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  1. 1. Current Status of National PGR Inventories in Europe, September 2003 Brigitte Laliberté IPGRI Regional Office for Europe, Rome Italy Presented at the Final EPGRIS conference, 10-13 September 2003, Prague, Czech Republic Introduction The presentation focused on the recent activities to assess the current status of development of the national plant genetic resources (PGR) inventories in Europe and in particular the following points: • European Plant Genetic Resources Information Infra-Structure (EPGRIS) Focal Persons for national PGR inventories • NI - Survey August 2003 o National programmes o National inventories o PGR documentation o National inventories in EURISCO o Training and equipment needs o Expected impact • Progress since survey May 2002 • EURISCO • EURISCO Memorandum of Understanding - MoU • Uploading mechanism - http://intranet.eurisco.ecpgr.org/ • EURISCO web site – http://eurisco.ecpgr.org • Inter-regional cooperation, workshop in Cotonou, Benin, March 2003 EPGRIS Focal Persons A network of 39 EPGRIS Focal Persons (FP) representing 41 countries (Nordic Gene Bank (NGB) represents 5 countries with 3 Focal Persons) was created through the EPGRIS project. The nomination of these Focal Persons was done through the ECP/GR National Coordinator / Focal Person in liaison with the national Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) focal point. This network is essential in ensuring success of EPGRIS and EURISCO. We have to think about the next steps in ensuring that the nomination process continues within the ECP/GR framework, that these FP remain the main contact point for IPGRI in liaising about EURISCO. But what is going to be expected has to be clarified and the mechanism for maintaining the dynamic in the group. Status of the National PGR Inventories Surveys on the status of national plant genetic resources inventories were undertaken in May 2002 in preparation for the EPGRIS mid-term project meeting and again in August 2003 in preparation for the EPGRIS Final conference, with objectives to: • Assess status of documentation of PGR ex situ collections in Europe • Monitor progress on the development of national inventories (NI) • Assess needs and identify priority areas for support and assistance • Evaluate impact of EPGRIS 1
  2. 2. The survey format was the same and consisted of a few questions on the following: • National programme structure • National inventory • PGR documentation • Type of data available • Training needs in PGR documentation and equipment needs • Expected impact The recent survey was sent 12 August 2003 to 37 EPGRIS National Inventory Focal Persons nominated (including 5 Nordic Countries through NGB), and a total 37 replies were received by 10 Sept. 2003 National Programme structure The structure of the national structure was described in terms of PGR activity coordination, the formal establishment of a National PGR Programme and if there is a genebank wit national PGR responsibilities. The following replies were received: • PRG activities coordinated at national level, 35/37 countries = 94% • National Programme formally established, 21/35 countries = 60% • Genebank with national PGR responsibility, 31/37 countries = 84% National Inventories In the survey, the national PGR inventory was defined as a list of designated ex situ PGR accessions maintained in the different institutes across the country to be considered as part of the national collections. The survey attempted to find out if there was a NI in place, the number of institutes with ex situ collections, number of accessions, species and proportion of crop wild relatives. The following results were received: • National Inventory exists = 34/37 = 92% • Number of institutes with ex situ PGR collections in the country, 571 from 36 countries • Number of PGR accessions considered in the NI’s. Total of approx. 1 560 000 accessions in 35 countries • Estimated % of crop wild relatives = average 18% o Represents approx. 200 850 accessions, out of 1 055 000 accessions from 27 countries o Does not include % on the German, Russian and a few other large datasets, representing 500 000 accessions = could be an additional 25 000 accession if approx. 5% • Estimated % of PGR information available in electronic format = 36 replies o Nearly 100% (10) = 28% o 70-90% (10) = 28% o 50-70% (9) = 25% o 30-50% (5) = 14% o 10-30% (1) = 2.5% o 0-10% (1) = 2.5% Plant genetic resources documentation 2
