A conference on “Conservation of Plant and Animal Genetic Resources”, was organized on 21.03.2019, by the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE) of the Republic of Moldova together with the FAO Office in Moldova and the European Project which is providing Technical Assistance to MARDE under the ENPARD Programme Moldova.
The speakers included representatives of research and education Institutions from the Republic of Moldova and Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary and FAO experts. The speakers presented descriptions of projects on the conservation of genetic resources that have been successfully implemented in EU Member States and made recommendations that will contribute to the finalization of the strategy for the Conservation of Animal and Plant Genetic Resources in the Republic of Moldova that is currently being developed by MARDE.
Preserving genetic resources in agriculture serves as a kind of insurance by providing the resources that will be needed to meet challenges presented by new and evolving diseases, pests and environmental change. Researchers use specific characters of animals, crops and wild species related to them for a wide range of purposes, such as salinity tolerance, resistance to diseases and adaptability to climate change. Preserving genetic resources also provides producers with the diversity needed to adapt with changing markets. This unique heritage of living plant and animal organisms is part of biodiversity and ecosystems and must be preserved and promoted inside and outside their natural habitats. It is worth noting that:
- The number of food crops and farm animals and their genetic diversity has seriously narrowed;
- Food from plant and animal origin is derived from a very few species;
- Food security becomes increasingly vulnerable because of high levels of genetic erosion caused by the abandonment of traditional genetically diverse plant varieties and animal breeds;
- Genetic resources can be conserved by in situ conservation, i.e. in their ecosystems and natural habitats or in ex situ conservation i.e. outside their natural habitats by preservation of samples in gene banks, collections, etc.
Additional information on the event can be obtained from the ENPARD Technical Assistance Project (Mr. Sorin Tolea, email@example.com).