A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) that will enhance cooperation between the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the International Treaty) was signed on Monday, July 9, 2018 on the margins of the second meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Implementation, being held in Montreal, Canada. The MoC focuses on collaborative activities between the two organisations in plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The CBD, its Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing and the International Treaty all form part of the international regime on access and benefit-sharing and share objectives related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources. The three global agreements also all recognise the important role of communities in conserving and sustainably using biodiversity.
The Nagoya Protocol recognises the special nature of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the International Treaty addresses the specific features of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. The Secretariats of the International Treaty and the CBD have been working together to ensure that mutually supportive implementation of these instruments supports enhanced access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use, which will in turn contribute to economic development, innovation and research. The MoC signed today renews and enhances collaborative efforts to this end.
Dr Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “I believe that the partnership between the International Treaty and the Convention on Biological Diversity is an outstanding model of cooperation for a common goal.
“The achievements under the Nagoya Protocol will strengthen the implementation of the Treaty, while the Treaty’s successes will support the CBD in the accomplishment of its mandate. I thus could not be more pleased with our cooperation to date and I look forward to many more opportunities for us to work together in the future.”
Dr Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty, said: “Building on the strong and long-standing partnership with the Convention, this agreement will further expand our collaborative efforts to provide better services and support to governments and other stakeholders towards the achievement of our common objectives.
“It will also help mainstream biodiversity into existing programs and policies, and further reinforce the continuing dialogue between environment and agriculture, based on the development of concrete interfaces between the two sectors.”
The MoC includes the development of synergies between the International Treaty’s Global Information System and the CBD’s Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House; a joint initiative for on-farm conservation; work on sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and protected areas; and the promotion of the importance of biodiversity and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture for food security and nutrition under a changing climate.
As part of the MoC, the two secretariats will work together in undertaking and promoting workshops, seminars and other events; and, in the coordination of technical assistance at the international, regional, sub-regional and national levels.
Dr Nnadozie said: “I am particularly pleased with the success of our close collaboration to date, which should serve as a model for better coordination and collaboration between the stakeholders of the respective agreements at the national level.”
Dr Paşca Palmer said: “This partnership has already led to concrete activities and tangible results and in this new phase I would like to demonstrate how our collaboration creates new value and brings these results to governments in a practical way.”