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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Towards a more homogenous world: genetic resources and climate change

Some analyses that we have made for an FAO background paper on genetic resources and climate change were presented this week in events organised by Bioversity International and others surrounding the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA).  The results are actually quite interesting.  Future projections of climate change actually portray a more homogenous world.  That is, climates between countries become more climatically similar, and that is highly relevant for genetic resources.  Interdependence in genetic resources refers to the demand that countries have for materials that come from other countries.  With climate change, we mix up the geography of climate, and thus genetic resources adapted to a specific geography are suddenly in demand elsewhere.  So our analyses have shown a 30% increase in interdependence across the globe – greater demand for country to country exchange of germplasm.

Key to enabling adaptation are therefore appropriate policies for facilitating germplasm exchange, and that is where the CGRFA come in.  This week they’ll be discussing these issues and hopefully we can see the emergence of international and national policy that supports adaptation through facilitated access to useful materials between countries.

You can see a video interview where we discuss some of the issues, and also the presentations we made below.  The CCAFS blog made a nice summary (thanks to guest blogger Jeremy), Luigi broke the story while it was happening here, and IISD did a summary report on the Special Information Seminar here.


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