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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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Writing the strategic plan

A National Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of CWR and Wild Food Plants is a document that draws on the materials generated from a preparatory review of CWR and wild food plants conservation in the country, and describes what the country plans to do to conserve CWR and wild food plants most appropriately, and how these plans should be accomplished. The time frame could be aligned with other relevant long-term national development plans. The National CWR Plan can be structured in a variety of ways, but the basic elements are described below.

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