15th Steering committee of European cooperative programme for plant genetic resources (ECPGR)
The fifteenth ECPGR steering committee, organized in collaboration with the Hellenic Agricultural Organization-DEMETER (HAO-DEMETER), took place from the 15th to 17th May 2018 at Thessaloniki, Greece. This committee gathered national coordinators of each member state and observers. This meeting ended the phase IX (2014-2018) of the ECPGR and allowed to review activities underwent for the past 5 years and to define news objectives and mode of operation for the next phase (2019-2023).
Phase IX of the programme has gathered 33 countries in the ECPGR network with as objective to improve conservation and sustainable use of PGR at a European scale. During this phase, a new mode of operation has been set up and 6 calls of proposals have been launched and fund 31 proposal for a total budget of 517 850 €. The main goal of these projects is to carry on activities on a group of species with a dozen of people coming from different European countries. Funded activities aim to answer to objectives elaborated by the steering committee such as the enhancement of the European collection AEGIS, the update of the European database EURISCO and the conservation in situ and « on farm » of PGRs. To enhance collaboration between working group members on new proposals, the steering committee agreed on separated budget lines which would allow to fund projects and to organize working group meetings at least one time in the phase X. The chairmen of these working groups will have the possibility to meet twice during the next phase to enhance collaboration between working groups and exchange on accomplished activities within each group.
Before the setting up the phase X, it was recommended that the executive committee (elected by the steering committee) should analyse the working groups’ performance and the propositions they have issued on the possible evolutions of the system. The creation of at least two new working group on maize and berries will be to take in account in this review.
To improve the characterisation of PGR and particularly the AEGIS accessions, a European public-private evaluation network on a European scale (EVA) was endorsed by the steering committee. In this framework, a memorandum of understanding was endorsed for signature between ECPGR and the European seed association (ESA).
Presentations given at the meeting, the background documents and the summary of the meeting are available on the EPCGR Website.