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Voluntary Guidelines for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Crop Wild Relatives and Wild Food Plants

image of Voluntary Guidelines for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Crop Wild Relatives and Wild Food Plants

Crop wild relatives are potential sources of traits for crop improvement, especially for developing varieties tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Wild food plants, on the other hand, constitute important components of the diets of many people. Both types of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture continue to evolve adaptive traits in their natural habitats. However, a combination of human activities and natural disasters is eroding this diversity, and could ultimately lead to extinctions. The reality of these threats requires greater attention to the conservation and sustainable use of these plant genetic resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, under the guidance of its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, therefore prepared the Voluntary Guidelines for National Level Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives and Wild Food Plants (Guidelines). The Guidelines are intended primarily for use by governments to develop a national plan for the conservation and sustainable use of crop wild relatives and wild food plants.

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Understanding the country context

A National CWR Plan needs to be based on the specific context and current situations in the country where it will be implemented. These can be deduced by the assessments of existing relevant policies, strategies, laws, the state of CWR and wild food plants conservation and use, human and financial resources, institutional arrangements and the range of stakeholders and their interrelationships. The prior determination of the country context, based on above parameters, will help define the scope of the National CWR Plan. This section will provide guidance for this preparatory work.

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