Formal and informal systems in support of farmer management of agro-biodiversity

some policy challenges to consolidate lessons learned

Marie Byström
capri working paper

The last decade has seen the emergence of a number of innovative community level initiatives in Asia, Africa and Latin America for agrobiodiversity development and conservation. Traditional knowledge systems form and integral part of many of these programs. However, there is still a considerable lack of awareness of the importance of traditional agrobiodiversity knowledge systems and of the successes of these new initiatives within formal science institutions. This paper will address a few issues that will need special attention if the successes of the new programs are to be consolidated and their developments shared in a broader perspective. The paper argues that further research is needed inter alia on: (a) approaches to encourage enable inter-cultural recognition and acceptance; (b) specific adjustments needed of national agricultural policy and national agricultural research systems to become supportive of local plant genetic resource management, and (c) different options for protection of traditional knowledge and of collective systems for conservation and development of biodiversity in a wider, non-IPR sense.