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NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES NETWORK
(NENAPGRN)
Report and Proceedings
Summary of the Second Regular...
1
NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PLANT GENETIC
RESOURCES NETWORK (NENA PGRN)
Report and Proceedings Summary of the Second Regu...
2
represented were Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and
Yemen. International and regional orga...
3
8. Working sessions
Following the official opening, the CB continued meeting according to the sessions
scheduled on the ...
4
2011 for the team members contributed to the development of the Strategy draft. The
meeting came out with a number of gu...
5
from Dr. Nadiya Al Saadi, the Director of the Centre, to support an activity by
NENAPGRN in Oman before the end of the y...
6
Two: Strategy for the Future, Part Three: A Framework for Action and Part Four:
Towards a Regional Information System.
I...
7
8.1.3 Country updating reports
The CB listened at the end of day one to country reports from Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait...
8
- Network facilitation: the significance need to network facilitation with face-to-
face meetings; and
- Sustainability:...
9
- Request Regional FAO office to include in its programme of work to
 Decide on preparing a draft text as terms of Refe...
11
The meeting dealt with this agenda item and discussed it thoroughly with concentration
on the above ideas.
8.3.2 Work p...
11
8.3.3 Election of Executive Committee
According to the decision made by the first regular meeting of the CB held in Oma...
12
materials continued during 2011 and 2012 with a total of 250 accessions being
exchanged. This included some of the mate...
13
10.1 Review and adoption of the Regional PGR strategy
The CB adopted the following decision on the Regional PGR strateg...
14
1. Decide on preparing draft texts as Terms of Reference (TOR) and
Rules of Procedure (ROP).
2. Invite countries of the...
15
10.5.2 Development of an action plan
The CB found it necessary to develop an action plan for implementation by the Netw...
16
The participation of the ICARDA, FAO Headquarters and FAO/RNE was acknowledged
and very much appreciated. Thanks were e...
17
Annex 1.
11 List of participants (official represenatatives)
No. Name Country Organization Position Address
1 Abeer El ...
18
aallawati@msn.com
7 Khalid Abdulaziz AlSaawi SAUDI
ARABIA
Natural Resources and
Environmental Research
Institute
King A...
19
12 Mail:
hitriby2@yahoo.com
12 Mohamed Sidki Zehni Lypia Consultant Address: 149 Triq il Qasam, Swieqi
Malta SWQ 3029
E...
21
for Oriental Near East
(SNO)
2806
Fax: +202 3749 5981
Mobile: +010178 2408
Web: http://www.fao.org;
http://www.fao.org/...
21
Annex 2
AGENDA and Programme
Day Time Item Name
Day ONE
18 Sep. 2012
09:00- 09:45 Opening Session
- Welcome Statement b...
22
12:30-13:00 Presentation: Roadmap/Concept Note for the Development
of PGR Information and Knowledge Network
Wrap up and...
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Report and Proceedings "Summary of the Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board"

The Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board (CB) of NEAR EAST and North Africa Plant Genetic Resources (NENAPGRN) was convened in Cairo, Egypt during 18 – 20 September 2012. The meeting was organized by NENAPGRN in collaboration with the National Genebank of Egypt. It was sponsored by the Secretariat of the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for the Near East (FAO/RNE).

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Report and Proceedings "Summary of the Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board"

  1. 1. NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES NETWORK (NENAPGRN) Report and Proceedings Summary of the Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board 18-20 September 2012 Cairo, Egypt
  2. 2. 1 NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES NETWORK (NENA PGRN) Report and Proceedings Summary of the Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board 18-20 September 2012: Cairo, Egypt 1. Introduction The Second Regular Meeting of the Coordinating Board (CB) of NEAR EAST and North Africa Plant Genetic Resources (NENAPGRN) was convened in Cairo, Egypt during 18 – 20 September 2012. The meeting was organized by NENAPGRN in collaboration with the National Genebank of Egypt. It was sponsored by the Secretariat of the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for the Near East (FAO/RNE). This report briefly describes the proceedings and outcomes of the meeting. 2. Objectives of the meeting The meeting was convened as a regular meeting for the CB to consider a number of items and decide on a number of issues including the following:  Adoption of the regional plant genetic resources (PGR) Strategy for Near East and North Africa as a strategy for NENAPGRN.  Financial requirements for the network.  Implementation of the regional PGR strategy.  Establishment of the Regional Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in the Near East.  Sharing of PGR information related under NENAPGRN.  Restructuring and activation of the network Technical Working Groups. 3. Venue The meeting was convened in the Horizon Pyramids Hotel in Cairo. 4. Invitation for participation Invitations were dispatched by the Network Coordinator to 12 member country focal points as well as to a number of resource persons from the region in addition to international and regional organizations of relevance including the FAO, Bioversity International, Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources For Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the Crop Diversity Trust, ICARDA and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD). 5. Participants A total of 17 participants have attended the meeting. They represented national focal points to the network in nine countries, AARINENA Secretariat, and international organizations in addition to resource persons from within the region. Member countries
  3. 3. 2 represented were Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. International and regional organizations represented were the FAO (headquarters), FAO/RNE, and ICARDA (Annex 1). 6. Agenda and programme The agenda of the meeting covered nine major items that were considered by the meeting during the three days as indicated in Annex 2. Those items were the following: 1. Reporting on the network activities since June 2011. 2. Review and adoption of the regional PGR strategy. 3. Country updating reports. 4. Information needs assessment as an integral component in the proposed PGR strategy and road map for the development of PGR network. 5. Road map to establishment of the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agricultural in Near East. 6. Financial requirements for the operation of the network. 7. Work plan for 2012 – 2014. 7. Opening session The meeting was opened with speeches from the Chair of the CB, representative of the FAO/RNE, representative of AARINENA Secretariat and the President of the national Genebank of Egypt. Dr. Ali H. Allawati, Chair of the CB, welcomed and thanked all participants who traveled from their bases to attend the meeting. He thanked the hosting country represented by the National Genebank in Egypt for their effective collaboration in organizing the meeting. He also a acknowledged the very effective support gained from the FAO/RNE without their considerable financial support with AARINENA this meeting couldn't be held. Dr. Muhammad Dost addressed the meeting on behalf of the FAO/RNE indicating their pleasure to support this activity and participate in it. He also expressed their willingness to continue collaborating with AARINENA/NENPGRN to advance the cause of the PGR in the NENA Region. He referred to the importance of having a regional strategy for conservation and sustainable we of PGR and its interrelation with the national strategies in this regard. Dr. Mohammed Alajlouni addressed the meeting on behalf of AARINENA Secretariat and emphasized the role of NENAPGRN as one of the networks under AARINENA. He indicated that it was highly necessary to exchange experiences and expertise among the countries and institutes in the region in the PGR conservation and use. He mentioned that the challenge was always to change any strategy into action. To do so it is very important to find means and ways for funding. He expressed his personal readiness to support and go with NENAPGRN in order to enable it to achieve its objectives and be effective. Dr. Hanaiya El-Itriby, president of the National Genebank of Egypt, opened the meeting officially. She provided in her opening statement a historical background on Egypt's agriculture and plant genetic resources. She praised the efforts exerted by the AARINENA to make this network a reality, and the consequent efforts by NENAPGRN to provide a regional platform.
