The Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region is the centre of genetic diversity for some of the world’s major food crops. However, this valuable diversity is threatened by genetic erosion. Local landraces are being replaced by ‘improved’ varieties; population pressure, urbanisation and environmental degradation caused by frequent droughts, overgrazing and desertification contribute to this process. The informal system, an indigenous, knowledge.based, farmer. managed crop production system, remains the main source of genetic resources and seeds for small.scale farmers. International conventions such as CBD, IT.PGRFA, and TRIPS are calling for concerted effort in the conservation of the unique biodiversity of this region and for new policy and regulatory regimes in germplasm exchange and use.
The overall objective of the training programme is to enhance the participants' capabilities to deal with contemporary issues
in the management of genetic resources and seeds. The programme pays special attention to relevant policies and participatory and market.oriented approaches. It aims for the participants and facilitators to exchange experiences and work together to explore practical applications for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources in agriculture..
Awassa, September 17 – 28
Debre Zeit, October 1 – 12