Held on 24 September 2014 in New York, US during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and on the occasion of the Climate Summit 2014, the fourth High-Level Ministerial Round Table on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) convened under the topic 'The International Treaty, Climate Change and Food Security.' High-level representatives discussed the importance of climate-adapted crops in helping farmers face challenges confronting the global food system.
September 2014: The fourth High-Level Ministerial Round Table on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) convened under the topic ‘The International Treaty, Climate Change and Food Security.’ High-level representatives discussed the importance of climate-adapted crops in helping farmers face challenges confronting the global food system.
The event convened on 24 September 2014, in New York, US during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and on the occasion of the Climate Summit 2014.
Challenges discussed at the Round Table included: the adaptation of food production to new conditions affected by climate change; feeding of a growing population as traditional food crops disappear from farmers’ fields; and the importance of international collaboration in exchanging seeds, data and technologies for breeding new crop varieties adapted to emerging conditions. Participants highlighted the contributions and potential of the International Treaty for improving food security in the face of climate change, underscoring in particular how agricultural productivity and climate adaptation of food crops can be improved through the enhancement of the multiple stages of the value chain related to seeds. Such enhancement should address the global seed genepool, the exchange of related scientific, technical and environmental data and information, pre-breeding and plant breeding, the co-development and transfer of technology, and the protection of plant innovation, among others, according to participants.
Matthew Worrell (Australia), Chair of the upcoming sixth session of the ITPGR Governing Body, underscored that the production of new climate-adapted crops could be improved by integrating and enhancing the Treaty’s operational systems and underlined the importance of adequately funding the Treaty and its Benefit-sharing Fund by the next Governing Body in 2015. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva urged countries to work together under the International Treaty for the full implementation of the global genepool of food crops, farmers’ rights and the sustainable use of the world’s food crops.
Minister Fuad bin Jaafar Al-Sajwani (Oman) chaired the meeting and introduced a draft ‘New York Communiqué: The International Treaty, Food Crops and Food Security in a Changing Climate,’ which will be available on the ITPGR website until 20 October 2014, for comments by parties before its finalization. [ITPGR News Release][New York Communiqué]