On 25 April 2022, the IOC and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) held a meeting to discuss incorporating the network of international germplasm collections of live trees into the Treaty.
The IOC was represented by Deputy Executive Director Jaime Lillo, the Head of the Olive Growing, Olive Oil Technology and Environment Unit, Lhassane Sikaoui, the Head of the Technical Cooperation and Training Department, Catarina Bairrao Balula, and the Head of the Olive Oil Technology and Environment Department, Pablo Morello. The ITPGRFA was represented by Álvaro Toledo, the Deputy Secretary, and Daniele Manzella, the Technical Officer.
Given the importance for future generations and for humanity of protecting and conserving plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, the parties discussed the agreement between the IOC, as the international host of the network of germplasm banks, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), acting on behalf of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and the host countries of the collections. The agreement is expected to be adopted very soon.
This meeting followed the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the IOC and the FAO on 30 June 2021. One of the main objectives is to leverage the IOC’s and the FAO’s knowledge and know-how on genetic resources to plan and implement activities related to the identification, preservation, and utilization of olive genetic resources in collaboration with member countries.