Stakeholders of PGR Conservation
In France, a number of different stakeholders are involved in the conservation of plant genetic resources (PGR) for cultivated species.
According to a 2015 progress report, there are 27 public/private networks for ex situ conservation (outside of the species’ natural habitat) and more than 120 main stakeholders involved in in situ conservation (in the species’ natural habitat). These seemingly opposing conservation approaches are in fact very complementary and could benefit from becoming more interlinked.
At national level, public research organisations manage ex situ collection conservation. Collections are maintained by:
- Biological and Genetic Resources Centres
These centres are in direct contact with a wide panel of stakeholders including researchers, farmers and plant breeders.
- Conservation networks involving public and private partners
These networks, set up by the BRG (French Bureau of Genetic Resources) coordination, have established national collections which are freely accessible.
PGR conservation organisations have also been set up at a more local level, such as:
- Regional genetic resources centres, botanical conservatories, nature reserves and local authorities
These organisations manage their collections through both in situ and ex situ conservation. In particular, they have put in place initiatives to revive traditional knowledge, help farmers and incorporate old local varieties into the economic sector.
- Farmers, associations and individuals
These stakeholders have also developed strong skills in PGR conservation, mainly in situ and “on-farm”. These conservation measures aim to promote varieties that are adapted to local conditions and produced in short supply chains by local actors, using and enhancing traditional knowledge.
Identifying and recognising stakeholders and their collections will help us to acquire a better understanding of the landscape of PGR conservation in France.
The aim is to have a register and cartography of all stakeholders and collections in France. This would make it possible to quickly identify contact persons and existing resources for a particular species or theme.
This would help to promote the important work carried out by these stakeholders across diverse cultivated species for PGR users and others.