  4. 4. 3 8. Working sessions Following the official opening, the CB continued meeting according to the sessions scheduled on the proposed programme. The agenda and programme of the meeting were then discussed and adopted as attached in Annex 2. Following that the CB dealt with the different agenda items as programmed through the three days of the meeting. 8.1 Day One: 18 September 2012 Agenda for the first day included dealing with three items as following: i. Reporting on the network activities since June 2011. ii. Review and adoption of the Regional PGR Strategy. iii. Country updating reports. 8.1.1 Reporting on the network activities since June 2011 The Network Coordinator presented a general progress report on activities conducted under the NENAPGRN during the period extending from June 2011 up to September 2012, which covered the period following the first regular meeting of the Coordinating Board held in Muscat-Oman during 27-29 June 2011. Those activities and main achievements as well as constraints and problems were briefly overviewed in the report as following: A. Adjustment of the network establishment instrument: The document by which the NENAPGRN was established was reviewed and adjusted by September 2011 to serve as the main instrument describing the Network objectives, composition, governance and administrative set-up. The document was reviewed and adjusted by Dr. Mohamed Zehni and the task group members formulated for this purpose. B. The Joint ECPGR/NENAPGRN workshop on ITPGRFA As part of the activities of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic resources (ECPGR) Inter-regional Cooperation Network, a joint workshop between ECPGR and the NENAPGRN was organized on 28-29 September 2011 in Menemen, Turkey, with the local support of the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute. The financial resources for this workshop were made available by ECPGR with contribution from AARINENA. This workshop was dedicated to exchanging views, information and experiences related to the implementation of the ITPGRFA. The workshop emphasized the need for capacity building for the implementation of the ITPGRFA, at both regional and national levels, as an immediate need for effective implementation of this Treaty and its Multi-Lateral System in NENA. C. Regional PGR Strategy: A draft for regional strategy for conservation and sustainable use of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) in NENA region was developed through a consultative process voluntarily guided and facilitated by Dr. Mohamed S. Zehni for future use by the NENAPGRN. The draft Strategy was presented to the 12th General Conference of the AARINENA held in Kuwait City, Kuwait, from 16 to 17 November 2011. The General Conference endorsed the Strategy’s main goal and overall intent, with the view that NENAPGRN Secretariat should seek, by all available means, the views of the competent national PGR authorities and other interested parties. An initiative by Bioversity International resulted in a meeting held in Rome during 19-20 December
  5. 5. 4 2011 for the team members contributed to the development of the Strategy draft. The meeting came out with a number of guidelines and recommendations for a process of consultation on the Strategy within NENAPGRN member countries. A questionnaire proposed by the meeting was then used for this purpose. It was circulated by February 2012 to all focal points of 14 countries that are members in the NENAPGRN. Nine countries have responded and provided their feedbacks up to August 2012. D. Development of concept notes on identified project ideas Two concept notes for project proposals were developed on assessment of status of the current plant genetic resources conservation and sustainable use programmes in the Near East and North Africa, and plant genetic resources documentation, information management and exchange, and publication in NENAPGRN. The final versions of the two concept notes were forwarded by January 2012 to a number of international organizations requesting their assistance for identifying possible donors for such proposals. So far, a positive response was received from Mr. Luigi Guarino from the Trust which has indicated that (resources will probably be available in the near future for taking forward both GRIN-Global deployment and Genesys data sharing in NENA region, but cannot be more concrete and specific than that). E. Preparation of a written proposal on restructuring and of the Technical Working Groups A brief proposal on restructuring and formation of the Technical Working Groups has been developed by the Network Coordinator for consideration by the second regular meeting of the CB. F. Preparation for the second regular meeting of the Coordinating Board Preparations to organize the second regular meeting of the NENAPGRN Coordinating Board started early after the first meeting held in Oman in June 2011 in close linkage with the National Gene Bank (NGB) in Egypt for necessary logistical arrangements. The meeting was postponed to be held in September rather than June 2012 according to the request from hosting institute in Egypt. Efforts by the AARINENA Secretariat have resulted in securing necessary fund to hold the meeting through considerable contribution from the FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (FAO/RNE) and AARINENA. Invitations were then dispatched to 12 member country focal points and to a number of resource persons from the region in addition to the international organizations of relevance including FAO, Bioversity, ITPGRFA Secretariat, Trust, ICARDA and AOAD. G. Other activities NENAPGRN was invited to the workshop on Development Opportunity Crops Network for the promotion of Agro-biodiversity, which was organized by GlobalHort under GFAR initiative and guidance during 10-11 January 2012 in Rome, Italy. Dr. Ali Al Lawati, the present Chair of the CB participated in the workshop on behalf of NENAPGRN. This workshop brought together a number of participants including scientists, and development practitioners, from organizations with an applied interest and experience on agrobiodiversity and specifically focusing on underutilized crops and species. H. New initiatives Through efforts initiated by Dr. Ali Al Lawati, Chair of the CB, Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Sulatante of Oman has agreed principally with approval
