The Genetic Resources Policy Initiative 2: strengthening national capacities to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GRPI 2)
GRPI 2 supports participatory research and capacity building related to the implementation of the Treaty’s multilateral system of access and benefit sharing. It also explores how the multilateral system can complement other objectives and aspects of the Treaty, such as conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources, technology transfer and farmers’ rights.
In July 2011, a call for expressions of interest was circulated to national Treaty focal points by the Treaty Secretariat. Bioversity International recieved over 25 submissions from 22 countries. A technical committee identified the most promising expressions of interest, the proponants of which were invited to develop full proposals. Eventually eight full proposals were selected from the following countries: Nepal, Bhutan, Rwanda, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. The project will support activities within, and across, these countries over the course of 2012-2015.
Participants from the eight countries will work together, with staff from a number of CGIAR centres, FAO, and universities to develop common research activities and tools. Graduate students and post-doctoral candidates from the universities will be embedded in various levels of research activity. To encourage and facilitate university involvement, the project has created a University Researchers Platform to coordinate inputs and participation of university professors and students.
In addition, the project is supporting multilateral system implementation-related research and capacity building in other countries when and where useful opportunities arise. For example, in India, the project supported the development of a series of research papers, a national stakeholders workshop (where the papers were presented) and finally, the publication of a multi-chapter monograph focussing on options for India to implement the multilateral system. These activities were co-organized with the Indian National Bureau on Plant Genetic Resources and Indian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. GRPI 2 will also co-sponsor a meeting in China, co-organized with CAAS, in 2015 concerning incentives for joining the ITPGRFA.
The project is also supporting a series of annual workshops analyzing issues related to the interface of the ITPGRFA and the Nagoya Protocol. Working together with the Secretariats of the CBD and the ITPGRFA and the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, Bioversity International (with support from the GRPI 2 project) hosted an expert meeting in 2013, and co-organized a capacity building workshop for national focal points for the ITPGRFA and Nagoya Protocol from 20 countries in 2014. A third workshop in this series will be held in October or November 2015; it will focus on coordinated implementation of both agreements in national settings, and the importance of mutually supportive implementation in the context of efforts to respond to climate change. Like the 2014 workshop, the 2015 workshop will include both ITPGRFA and Nagoya Protocol national focal points; it will also expand the scope of participants to include national GEF focal points, representatives from national planning commissions or ministries, and climate change response coordination offices — all from the same countries. An invitation for national teams to submit written expressions of interest to attend the meeting (as a team) will be published in the upcoming months.
Publications and news related to these activities can be found on the other pages of this blog.
The project builds on the experiences and lessons learned of an earlier project, called the Genetic Resources Policy Initiative: strengthening capacity to identify options for national options, which ran from 2002-2007, and was supported by the the governments of the DGIS (Netherlands), IDRC (Canada), BMZ/GTZ (Germany) and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The current project is supported by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bioversity International is the main executing agency. The project falls under the overall coordination and guidance framework of the FAO/Treaty Secretariat/Bioversity International Joint Capacity Building Programme for Developing Countries on the Implementation of the ITPGRFA and its MLS.