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Abstract Detail

Crop Wild Relatives and Land Races: the Sky Islands of Southwest North American Agriculture

Maxted, Nigel [1].

Navigating the islands of the gene sea: helping promote complementary global conservation of agrobiodiversity.

The CBD Aichi Target 13 calls for: “By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity”. Such a target is necessitated by the dual challenges of unprecedented expanding human population and an unstable and changing cultivation environment. To increase food production sustainably in the face of these challenges requires significant additional plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), beyond that currently held by ex situ collections alone. Such additional diversity is available in global plant agrobiodiversity, specifically landraces (LR) and crop wild relatives (CWR) populations held within more traditionally diverse farming systems and in nature. Historically the availability of in situ / on-farm diversity has limited their use in crop improvement, but the use of the full breadth of plant agrobiodiversity is required if we are to meet the food security challenge and sustainably feed the predicted 9.8 billion human population in 2050. The integration of global; regional and national CWR / LR conservation; of in situ and ex situ actions; of formal and informal sectors; of agrobiodiversity and biodiversity sectors, and of conservation with use – our success could be critical to sustaining humankind. Specifically, we will need to build on existing regional and national PGR networks, where necessary establish novel networks of partners and sites that safeguards the wealth of PGR and promotes its utilization as a means of underpinning future, climate smart agriculture, food and nutritional security. To achieve this aim globally it will be necessary to (a) Establish the breadth PGRFA diversity, (b) Its threat and conservation status, (c) Enhance in situ / on-farm PGRFA population management, (d) Promote PGRFA in situ valuation and use, and (e) Establish durable PGRFA network partnerships. Together these initiatives will transform PGRFA genetic diversity conservation effectiveness and ensure the growing user requirement for novel diversity is met, helping sustain food and nutritional security and therefore the future of humankind itself.

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1 - University of Birmingham, School of Biosciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 2TT, United Kingdom

genetic resource
Plant conservation
crop wild relative

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SYM4, Crop Wild Relatives and Land Races: the Sky Islands of Southwest North American Agriculture
Location: San Luis 1/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: SYM4002
Abstract ID:1072
Candidate for Awards:None

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