Conservation and sustainable use of crop wild relatives

ABSTRACT: Conservation of crop wild relatives (CWRs) is a complex interdisciplinary process that is being addressed by various national and international initiatives, including two Global Environment Facility projects (‘In situ Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives through Enhanced Information Management and Field Application’ and ‘Design, Testing and Evaluation of Best Practices for in situ Conservation of Economically Important Wild Species’), the European Community-funded project ‘European Crop Wild Relative Diversity Assessment and Conservation Forum (PGR Forum)’ and the European ‘In situ and On Farm Network’. The key issues that have arisen are: (1) the definition of what constitutes a CWR, (2) the need for national and regional information systems and a global system, (3) development and application of priority-determining mechanisms, (4) the incorporation of the conservation of CWRs into existing national, regional and international PGR programmes, (5) assessment of the effectiveness of conservation actions, (6) awareness of the importance of CWRs in agricultural development at local, national and international levels both for the scientific and lay communities and (7) policy development and legal framework. The above issues are illustrated by work on the conservation of a group of legumes known as grasspea chicklings, vetchlings, and horticultural ornamental peas (Lathyrus spp.) in their European and Mediterranean centre of diversity.

Category: Conservation
Authors: Heywood, V. et al.
Publication Year: 2007

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