The State of Ireland, The State of the World
It is encouraging to read in their current newsletter (Irish Seed Saver, Spring 2010) that the ISSA are set to receive their core funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF). This support will certainly help ISSA continue to undertake activities which help Ireland fulfil its obligations to the International Treaty and Global Plan of Action and which I imagine will be captured in our reporting to the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA). Having had the (mis?)fortune to be involved in the documentation process to finalise the forthcoming Second Report of the State of the World’s PGRFA I can appreciate just what a massive undertaking it is and the various country partners and colleagues at FAO and other agencies who put the whole thing together are to be commended. There are many important gaps and shortcomings but as colleagues over at the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog point out the process is far from perfect, but this does constitute the best data we have on what’s happening in plant genetic resources conservation and use worldwide. Ireland’s country report can be downloaded from the FAO website, and like a lot of others it also has some shortcomings, but it does highlight a number of important gaps in knowledge and opportunities for individuals and organizations to address if interested. Other country reports and the overall consolidated 2nd Report of the State of the World can all be downloaded online. The report should be published soon.