  6. 6. 5 from Dr. Nadiya Al Saadi, the Director of the Centre, to support an activity by NENAPGRN in Oman before the end of the year. An official request was prepared to have this activity as a regional forum/workshop under the theme of (Implementation of the Regional PGR Strategy: Global, Regional and National Roles). This forum has been proposed to be held during December 2012. In his general report the Coordinator referred to the major constraints that hampered the Network from being effective enough during the last period. One of these constraints has been the lack of necessary financial resources for running the network affairs as well as for implementing activities agreed upon. Another constraint has been the absence of a full time Coordinator with necessary assisting Secretariat to run the affairs of the Network as stipulated in the instrument establishing the Network. 8.1.2 Review and adoption of the Regional PGR strategy The Coordinator presented an overview on the country feedbacks and comments received from different countries on the Regional PGR Strategy proposed to be adopted by the NENAPGRN. These comments were compiled together in one document, which was circulated to all member countries and participants in the meeting. Nine countries have responded including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. All countries have praised the process and contents of the Strategy draft. However, different countries provided different inputs suggested for consideration in the final text of the Strategy. They also expressed their views with regard to the implementation of this Strategy. Dr. Mohamed Zehni presented an overview on the Strategy to the meeting. At the beginning he expressed his gratefulness for being invited to attend the meeting, which he described as a very important meeting and a new step forward for the Network that was built on the momentum created in the first meeting in Oman. Dr. Zehni structured his talk on the Strategy to cover the following lines: - Why the Strategy? - The Road to the Strategy. - The Product. - The Players. - Approaches to follow up of Strategies. - What is next? - Few Thoughts. Dr. Zehni mentioned to the meeting that the two factors influenced, to a great extent, the development of the current Strategy were the under-realized potential in the NENA region for the PGR, and questions that need answers such as why some of early attempts at regional cooperation/coordination proved to be unsustainable and eventually fizzled out? and will new regional initiatives avoid similar fate? and how? The talk included a description of the process through which the strategy was developed. This process was described by the speaker as a unique self-inspired initiative, with voluntary undertaking, that has got the blessing by the higher authority represented by the General Conference of AARINENA held in Kuwait City, from 16 to 17 November 2011. The presentation included a brief description of the content of the strategy covering the four parts of it, which were Part One: Background, Justification and Assessment, Part
  7. 7. 6 Two: Strategy for the Future, Part Three: A Framework for Action and Part Four: Towards a Regional Information System. In his talk Dr. Zehni acknowledged the contributions of the different players participated in the process of the development of this Strategy. He thanked the small team comprising Dr Ahmed Amri (ICARDA), Dr Ali Allawati (Oman), Dr Jan Engels (Bioversity International), Dr El Tahir Ibrahim Mohamed (Sudan), Dr Hassan Ouabbou (Morocco), Dr Harry Palmier (GFAR) and Dr. George Ayad Wagdi (Egypt). He mentioned the valuable technical support and encouragement provided by ICARDA, GFAR and the Bioversity International. The continued interest and support provided by Dr Ibrahim Hamdan and AARINENA throughout the preparation of the Strategy was appraised by him. The Chair and members of the Coordinating Board of NENAPGRN were also thanked for having the foresight to initiate, in their very first meeting, action leading to the development of the Strategy. Dr. Zehni mentioned that there were a number of approaches to strategies among them is that (the enlightened ones implement whatever they can of a strategy, and while they are doing so they periodically review and update the original work). The strategy becomes a living undertaking responsive to changing circumstances. When dealing with what is next for the Strategy, Dr. Zehni pointed to a number of points with special emphasis on the implementation question. The NENAPGRN would be the legitimate owner of the Strategy once it was accepted by its members. This would have implications and responsibilities as following: - The CB should formally endorse the Strategy, and the Network would consider it as the basis for its future activities, and be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy that deals with regional aspects while individual member countries would be responsible for the implementation at the national level. - The Network cosponsors to lend their support to the Strategy including allowing the use of their logos to appear next to those of AARINENA, and - The Network Secretariat to urge the donor community and relevant international organizations to lend their support to the national and regional efforts for the implementation of the Strategy. The presentation was ended with some recommendations for public relations drive including the following: - Consideration should be given to producing promotional material in English and Arabic based on the strategy. Particularly, the production of promotional material targeted at policy and decision makers. - Make use of internet sites of Sponsors and regional organizations and having a NENAPGRN own site. The CB then discussed the issue of the Strategy with the general attitude to adopt it as strategy for the Network while considering accommodating the comments by member countries in the Strategy document. The CB decided to form a working group to consider developing a proposed draft for a decision on the Strategy in order to be adopted by the CB. The working group was composed of the CB Chair, Dr. Ali Al Lawti, Dr. Mohamed Zehni, Dr. Muhammed Dost and the Coordinator.
