2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
In compliance with international treaties and national policies, develop innovative approaches for access and benefit-sharing that enhance donor nations’ capacity to conserve, document, and use genetic resources, and provide NPGS access to these genetic resources. The Cooperator, as head of the national plant germplasm system of Azerbaijan and the national focal point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA) is interested in the collection, conservation, evaluation, and use of genetic resources of agronomic and horticultural species economically important to Azerbaijan. The cooperator is also the Azerbaijan national authority to provide prior informed consent for access to their native plant genetic resources. This agreement is to continue the existing collaboration in planning and executing plant explorations in Azerbaijan important to both countries and to develop and fund benefit sharing projects to the germplasm conservation program in Azerbaijan for providing access to their genetic resources.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
ARS/NGRL/PEO will identify U.S. National Plant Germplasm System germplasm needs from Azerbaijan and with the cooperator develop plans for joint plant explorations to include trips by U.S. and Azeri team leaders, other participants, general collection sites, the benefit sharing project, total trip expenses and obtain national access approval for the collection trip. The team leaders will then develop the specific trip plans and conduct the plant exploration. The collected germplasm and associated documentation will be shared between the 2 parties which will be entered into to the National Plant Germplasm Systems of both countries. Funding of the collection trip and the benefit sharing project will be paid by PEO through this agreement.
This SCA supports the collaborative collection, documentation, and conservation of cultivated and wild crop genetic resources native to Azerbaijan. This SCA also helps develop the seed storage facilities and staff training at the Genetic Resources Institute (GRI) as a means of benefit sharing to Azerbaijan for providing access to their genetic resources. In FY 11, a plant exploration for temperate and sub-tropical fruits and nuts was planned, but had to be postponed until 2012. Over the life of this project five plant explorations in Azerbaijan have been developed and conducted by teams of U.S. and Azerbaijani scientists. Target crops included forage legumes and grasses, woody and herbaceous fruits, nuts, and landscape plants and ornamentals. Collected germplasm and associated documentation was deposited in the National Genebank of Azerbaijan and the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Benefit sharing projects provided to Azerbaijan for providing access to their national genetic resources included staff training in several areas (genebank management, seed regeneration, crop wild relatives, database management), purchase of laboratory supplies and small equipment, and partial support to purchase an emergency back-up generator for their medium seed storage facility. This project was monitored through e-mails and a meeting with the Azeri PI at the International Symposium for Crop Wild Relatives of Temperate and Sub-tropical Fruits and Nuts in Davis, CA, March 20, 2011.