Biotech Updates

Ministers to Review Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

March 18, 2011

Agriculture ministers and senior officials from more than 100 countries have committed to review the global crop gene pool of the International Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. They are meeting in Bali, Indonesia to determine the Treaty's future in the face of food insecurity and climate change. The Treaty is a multilateral system where member countries share the genetic material of 64 of the most important crops for food security.

A declaration was signed by the participants recognizing that climate change poses a serious risk to plant genetic resources. These resources are essential "as a raw material for crop genetic improvement -whether by means of farmer selection, classical plant breeding or modern biotechnologies-" and also "in the development of new market opportunities, and in adapting to unpredictable environmental changes."

View FAO's press release at