CIAT - Man in a crop field



An organized digital information system provides fair and just opportunity for all to access. Therefore the need for countries to develop, maintain and exchange information "from all publicly available sources, relevant to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity" including "results of technical, scientific and socioeconomic research" is recognized in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, Articles 7d, 17), and the Global Plan of Action (GPA, priority activities 17 and 18). Information of this nature is imperative for planning and implementing activities; sustainable use and sharing of benefits accrued from its use.

Global assessment indicates that many of the world’s PGR are insufficiently documented. The passport information and characterization and evaluation data on genebank accessions conserved in genebanks are either lacking or poorly recorded or scattered at different places such as passport data sheets, reports of collection and exploration missions, crop catalogues, validated information on local traditional knowledge, published articles, etc. In addition, there exist informal or non-coded knowledge held by traditional farmers and indigenous people. To use this valuable information efficiently and effectively, it needs to be collected, collated, maintained and exchanged systematically.

PGR Informatics manages (creation, storage, retrieval and presentation) and analyses (discovery, exploration and extraction) diverse information (facts, figures, statistics, knowledge and news). PGR Informatics gained significance because:

  • Increased awareness about PGRFA
  • Various international agreements coming into force
  • Availability of information in text, images, maps, videos, etc.
  • Availability of technologies to record, link and archive diverse types of information
  • Ever-increasing power of computers and internet to facilitate access and retrieval