IOFS collaborates with BCI-PARC and COMSTECH to continue workshops on development of gene banks in OIC region

IOFS collaborates with BCI-PARC and COMSTECH to continue workshops on development of gene banks in OIC region
14 July 2021

The Islamic Organization for Food Security conducts an international training webinar “Acquisition, Conservation, Exchange, and Safety Duplication of Plant Genetic Resources in OIC Member Countries – ASIA Chapter” on July 13-14, 2021 together with the Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI) of Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC) and COMSTECH. The training follows up the online Workshop on Development of National Gene Banks of IOFS held on July 5-6, 2020.

The objectives of this series of webinars are to build the capacity of OIC Member countries in maintenance and operations of gene banks (collection of genetic materials, conservation, germplasm exchange policies), and familiarize the participants with international and national laws and policies on the subject. The webinars also seek to enhance networking among gene banks from different countries, as effective international collaboration will help preserve biodiversity and ensure long-term agricultural sustainability and food security worldwide. As the Director-General of IOFS H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet stated: “Keeping and developing our genetic resources in a proper way is our gate to food security.”

It is necessary to highlight the extensive experience and knowledge of the research institutions that represented Pakistan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Oman, Malaysia, and Azerbaijan. The list of participants included: the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), the National Genebank of Pakistan, the Kazakh Research Institute of Agriculture and Plant growing, the Natural and Medical Sciences Research Center at the University of Nizwa, the Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Insitute (MARDI), the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), National Genebank of Tunisia.

The event will be followed by similar training sessions for Africa and MENA region during the July-November 2021 period. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the events are expected to be online. The other training sessions would also be organized with the participation of both COMSTECH and PARC. It is worth noting that IOFS and COMSTECH signed a Memorandum of Understanding and adopted a Joint Action Plan to implement joint activities and projects for July-November 2021 period.

After the training webinars for Asia, Africa and Mena will have taken place, the IOFS plans to organize a conclusive session for specialists from all of these regions to consolidate the outcomes and cement the newly formed partnerships between the genetic banks.