 mid-term review workshop

The project “strengthening national capacities to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture” (ITPGRFA) or GRPI2 recently underwent an external mid-term review. A workshop with the external evaluators and project partners from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Bhutan, Nepal and University of Illinois at Chicago, was held at Bioversity International headquarters, Rome, 16-19 July 2013.

The report of the workshop is available from Bioversity International. It summarizes progress made by Bioversity and partners and proposes next steps in project implementation.

Some photos from the workshop (credit: E. Clancy/Bioversity International):

GRPI2 mid term review meeting GRPI2 mid term review meeting GRPI2 mid term review meeting GRPI2 mid term review meeting

Embracing diversity

Embracing diversity: inputs for a strategy to support community seedbanks in South Africa’s smallholder farming areas Report of field visits to Limpopo and Eastern Cape, is the result of the field mission carried out by Ronnie Vernooy and Bhuwon Sthapit of Bioversity International and Thabo Tjikana, Angeline Dibiloane, Nkat Maluleke and Tovhowani Mukoma of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa in fulfillment of a grant provided by South Africa to Bioversity International to assist with the development of a policy strategy to support community seed banks. The announcement about the report can be found on the Bioversity International home page and at this link: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/news/detail/supporting-community-seedbanks-in-south-africa/

At the seedfair in Limpopo (photo: R. Vernooy)

At the seedfair in Limpopo (photo: R. Vernooy)

To better understand the ITPGRFA

Article by Duncan Vaughan, NIAS, Japan

From 23rd to 25th October 2013, Bioversity International, NIAS (National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Japan) and JATAFF (Japan Association for Techno-innovation in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) jointly sponsored a training course on the ITPGRFA in Tsukuba, Japan. The training course was requested by Asian National ITPGRFA Focal Points at a Regional Meeting of a Japanese Trust Fund Project implemented by FAO-RAP, Bangkok in May 2013. The training course was attended by 28 participants from 16 countries (Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam). Three facilitators, Michael Halewood and Ronnie Vernooy of Bioversity International and Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton of IRRI covered the main points of the Treaty in simple language. The course was balanced between seminars, exercises and participatory activities. The different teaching approaches were effective to reinforce the comprehension of the topics covered. Continue reading