  3. 3. The definition used for PGR documentation was the recording of information related to ex situ PGR accessions. The survey investigated the current situation on the documentation systems, standards, the availability of data in electronic format. • National PGR documentation system exists, 30/37 = 81% • Standard passport descriptors used by all partners institutes contributing data to the NI, 27/36 = 75% • NI available in electronic format, 33/37 = 89% • NI inventory available from the web site, 16/37 = 43% (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Nordic Countries, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine) The proportion (%) of PGR accessions currently in the NI for which there is the following type of information: • Passport data = 33 replies o At least 943 301 accessions have 100% passport data o At least 1 309 644 accessions have >90% passport data o At least 1 350 144 accessions have >80% passport data • Distribution = 19 replies, mean of 52 % • Characterization / evaluation = 29 replies, mean of 35 % • Indigenous knowledge = 16 replies, mean of 22 % Training needs in database management / documentation The focal persons were asked to provide information on the priority for training and/equipments support to further develop the national PGR inventory by indicating the level of priority. The results are in tables 1 and 2. Table 1. Training needs Training Activities High priority Medium priority Not a priority Basic document / database design 5 11 19 Database design: Intermediate level 4 15 15 Database design: Advanced level 17 8 8 Web-enabling databases 22 4 8 Specific training in PGR documentation 15 10 7 Electronic networking 12 11 11 Data dissemination / publishing 9 13 12 Data exchange 6 20 8 Data analysis 21 7 6 Table 2. Needs of equipment 3
  4. 4. Equipment High priority Medium priority Not a priority Computers available for the NI 10 5 18 Appropriate software 15 4 15 Appropriate hardware 16 4 14 Web access 6 6 20 E-mail connection 3 5 26 Training Workshops Based on the survey May 2002, and sub-regional meetings, training needs were identified and workshops organized towards the development of national inventories with the following topics: • EURISCO uploading mechanism and web site • Database design • Data import and conversion to EURISCO Multi-Crop Passport Descriptors (MCPD) • Data checking, data quality and analysis • Data web-enabling Five training workshops were held in which 36 countries participated in training workshops • Prague, Sept. 2002 for the non-EU Focal Persons (funded by IPGRI and ECP/GR) • Alnarp, Sweden, April 2003 • Gatersleben, Germany, May 2003 • Rome, Italy, May 2003 • Radzikow, Poland, June 2003 Expected impact The national focal persons indicated the expected impacts of EPGRIS and the main points were: • Meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commitments = 94% • Raising awareness of national PGR at international level = 80 % • Raising awareness of PGR at national level = 78% Other expected impact mentioned were: • Get a complete picture of holdings within a country • Outline priorities for future efforts aimed at collecting, conserving and research and assess the need for further improving the NI, to plan and obtain funding for such improvements • Facilitate the collaboration between national and international scientists • Support use of PGR by improving access to information and material and support for breeding programmes • Meeting EPGRIS commitment • Meeting the FAO/WIEWS commitment • International coordination of PGR activities • National coordination of PGR Programme 4
  5. 5. • Elevating inter-institutional collaboration • Carrying out of trainings and seminars for young specialists Additional impacts of the process of EPGRIS were: • Establishment of a sustainable network of Focal Persons • EPGRIS meetings as milestones for activities • Training workshops • EPGRIS Final Conference Sept. 2003 Table 3. Progress from 2002 to 2003 2002 2003 PRG coordinated at national level 92% 94% Genebank with national PGR responsibilities 84% 84% National inventory 84% 92% Number of institutes with ex situ PGR collections 591 571 Number of accessions part of the NI’s 1 306 687 accessions from 34 countries 1 559 598 accessions from 35 countries NI available in electronic format 76% 89% NI available on the web 13 countries 16 countries Next steps of survey • Status of documentation of European PGR national inventories assessed, baseline data obtained and future monitoring possible • Monitor the expected impacts • National inventory status to be updated on a regular basis? • Priorities for continued support and training identified • Plans for individual and group training before December 2003 • Workshops/meetings/staff exchange to be organized? • Guidelines/guidebook for developing a national inventory? A task for the ECP/GR Information and Documentation Network? 5 Number of Accessions in EURISCO EPGRIS meeting June 2003