  8. 8. 7 8.1.3 Country updating reports The CB listened at the end of day one to country reports from Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and Sudan. 8.2 Day Two: 19 September 2012 The meeting listened at the beginning of the morning session in day two to a short note by Dr. Kakoli Ghosh, the Team Leader, Seed and Plant Genetic Resources in the FAO, Rome, who joined the meeting for the first time by then. She thanked NENAPGRN for the invitation to participate in the meeting, that aiming to strengthening regional collaboration on PGR issues. She emphasized the necessity of connecting activities related to PGR to agricultural policies in the region, and the importance of integrating PGR conservation with the use. Agenda dealt with in the second day included the following: - Information needs assessment as an integral component in the proposed PGR strategy and roadmap for the development of PGR network. - Country updating reports. - Road map to establishment of the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GRFA) in the Near East. 8.2.1 Information needs assessment as an integral component in the proposed PGR Strategy and road map for the development of PGR network: Dr. Magdi Latif, Knowledge and Information Management Officer at FAO/RNE, provided a presentation entitled (Information and Communication Management for Rural and Agricultural Development in Near East and North Africa Region: Outputs and Lessons Learned). He overviewed the Near East and North Africa Rural and Agricultural Knowledge and Information Network (NERAKIN) initiative, which was launched in 2007. Its immediate objective was to strengthen the capacity of the Ministries of Agriculture and Agricultural and Rural Research Institutions for effective information management and knowledge exchange in support of rural and agricultural development in the region. The NERAKIN was implemented in two phases: 2007 and 2008 – 2012, during which a NERAKIN regional portal was launched and selected national technical staff were trained to contribute to NERAKIN system. A number of regional thematic networks were also launched such as the Regional Agricultural Biotechnology Network in Near East and North Africa (RABNENA) and the Near East Plant Protection Network (NEPP-NET). National and Institutional Information and Knowledge Networks have also been developed in Egypt, Jordan and Oman. Dr Magdi overviewed different regional activities by these networks during the last years since 2008. He mentioned that there were a number of lessons learned from this experience including the following: - Enabling environment: the need to create an enabling environment that recognizes the value of connectivity; - People, not only technology: networks depend on and work with people and not on technology alone; - Institutionalization of networks; - Acquiring knowledge-sharing culture that is based on collaborative methods and exchange mechanisms;
  9. 9. 8 - Network facilitation: the significance need to network facilitation with face-to- face meetings; and - Sustainability: the need to ensure sustainability and self-financing. He outlined the success factors for a proposed similar thematic network on PGR information and knowledge under NENAPGRN as including the following: - Commitment for contribution/collaboration at national level; - Focus on capacity building at national level; - Existence of a regional information strategy; - Development of a Secretariat role for regional activities; - Focus on community of practice amongst the PGR information specialists; - Raising awareness of information and communication management issues at PGR managerial and political levels; - Formation of strategic partnerships amongst the major PGR stakeholder organizations. Following the presentation of Dr. Magdi Latif facilitated a working group session dealing with different aspects related to developing an information system for NENAPGRN including questions on issues such as existing sources of information and mechanisms to access and share the PGR related information. A concept note for establishment of a thematic network for effective information management and knowledge exchange on PGR under NENAPGRN was distributed by Dr. Magdi Latif for consideration by the Network. 8.2.2 Country updating reports Four country reports were delivered during the second day. They included reports from Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. 8.2.3 Road map to establishment of the Regional Commission on GRFA in the Near East: Dr. Javad Mozafari, Director of National Genebank of Iran, and the present Chair of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA, delivered a presentation on (Road Map to Establishment of Near East Regional Commission on Genetic Resources). In his presentation he indicated that regional collaboration is needed because the genetic resources are key assets for addressing biological challenges of global development on top of which is the challenge of food security. In addition to that he emphasized on some facts of relevance to the Near East. One of these facts is the conservation of ecosystems are vital for agriculture, and these ecosystems related to agricultural resources are very fragile in the Near East, a region that is highly food in-secure. A regional intergovernmental mechanism is, therefore, was proposed to build synergy among national programmes and countries on conservation and use of GRFA. The 31st FAO Regional Conference for the Near East held in Rome, Italy during 14 – 18 May 2012, supported the establishment of a Regional Commission on Genetic Resources to serve as a regional platform for developing harmonized views, policies and initiatives on conservation and utilization of genetic resources, and implementation of relevant international treaties and protocols such as the ITPGRFA, convention of Biological Diversity, and Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources. Dr. Javad outlined the road a head for a process to establish the Regional Commission in the following:
  10. 10. 9 - Request Regional FAO office to include in its programme of work to  Decide on preparing a draft text as terms of References (TOR) and Rules of procedure (ROP).  Invite countries of the region to hold a meeting and agree on the TOR and ROP.  Submit them to the 32nd Near East Regional Conference to be held in Baghdad in 2014 for its approval. 8.2.4. Presentation on Desertification and conservation of dry land ecosystems The CB meeting was honoured by the presence of Dr. Ismail A. Hussein, the Former Chairman of Desert Research Center of Egypt, during the afternoon of the second day. He delivered a presentation to the meeting entitled (Desertification and conservation of dry land ecosystems). In his presentation he highlighted different related aspects including description of the dry land ecosystem, and the imbalance between the supply from this system and the demand by people. He also talked about the loss of biodiversity due to the conversions of the dry lands into irrigated intensive agriculture and crop lands as well for urban uses. He stressed on the need for having the political will to attain economic will without scarifying the sustainability. He also provided an overview on the Egyptian Deserts Genebank. 8.3 Day Three: 20 September 2012 The agenda for the third day included the following: a. Financial requirements for the operation of the network b. Work plan for 2012–2014 - Proposal for restructuring of the TWGs - Implementation of the PGR strategy c. Formation of Network Executive Committee (EC) d. Election of the CB chair for the coming rotation e. Venue for the third regular meeting of the CB. 8.3.1 Financial requirements for the operation of the network The Network Coordinator introduced this item of agenda for discussion by the meeting. He mentioned the need to develop an effective strategy for obtaining necessary funds for operation of the Network. He referred to the efforts exerted by AARINENA Secretariat to secure funding for some activities of the network including the meetings so far as well as participation of network representatives in different fora. However, the resources of AAERINENA have too limited to cover all aspects of activities of the Network, which has to be self sustained to a considerable extent. The Coordinator brought some idea before the CB for consideration in developing the necessary sustained financial resources. These ideas included the following: - Annual fixed fee to be paid by each member country for contribution in the Network activities. - Contribution by member countries in initiating, organizing, and covering the costs of activities of regional importance under the umbrella of NENAPGRN. - Establishment of a regional fund for plant genetic resources.
