Report of the Fifth Meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee
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Brief summary of the outcome of a workshop on ethics and equity held April 22-25, 1997, in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, together with a few items from the meeting of the Genetic Resources Policy Committee held immediately afterwards which the GRPC wished to bring the attention of the CGIAR. This document was on the agenda of the CGIAR meeting in May 1997. The full minutes of the GRPC meeting were distributed later.The workshop was hosted by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology and funded by Sweden and Switzerland. It was expected to provide major input into developing a set of ethical principles for the CGIAR. Major areas of discussion included: use, conservation and access to genetic resources and the benefits derived from them; biosafety and bioethics in biotechnology and genetic manipulation; relations with the private sector; contributions of local farmers to in situ conservation and farmers rights; issues arising when scientists work with farmers in breeding and selection.The GRPC noted preparation by IPGRI of a paper for the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources on bringing the International Undertaking in line with the Convention on Biological diversity, an urgent matter. It endorsed the proposed rollover of the center agreements placing germplasm under the aegis of the FAO. It also endorsed efforts by the Systemwide Genetic Resources Program (SGRP) to define resource needs for immediate and long term CGIAR genebank operations, and called for a global operational plan for all genebanks. It recommended that the ongoing need for policy advice on genetic resources in the CGIAR be addressed as part of the System Review.