Genetic resources in agriculture. A summary of the projects co-financed under Regulation (EC) No 1467/94

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2006
ISBN 92-79-00075-6
EC KF-69-05-989-EN-C
Content Type

During recent decades, the importance of safeguarding a broad variety of natural resources for sustainable agriculture has been acknowledged in international forums and at Community and national levels. Aside from the sustainable management of soils, water and air, the sustainable management of genetic resources is one of the preconditions for sustainable agriculture. In this context, Council Regulation (EC) No 1467/94 on the conservation, characterisation, collection and utilisation of genetic resources in agriculture was adopted in 1994.

The driving force behind the Regulation was the Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the main outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (known as the ‘Earth Summit’) which took place in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. In order to meet international obligations under the Convention, one of the first steps was to define, rationalise and consolidate national collections under the Regulation.

The main objective of the Regulation was therefore to coordinate and promote at Community level research on genetic resources in agriculture, in particular those species which are not competitive on the market at the moment but which might contain important genetic information for further breeding. Another objective was to develop data as well as quality control standards and to establish a decentralised database.

Therefore, the European Commission, together with the Member States, financially supported and coordinated research on genetic resources in agriculture that are common in Europe but which are not used commercially and which are therefore threatened by extinction. This publication presents the outcome of these projects, one in forestry, four in animal genetic resources and 15 in plant genetic resources. It also presents an overview of current European Union efforts to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of plant and animal genetic resources in agriculture.

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