  11. 11. 11 The meeting dealt with this agenda item and discussed it thoroughly with concentration on the above ideas. 8.3.2 Work plan for 2012-2014 The meeting tackled the issue of developing a work plan for the period 2012 through working on two agenda sub-items, which were: a. Proposal for restructuring of the TWGs b. Implementation of the PGR strategy. A. Proposal for restructuring of the Thematic Working Groups The Coordinator introduced discussion on this agenda item by presenting a proposal for restructuring of the Technical Working Groups. He mentioned that NENAPGRN has been strategically concerned about different technical as well as policy related and legal issues. Therefore, it was proposed to restructure such groups to deal with different thematic aspects of importance for the network and to be renamed accordingly as (Thematic Working Groups) rather than (Technical). The newly proposed groups were: - Thematic Working Group on PGR Conservation and Use. - Thematic Working Group on PGR Information Management. - Thematic Working Group on PGR Policy and Legislation. Each TWG was proposed to be composed of experts in the thematic area from different member countries and institutions. The membership should be endorsed by the Network Board. The Board should decide on necessary criteria for selection of members. Modes of operation and necessary resources for the groups should also be decided by the Network Board. The CB discussed the matter from different angles and agreed on specific decisions to deal with it in future. B. Implementation of the Regional PGR Strategy The meeting discussed the implementation of the Regional PGR Strategy proposed to be adopted by the Network as a challenge before the Network, with the understanding that this strategy will form the basis for the network activities for years to come. The Chair of the CB, Dr. Ali Al Lawati, brought to the attention of the meeting that Sultanate of Oman has been willing to organize an activity devoted to the issue of the strategy implementation. The Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (APGRC) of Oman has been ready to organize a regional forum on such subject, including making available necessary financial resources for it. Accordingly, the Network Coordinator sent a message to the Director of APGRC in Oman expressing the full gratitude of the Network for this initiative and proposing having a regional workshop under the theme (Implementation of the regional PGR strategy in NENA: global, regional and national roles). The meeting discussed the issue of the strategy implementation, and a number of ideas were brought before the meeting by different participants. Among these ideas was the proposal of developing a plan of action on the basis of the Strategy to be implemented within specific time frame.
  12. 12. 11 8.3.3 Election of Executive Committee According to the decision made by the first regular meeting of the CB held in Oman in June 2011, the CB has to elect an Executive Committee (EC) composed of representatives from the five sub-regions in NENA in addition to the CB Chair and the Network Coordinator. Therefore, the meeting elected the EC for this rotation of two years (2012- 2014) with representatives from Maghreb, Nile Valley and Red Sea, Mashrig, Western Asia and Arabian Peninsula sub-regions. 8.3.4 Election of the CB Chair The CB elected a new Chair for the CB, which is to be renamed as Network Board starting from the beginning of this rotation as decided by the CB in its first regular meeting in Oman during June 2011. 8.3.5 Venue and Date for the Third Regular Meeting of the Network Board The CB agreed on the venue for the third regular meeting of the Network Board which will be held in 2014. 9. Country presentations Country representatives presented country reports on status of the PGR programmes and activities in their respective countries including the recent developments during the last year since the first regular meeting of the CB. Outlines of the most recent and current activities in different countries are summarized in the following. 9.1 Egypt A number of projects are being carried out under the umbrella of the National Genebank of Egypt at present. Among them is a project on sustainable utilization of agricultural biodiversity to develop the local communities in the western desert, which started in 2010 and will finish by 2013, as well as a project on conservation and utilization of Egyptian wild flora to improve salinity tolerance in cereals, which is starting this year 2012 and planned to finish by 2015. 9.2 Iran The total number of accessions conserved in Iran is 70270 accessions from field crops in addition to 6029 accessions of fruit trees and 36000 accessions of medicinal and forest and range plant genetic resources. During the last year 2011-2012 a number of activities were conducted for evaluation of PGR for some desirable traits including on 512 accessions for salinity tolerance, 809 accessions for drought tolerance, 1994 accessions for tolerance to biotic stresses and 80 accessions for nitrogen uptake. A considerable number of publications were produced during the last year on topics related to PGR including scientific papers, research reports, conference papers, theses and books. 9.3 Iraq The total number of accessions conserved at the Iraqi genebank is 3500 accessions by 2012. A total of 150 accessions were regenerated during both seasons of 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. This is in addition to the continued germplasm collection missions. 9.4 Jordan Collection and ex-situ conservation for PGR continued during the last year by the National Genebank in Jordan bringing the total number of accessions conserved to more than 4000 accessions. Among the new collections were 72 accessions of wild barley genetic resources collected from 30 sites in Jordan during May 2012. Exchanging of PGR
  13. 13. 12 materials continued during 2011 and 2012 with a total of 250 accessions being exchanged. This included some of the materials provided on the basis of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement for the crops in Annex 1 of the ITPGRFA. 9.5 Kuwait The total number of accessions conserved by the Seed Bank Unit of native plants in Kuwait increased to 296 accessions from 81 species during the last year. Passport and storage data on these collections are well documented through database established for this purpose. A database was established to document the flora of Kuwait and it is linked to the geographical information system (GIS) in Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR). 9.8 Oman An important development in Oman has been the establishment of the Animal and Plant Genetic resources Centre. Initiative was taken by the Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre to establish a national database for plants, animal, marine, and microorganisms species. In May 2012, a workshop was organized by The Research Council and Bioversity International, for concerned stakeholders, to explore the opportunity to use the GRIN-Global as the platform for such database. 9.9 Saudi Arabia The Plant Genebank in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology has been exerting efforts to conserve seed samples of some of the important plant species in Saudi Arabia such as wheat, barley, sorghum and garlic. A number of projects have been initiated and are currently under implementation in this regard such as the projects on conservation of the coffee plant genetic resources and conservation of wild plants. 9.10 Sudan The total number of accessions conserved by the PGR Unit in Sudan reached 11474 accessions from different crops in 2012. 402 accessions of different crops such as pearl millet and sesame have been morphologically characterized during the last year. A total of 1195 accessions of sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea have safe duplicated during the period 2010-2012 in Svalbard, ICRISAT and IITA. The available passport data on 11281 accessions have been uploaded on to the Data Portal of the Eastern Africa Plant Genetic Resources Network in the internet during 2011. A catalogue on passport and characterization data of sorghum genetic resources was prepared and made available in the internet during 2012. Limited expansion in building infrastructure of the PGR Unit was achieved from national budget during 2011. 9.11 Yemen More than 6000 accessions have already been collected and conserved from genetic resources of 74 crops. A National Strategy for Integrated Management of Genetic Resources for Food Security and Sustainable Development was proposed in Yemen in 2011. 10. Outcomes of the meeting The second regular CB meeting discussed the different items raised in the adopted agenda throughout three days and made a number of decisions and recommendations on issues related to these agenda items.
