In order to ensure that plant genetic resources are conserved under conditions that meet recognized and appropriate standards, based on current and available technological and scientific knowledge, the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture has agreed on the need for revision of the Genebank Standards published in 1994 and requested FAO to undertake the review together with relevant international institutions.
The Genebank Standards were developed to respond to the need of appropriate standards for international ex situ conservation and concerned solely with the storage of seeds of orthodox species. The focus of the current review is limited to orthodox seed only. Conservation of recalcitrant seeds, clonally propagated planting materials, fruit trees require different strategies and approaches. Availability of updated genebank standards can provide an internationally accepted framework to monitor the viability and the genetic integrity of the variety of ex situ collections held by genebanks all the collections in the long term.
FAO, in cooperation with the International Treaty, the CGIAR and other relevant international institutions, has undertaken the review as requested by the Commission. The draft Revisioning the Genebank Standards is presented for the consideration of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Plant Genetic Resources at its Fifth Session in Rome from 27 -29 April 2011.
The document may be downloaded from the FAO website at: http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/core-themes/theme/seeds-pgr/en/