  6. 6. Strengthening inter-regional cooperation and regional approaches to documentation of plant genetic resources ECP/GR and its Inter-regional Cooperation Task Force, initiated in 2002 activities to enhance collaboration between European partners and other regional networks, particularly in the area of PGR documentation. With this objective, the Task Force proposed to organize a workshop on PGR information networking titled `Towards regional approaches to PGR documentation of ex situ collections`. This workshop, jointly organized between ECP/GR, GRENEWECA (Genetic resources network for west and central Africa) and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation - CTA, The Netherlands, was held in Cotonou, Benin on 18-20 March 2003. The workshop provided the opportunity to discuss overall crosscutting issues with experts from both regions and to examine practical solutions, building on on-going initiatives on PGR documentation and information networking. EU-funded project EPGRIS currently supporting the development of national inventories of ex situ PGR collections also provided an interesting example of a regional approach to PGR documentation. In the workshop, participated 11 documentation focal points of GRENEWECA and representations from other PGR networks such as SADC and from the West Africa Rice Development Association – WARDA and INGER-Africa, the African wing of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice. The 11 West and Central African countries represented Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo. The objectives of the inter-regional cooperation workshop were to: • Exchange experiences and create links for future collaboration between Europe and Africa • Strengthen inter-regional collaboration and regional PGR networks • Support the development/exploration of regional strategies and action plans for PGR information exchange mechanisms • Promotion of standards in information/data exchange During this workshop, areas of priorities for activities have been identified and the main output of the meeting was the development of a regional strategy for sharing PGR information on ex situ collections in West and Central Africa, serving as the basis for developing concrete project proposals. The over all goal of the strategy is to improve access and utilization of PGR in the West and Central African region through the development of national inventories of PGR held in ex situ collections. The activities will be to support the documentation and information networking towards the development of a regional catalogue of PGR. This project would complement other regional and international information systems such as EURISCO and SINGER all contributing to the global information system WIEWS of FAO. Memorandum of Understanding - MoU A MoU for collaboration on the development of EURISCO between IPGRI on behalf of the ECP/GR Secretariat and the Focal Points of the National PGR Inventories was drafted describing the responsibilities of IPGRI regarding the data provided by the NFP of the NI 6
  7. 7. and the responsibilities of the NFP regarding the data replicated into EURISCO. A first draft was proposed at EPGRIS sub-regional meetings 2001 and a 2nd draft at sub- regional meetings 2002. It was finalized in September 2002 and sent to all 37 (including the 5 Nordic countries) in December 2002. By the time of the EPGRIS meeting, 37 MoU were received (100%), covering the period from signature to 31 December 2003. This MoU allows IPGRI to publish the NI’s into EURISCO, public since June 2003. A follow-up agreement will need to be developed based on feedback of the EPGRIS final meeting and could be valid for 10 years or until one of the parties decides to terminate the agreement. EURISCO uploading mechanism and web site The current status of EURISCO uploading mechanism - http://intranet.eurisco.ecpgr.org/ • Tested by 29 countries And the number of accessions and countries in the EURISCO web site – http://eurisco.ecpgr.org • 810,108 accessions 11 September 2003 o 619,582 accessions on 10 Sept. 03 o 612,640 on 9 Sept. 03 o 389,714 on 7 Sept. 03 o 360,895 on 5 Sept. 03 o 309,878 on 1 Sept. 03 o 157,891 on 27 Aug. 03 • Includes National Inventories from 23 countries The next steps regarding EURISCO sites is to obtain feedback from the Focal Persons through the organization of focus groups (5-10) / testing through meetings/workshops: • Focal Persons focus group for the uploading mechanism • User focus group for the EURISCO web site Summary of tasks / next steps: • Focal persons: What framework (technical/financial) should they continue to work in / meet? Should continue with the official nomination process within ECP/GR • NI status survey: Again in 2005? • Training: Guidelines for the development of NI – task of ECP/GR Info-Doc Network? • EURISCO MoU: The next agreement for 10 or more years? And the same as the current one? Or a Letter of Agreement with a stronger legal status? EURISCO uploading mechanism: • Feedback from the Focal Persons essential for improvements – focus groups? • Encourage the use of the site for data checking • Assist countries with the development of the NI EURISCO web site: • Feedback from EPGRIS but from outside users also essential – focus groups? • National Inventories completed to reach the 1 500 000 accessions estimated in Europe 7
  8. 8. • Monitor progress • Maintained by IPGRI on behalf of ECP/GR. Steering Committee / Advisory group within ECP/GR? 8