  14. 14. 13 10.1 Review and adoption of the Regional PGR strategy The CB adopted the following decision on the Regional PGR strategy: Considering that the PGR Regional Strategy was endorsed by the AARINENA 12th General Conference, and In view of the positive comments on the strategy by the countries members in NENAPGRN, The Coordinating Board agrees: 1. To take custody of this strategy and adopt it as a guiding document for its activities, 2. Because of the valuable comments received from different countries on the Strategy draft, all comments will be retained as an appendix to the Strategy document. 3. In the light of the importance of these comments and the need to accommodate them to the extent possible and feasible, it is agreed to establish a small group to propose changes considered very necessary within a period of three months. The small group is to be composed of a. Dr. Abeer El Halawgi - Chair b. Mr. Mansour Mohmmed Al-Dalas c. Dr. Sobhia Saifan d. Dr. Ahmad Abbasi e. Dr. Fadilah Al Salameen The CB delegated the Chair of the CB together with the Network Coordinator to finally approve the Strategy document after submitted to them by the small group above. 10.2 Road map to establishment of the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources The CB adopted the following decision on the establishment of the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources: NENAPGRN CB welcomed the endorsement of the Near East Regional Conference of FAO on establishing the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources. Genetic resources constitute the corner stone of biological, agricultural and food sectors, and Near East is a region very rich in genetic resources. The Regional Commission, as described in paragraph 57 of the 31st FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, can play a critical role in synergizing the coordinating efforts of countries of the region for implementation of relevant international agreements in agriculture and food sectors. In view of relevance of the subject at hand, the CB agreed to establish a small group to look in the matter and advise the CB of the steps that are required towards the fulfillment of this important endeavour [composition of the group is to be considered by the Network Executive Committee]. The group is to consider, among other things, the possibility of the following: - Request the regional FAO Office to include in its programme of work:
  15. 15. 14 1. Decide on preparing draft texts as Terms of Reference (TOR) and Rules of Procedure (ROP). 2. Invite countries of the region to hold a meeting and agree on the TOR and ROP. 3. Submit them to the 32nd Near East Regional Conference in Baghdad, 2014 for its approval. The NENAPGRN would avail itself to assist the process of the establishment of the Regional Commission and continue to work closely with that. 10.3 Financial requirements for the operation of the network In the Endeavour to have sustained financial resources for the Network all ideas and views expressed during the meeting were accepted by the CB. However, CB adopted the following recommendation for AARINENA to consider and to obtain the endorsement of governments of member countries: - Each member country to pay an annual fixed fee of one thousand US Dollars (US$ 1000) to AARINENA in order to be used exclusively by the NENAPGRN for activities related to the Network. 10.4 Proposal for restructuring of the TWGs The proposal by the Coordinator to modify the Technical Working Group to be Thematic Working Groups was endorsed by the CB as accepted concept. However, CB considered it too early to get into identifying these groups at present, and the issue must be revisited in the future when the needs arise and necessary conditions and resources are available. The CB considered it highly important at present to concentrate on making itself visible and promote its existence. An ad hoc task force was formed by the CB and requested to work on developing the necessary plan for the promotion of the Network. The task force was composed of: - Dr. Sobhia Saifan, Chair of the Network Board, as a chair for the task force - Dr. Ali H. Al Lawati (Oman) - Dr. Mohamed Fawzy Nawar (ICARDA) - Dr. Magdi Latif (FAO/RNE) 10.5 Implementation of the regional PGR strategy The CB endorsed two decisions on the implementation of the regional PGR Strategy that are related to the proposed workshop in Oman and development of an action plan. 10.5.1 The proposed workshop on the implementation of the regional PGR strategy The CB welcomed the initiative by Sultanate of Oman to support and organize a workshop devoted for discussing issues related to the implementation of the regional PGR Strategy. The CB thanked Oman for such initiative and endorsed the proposed theme for this workshop. It requested the new Chair of the CB, the Network Coordinator to work together with Dr. Ali Al Lawati in developing the agenda and structure for this workshop and closely collaborate with the concerned national authorities in Sultanate of Oman to ensure the optimum organization of such workshop.
