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Promotion of genetic diversity in domestic animals

Bern, 21.07.2011 - Switzerland supports the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for maintaining Animal Genetic Resources in developing and emerging countries.

The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources was approved in Interlaken in 2007. Consequently the FAO set up a Trust Account for funding projects in developing and emerging countries. Now, after more than three years, support from Switzerland, Norway and Germany has provided sufficient funds for carrying out an initial series of projects as part of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action . The proposed projects will have to satisfy a list of criteria set out by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

As part of the commission's 13th meeting, a press conference will be held on 21 July 2011 to launch the submission of projects for implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources.

Maintaining the genetic resources in domestic animals is a priority in national and international agricultural policy. Since 1999 the Swiss government has helped to fund over 40 projects aimed at maintaining and promoting endangered Swiss breeds. For example, a cheese made from the milk of Appenzell goats has been launched and the ram centres project has also been set up. The latter involves providing a sufficient selection of adult male breeding animals of endangered Swiss ovine breeds. At an international level, Switzerland is supporting those activities of the FAO, in countries such as Rwanda, which are likely to be able to take advantage of our experience in implementing innovative and sustainable projects.

Address for enquiries:

François Pythoud, Head of International sustainable agriculture Unit,
tel.: (+41) 079 211 61 32


Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture
Internet: http://www.blw.admin.ch

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