A virtual workshop on ‘Development of National Gene Banks in OIC Member States’ is scheduled to take place in July 5-6, 2020 in collaboration with FAO, IsDB, OIC, COMSTECH, ICBA, and the Emirates Food Security Council. The theme of the event is titled as Promoting intra-OIC Food Security through Agricultural Biodiversity. The list of participants includes OIC member states, OIC institutions and international organisations. The event is planned to be held in a video conference format (by invitation).
The Workshop aims to encourage OIC member states to employ modern, scientific and innovative methods to increase resilience, competitiveness and stability of food systems. The workshop seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- The protection, conservation, management and exchange of animal and plant genetic resources in OIC member states;
- Strengthening human capabilities and institutional capacities to maintain sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity;
- Developing an appropriate mechanism for regional exchange of information on plant and animal genetic resources;
- Supporting incorporation of biodiversity into national development agenda, including mobilisation of funds for infrastructure development through the various national and intra- OIC financing institutions, within the framework of South-South Cooperation and the reverse linkage initiatives.
- Assisting in the elaboration of appropriate national legislations and social awareness programmes, aimed at protecting, and equitable sharing of gains accruing thereto, plant resources, including mobilisation of farmers, herders, pastoralists, local and community- based, youth and women stakeholders;
- Assisting member states to establish and manage national gene banks;
- Cooperation with local, regional and international bodies and institutions in the implementation of international agreements; and
- Training of staff and raising community awareness of the importance of plant genetic resources.
The Workshop is expected to produce the following outcomes:
- Production of a Status Report on the development of genetic resources in OIC member states;
- Elaboration of an OIC/IOFS Plan of Action for intra-OIC cooperation in the area of GRFA, including creation of an intra-OIC regional Gene Bank;
- Recommendation on the creation of an OIC Steering Committee and Sub-Regional Centres of Excellence on Gene Banks as a support mechanism for protection of plant genetic resources.
Structure of Workshop
The Workshop is expected to examine various thematic issues relating to the acquisition, utilisation and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. The major themes to be discussed are as follows:
- Role and Importance of Gene Banks for Conserving Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
- Country Experiences on Gene Banks and International Collaboration, including on-going initiative by COMSTECH on intra-OIC capacity-building on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;
- Overview of Global and Regional Agreements on PGRFA, including forests and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture;
- Agricultural Bio-diversity and Resilient Food Systems;
- Issues and Challenges on Conservation and Sharing of Genetic Resources ;
- Developing National Capacities on Bio-Diversity and Role of Regional Centres of Excellence.