  16. 16. 15 10.5.2 Development of an action plan The CB found it necessary to develop an action plan for implementation by the Network during the coming three years (2013-2015). This action plan has to be developed on the basis of the adopted regional PGR Strategy. The Executive Committee was requested to develop this action plan and to make a proposed draft of it ready for further discussion during the workshop in Oman on the implementation of the regional PGR Strategy. 10.6 Formation of the Network Executive Committee The CB selected the representatives of different sub-regions in the Network Executive Committee (EC) for the period 2012-2014 as following: - Arabian Peninsula: Kuwait. - Maghreb: Morocco. - Mashreg: Jordan. - Nile Valley and Red Sea: Egypt. - Western Asia: Iran. The EC was requested to hold a meeting in Oman during the workshop intended to be held there before the end of the year. 10.7 Election of the Network Board Chair for 2012-2014 Jordan was selected by the meeting as the next chair of the Network Board for the coming period of 2012-2014. 10.8 Venue for the third regular meeting of the Network Board The meeting decided to have the third regular meeting of the Network Board in Jordan during 2014. The Coordinator was requested to determine the most appropriate date for the meeting in consultation with the Chair and the national authorities in the hosting country. 11. Closing of the meeting At the closing of the meeting the Chair, Dr. Ali Al Lawati, thanked all who contributed to the success of this meeting. Special thanks were made to the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting the meeting. The National Genebank of Egypt was so much thanked for the excessive efforts exerted by it as an institute to organize this successful meeting. The guidance of Dr. Hanaiya El Itriby, the president of the Natioanl Genebank, together with keen close following of Dr. Abeer El Halwagi, Egypt representative in the Network, and the different staff members were very much appreciated. FAO/RNE was thanked and appreciated very much for the considerable financial support it made to hold this meeting. The role of Dr. Magdi Latif in this regard and in participation in the meeting has been very much appreciated. Thanks were made to ICARDA for its continuous institutional support to the Network and the sustained active contributions and initiatives for making this Network effective. Special thanks were made to Dr. Mohamed Zehni, for his attendance and continued significant contributions during the meeting. His guidance and willingness to continue supporting the network were highly appreciated. Dr. Javad Mozafari, Director of National Genebank of Iran, and the present Chair of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA, was also thanked very much for his participation and significant contributions during the sessions of the meeting.
  17. 17. 16 The participation of the ICARDA, FAO Headquarters and FAO/RNE was acknowledged and very much appreciated. Thanks were extended in this regard to Dr. Mohamed Fawzy Nawar (ICARDA), Dr. Kakoli Ghosh (FAO) and Dr. Dost Muhammed (FAO/RNE). The participants were so grateful to the Executive Secretary of AARINENA, Dr. Ibrahim Hamdan, for his personal support and continuous follow-up and advice and for the significant major support AARINENA Secretariat has made financially and logistically to organize this meeting. The meeting was so grateful to Dr. Mohammed Alajlouni, representative of the AARINENA Secretariat in the meeting, for his participation and keen active contributions during the different sessions of the meeting. In this regard AARINENA Secretariat staff, especially, Mrs. Hazar Nazal, was very much acknowledged and appreciated for her significant roles played during the preparation phase of this meeting. Thanks were then extended to all member countries who participated in the meeting for their dedication and active contributions. The Coordinator expressed on behalf of the CB members their gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Ali H. Al Lawati, the Chair of the CB, for his dedication and excellent guidance for the CB during the last year. At the end of the meeting Dr. Hanaiya El Itriby, president of the National Genebank of Egypt, made a brief speech acknowledging the selection of Egypt for holding this meeting and thanking all participants for coming, and wishing all the best for safe nice traveling back homes.
  18. 18. 17 Annex 1. 11 List of participants (official represenatatives) No. Name Country Organization Position Address 1 Abeer El Halwagi EGYPT National Genebank & Genetic Resources, Egypt Senior Researcher 9 El-Gamaa St., ARC Giza 12619, Egypt Email: abeerelhalwagi@gmail.com 2 Ahmad Abbasi Moghaddam IRAN National Plant Genebank of Iran (NPGI) Seed & Plant Improvement Institute (SPII) Deputy Director of National Plant Genebank Shahid Fahmideh Avenue Karaj, Iran Email: Abasi_moghadam@spii.ir abasimoghadam@gmail.com 3 Sanaa Abdul Wahab Al Sheick IRAQ PGR Unit Iraqi Gene Bank Tel: (+964) 7902-328-396 E-mail: sanaaabdulwahab@yahoo.com 4 Sobhia Saifan JORDAN National Centre for Agricultural Research & Extension (NCARE) Genetic Resources unit coordinator PO Box 639, Baq’aa 19381 Jordan Email: Saifan_sabah@yahoo.com Saifan_sabah@ncare.gov.jo 5 Fadilah Al Salameen KUWAIT Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research Researcher P.O Box: 24885 safat, 13109 Kuwait Email: fslamian@kisr.edu.ku drfadoola@hotmail.com 6 Ali H. Al Lawati OMAN The Research Council Director, Department of Research Administration Office: +968 24509891 Fax: +968 24509820 P.O. Box 1422, Al-Athaiba 130, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. www.trc.gov.om Email: ali.allawati@trc.gov.om
  19. 19. 18 aallawati@msn.com 7 Khalid Abdulaziz AlSaawi SAUDI ARABIA Natural Resources and Environmental Research Institute King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology P.O. 6086 Riyadh-11442 Saudi Arabia E Mail: Kalsaewi@ kacst.edu.sa 8 El Tahir Ibrahim Mohamed SUDAN Agricultural Research Corporation Head, Plant Genetic Resources Unit P. O. Box 126, Wad Medani, Sudan Email: eltahir81@yahoo.com 9 Mansour Mohmmed AL- DALAS YEMEN Head of the irrigated production system, Sana’a Yemen Name: Mr. Mansour Mohmmed AL- DALAS His position: Head of the irrigated production system, Institute :Northern Highlands Agricultural Research Station- Al-Eraa, Sana’a His address : Mr. Mansour Mohmmed AL-DALAS Sana’a Mobile: ++967- 773637003 E-mail: aldalas59@hotmail.com 10 Mohammed Alajlouni AARINENA <majl@just.edu.j 11 Hanaiya El-Itriby EGYPT National Genebank & Genetic Resources, Egypt President, National Genebank National Gene Bank (NGB), Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Ministry of Agriculture & Land Reclamation (MALR) 9 Gamaa St., Giza 12619 (Egypt) Phone: +202 35693241 Fax : +202 35693240
  20. 20. 19 12 Mail: hitriby2@yahoo.com 12 Mohamed Sidki Zehni Lypia Consultant Address: 149 Triq il Qasam, Swieqi Malta SWQ 3029 Email: mohamedzehni@gmail.com Mobile: +356 99260793 13 Javad Mozafari IRAN National Plant Gene- Bank of Iran (NPGBI), Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII) Shahid Fahmideh St. Karaj Iran Tel: (98) 261 2701260 Fax: (98) 261 2716793 Email: jmozafar@yahoo.com 14 Mohamed Fawzy Nawar ICARDA, SYRIA International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Senior documentation Specialist Genetic Resources Section P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo Syrian Arab Republic Email: F.Nawar@cgiar.org 15 Magdi Latif United Nations FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa Regional Knowledge and Information Management Officer Cairo, Egypt Cell: 201001772187 Tel: 202 33316000 (ext.2903) Fax: 202 37495981 Web: http://neareast.fao.org 16 Dost Muhammad Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for the Near East Multi-disciplinary team Plant Production Officer 13 Al Eslah El Zerai St. PO Box 2223, Dokki-Cairo Egypt Email: dost.muhammad@fao.org Tel. Office +202 3331 6000 Ext.
