The Food and Agriculture Organization (“FAO”) of the United Nations has announced that the European Union will contribute €5 million to the Benefit Sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (“Treaty”). FAO Press Release, EU Contributes €5 Million to Help Farmers Maintain Crop Diversity (Jun. 21, 2012). The FAO made the announcement at at a high-level ministerial meeting on the Treaty at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
The Treaty, which was adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the FAO on November 3, 2001, is an international agreement that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of those uses for sustainable agriculture and food security. The Benefit Sharing Fund of the Treaty is a source of grants to projects and organizations that work to maintain and increase the use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in accordance with the Treaty’s objectives.