Agricultural systems are faced with complex challenges in ensuring increased productivity to meet the rising demands of an ever increasing population. The safe conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources are the keys to ensuring food security, eliminating poverty and protecting the environment. Two agricultural production systems, for favorable and marginal areas, are facing different but equally complex challenges and therefore should be integrated in terms of genetic diversity management, instead of having two separate agriculture paradigms. This paper proposes an integrated genetic resources management system to address the global task of safe conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits of plant genetic resources. Key issues for the development of such an integrated system are analyzed in the three main areas, namely: system overview and institutional linkages; the technical and scientific base; and policy framework.
Biodiversity: A Foundation for Food Security, Poverty Elimination and Environmental Protection
The dynamic processes which sustain the biosphere are based on biological diversity. Biodiversity is essential for food security, for the elimination of poverty and for the sustainable use of environmental resources. It is the foundation of social and political stability and one of the key elements of economic development. Whether bio diversity's ability to continually regenerate itself is compromised in any way is in part determined by the degree and type of pressures placed on it by human activities.
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