  21. 21. 21 for Oriental Near East (SNO) 2806 Fax: +202 3749 5981 Mobile: +010178 2408 Web: http://www.fao.org; http://www.fao.org/world/regional/rne 17 Kakoli Ghosh Team Lead, Seed and Plant Genetic Resources Agriculture Department FAO, Rome, Italy Ghosh, Kakoli (AGPM) <Kakoli.Ghosh@fao.org> B. Other participants CountryOrganizationPositionName EgyptNGB of EgyptResearcher assistantHassan Ahmed EgyptIDRC of CanadaSenior program officerLaamrani Hammou EgyptIDRC of CanadaResearcher officerLayal Dandach EgyptNGB of EgyptResearcher assistantMohamed Fawzy EgyptNGB of EgyptResearcher assistantMohamed Samy EgyptNGB of EgyptDirector of Taxonomy DepartmentReda Rizk
  22. 22. 21 Annex 2 AGENDA and Programme Day Time Item Name Day ONE 18 Sep. 2012 09:00- 09:45 Opening Session - Welcome Statement by NENAPGRN CB Chair - Cosponsoring Organizations Statement: 1. FAO Regional Representative 2. AARINENA Representative - Hosting country statements: 1. President of the National Genebank of Egypt 2. Dr. Gamal Sarhan , Vice president, ARC 9:45-10:00 1. Adoption of Agenda 2. Reporting on the network activities since June 2011 10:00- 10:20 General Report Coordinator 10:20- 10:40 General Discussion 10:40-11:10 Coffee break 3. Review and adoption of the Regional PGR strategy 11:10-11:40 General overview Dr. Mohamed Zehni 11:40-12:10 Country Feedbacks Coordinator 12:10-14:10 General Discussion 14:10-15:10 Lunch Country updating reports 15:10-15:25 Egypt Dr. Abeer El Halwagi 15:25-15:40 Iran Dr Ahmad Abbasi Moghaddam 15:40-15:55 Iraq Mrs Sanaa Abdul Wahab 15:55-16:10 Jordan Dr. Sobhia Saifan 16:10-16:25 Kuwait Dr. Fadilah Al Salameen 16:25-16:40 General Discussion Day TWO 19 Sep. 2012 4. Information needs assessment as an integral component in the proposed PGR strategy and roadmap for the development of PGR network (Dr. Magdi Latif) 09:00-09:30 Presentation: Information and Communication Management for Rural and Agricultural Development in Near East and North Africa Region (AARINENA.RAIS/ICM4ARD): Outputs and Lessons Learned 09:30-10:30 Working Groups - Session I on Type of PGR Information Content Available and Required and the mechanisms to access and share information content. 10:30-11:00 Coffee break 11:00-12:00 Working Group - Session II on Key Issues Affecting the Development of a Regional PGR Information System/Network 12:00-12:30 Plenary Session: Presentation of the Outcomes of Working Groups.
  23. 23. 22 12:30-13:00 Presentation: Roadmap/Concept Note for the Development of PGR Information and Knowledge Network Wrap up and Recommendations 13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Country updating reports (Continue) 14:00-15:30 14:00-14:15 Oman Dr. Ali H. Al Lawati 14:15-14:30 Saudi Arabia Mr Khalid Abdulaziz AlSaawi 14:30-14:45 Sudan Dr. El Tahir Ibrahim Mohamed 14:45-15:00 Yemen Mr. Mansour Mohmmed Al-Dalas 15:00-15:30 General Discussion 15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break 5. Road map to establishment of the Regional Commission on Genetic Resources in Near East 16:00-16:20 Presentation Dr. Javad Mozafari 16:20-17:00 General Discussion Day THREE 20 Sep. 2012 6. Financial requirements for the operation of the network 9:00- 10:00 General Discussion 7.Work plan for 2012 - 2014 10:00-10:15 Proposal for restructuring of the TWGs Coordinator 10:15 -11:00 Discussion 11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break 11:30- 12:15 Formation of Network Executive Committee (EC) 12:15 – 13:15 Implementation of the PGR strategy 13:15-14:15 Lunch 14:15-14:45 Finalization of the work plan for 2012-2014 14:45-15:00 Election of the CB chair for the coming rotation 15:00-15:15 Next meetings of the EC and CB: venues and dates 15:15-15:30 Closing of the meeting

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