18 MAY 2000

Recommendations by the 15th Global Biodiversity Forum to COP 5 on its Decisions on Agricultural Biodiversity

The draft Decision supports the implementation of the four elements of the Programme of Work. The COP should develop these programme elements to reflect the need for the Programme of Work to be farmer-centred, if it is to be effective, as follows:

1. Assessment:
Requests the Secretariat to carry out an assessment of farmer knowledge, innovations and practices in sustaining agricultural biodiversity and agroecosytem functions for, and in support of, food production and food security and report to COP 6. Major inputs should be solicited from local farmers and their communities.

2. Adaptive management:
Requests the Secretariat to proactively seek inputs from farmers and their communities including local farming communities embodying traditional lifestyles, in the implementation of these activities.

3. Capacity building:
Promote cooperation of farmers and their institutions in particular at the local level in actions to promote conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity.

4. Mainstreaming:
Change the Operational Objective to read: "To develop national plans and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and ensure their mainstreaming and integration in sectoral and cross-sectoral plans and programmes, in particular in national agricultural policies." Requests the Secretariat to carry out a study on the demands by farmers for support by governments of their action to conserve and sustainably use agricultural biodiversity. This study should be carried out in close consultation with farmers and their institutions and be submitted to COP 6.

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