FAO expert Dr. Shakeel Bhatti will explain how to use and safeguard plant genetic resources, followed by a panel discussion.

Who owns which rights on genetic resources? Recent international developments in the use of agricultural biodiversity. Securing human food supply in the future requires a high genetic diversity of food plants to react to future challenges, including climate change or new pests. Ways to safeguard these resources range from protected areas, to the use of local landraces and frozen seed banks. The best strategy to conserve the genetic diversity, how access to genetic resources can be guaranteed and who holds which rights to use them, are questions intensively discussed. In this context the "International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture" tries to provide a way forward. It administers the entries of 1.5 million varieties and races and hundreds of transfer agreements each day, with the aim of securing the rights of farmers, conserving the diversity, and promoting the commercial use of plant genetic diversity. The Treaty tries to balance the interests of stakeholders, and supports the activity of farmers to conserve and protect genetic diversity. Dr. Shakeel Bhatti, secretary of the Treaty at the FAO, will explain the political, social and legal questions and present possible solutions. After the talk, Dr. Bhatti will discuss with Prof. Herman Bürstmayr (BOKU Institute for Biotechnology in Plant Production), Mag. Beate Koller (Arche Noah) und Prof. Christian Vogl (BOKU Institute of Organic Agriculture) and the public. Time:
Thursday 10. Jan. 2013, 17:00 - 18:30 Place:
HS 01, Simony building, Peter-Jordan-Straße 65 Contact:
Peter Hietz, 47654-3154, peter.hietz(at)boku.ac.at Dr. Bhatti is currently guest professor at BOKU, his lecture Importance and Governance of Plant Genetic Resources is held in December and January.