Creation and use of a national inventory of crop wild relatives

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 2010 target of achieving a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth is particularly pertinent for crop wild relatives (CWR). These taxa are directly associated with wealth creation and food security as they include the wild crop progenitors possessing many beneficial traits that can be bred into crops to address the changing environmental and market demands. These species are being eroded yet they have been widely neglected by national agencies because agricultural agencies generally have no responsibility for conservation and ecological conservation agencies tend to focus their efforts on habitat or rare and threatened taxa conservation. If the CBD 2010 target is to be achieved for CWR taxa there is a need for a complex interdisciplinary approach that outlines what diversity is present, what threatens that diversity and how it might be best conserved for use by future generations. When attempting to address these issues within the United Kingdom several key topics were identified: (1) creation of a national CWR inventory, (2) analysis of the national CWR inventory content, (3) national patterns of CWR distribution, (4) threat status for CWR diversity, (5) assessment of current conservation actions, (6) identification of priority sites for CWR conservation, and (7) creation of CWR conservation action plans. These issues are used to formulate an effective national conservation strategy for UK CWR diversity.

Category: Conservation
Authors: Maxted, N. et al.
Journal/Series: Biological Conservation
Publication Year: 2007

Related links