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The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) website is very extensive and well-maintained, with a wealth of background information, as well as regularly updated news items which focus on FAO's work and the work of its partners. It also runs a series of electronic conferences
that aim to allow a wide range of parties, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, policy makers and the general public, to discuss and exchange views and experiences about specific issues concerning biotechnology in food and agriculture for developing countries.
The CGRFA is a permanent forum of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, where governments discuss and negotiate matters relevant to genetic resources for food and agriculture. Originally established in 1983, the forum aims to ensure the conservation and sustainable utilisation of genetic resources for food and agriculture, as well the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.
ICGEB is dedicated to advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology, with special regard to the needs of the developing world. It strengthens the research capability of its members through training and funding programmes, as well as advisory services. Specific research programmes are located in Trieste, Italy and New Delhi, India, addressing both basic and applied research problems, with particular attention to those pertinent to the developing world.
CIAT is one of the 16 food and environmental research organisations known as the Future Harvest centres (which is principally funded by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research). With headquarters in Colombia, CIAT's research mainly focuses on the agricultural needs of tropical America, and includes agrobiodiversity and genetics, ecology and management of pests and diseases, soil ecology and improvement, and rural innovation.
CIMMYT is one of the 16 'Future Harvest' research centres, and is funded by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. CIMMYT's research includes improving wheat and maize varieties, distributing seeds worldwide, and maintaining banks of genetic resources.
IPGRI is an international research institute for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources, and is a centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It operates within the framework of three programmes and 20 multidisciplinary projects, which support regional networks, assist capacity-building efforts, develop methods for measuring genetic diversity and more. Click here for information on training support and online training materials.
International Rice Functional Genomics Consortium was formed in 2003 following publication of draft sequences of two rice subtypes by the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project. The Consortium will facilitate research in the post-sequencing "functional genomics" era. Objectives include establishing an integrated online network of rice functional genomics databases. The Consortium includes member institutes in China and India, as well as the International Rice Research Institute and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture.
The BCH is designed to help parties to the Biosafety Protocol share information on living modified organisms. The website provides information on national regulations, risk assessments, regulatory decisions and clearances, a list of designated technical experts, information about existing genetically modified organisms and details on capacity building initiatives and projects.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international body, established by the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, responsible for developing standards, guidelines and codes of practice to protect consumer health and maintain fair trade. It has convened an intergovernmental task force on food derived from biotechnology to specifically address issues related to genetically modified foods.
The Codex publishes information on maximum accepted residue limits for pesticides and veterinary drugs as well as multilingual publications on food hygiene, labelling and import and export certification systems.
This website, administered by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, publishes key UN documents on biotechnology applications in developing countries. These include reports on capacity-building efforts, public awareness projects and legal issues.
The website also links to relevant statistics and indicators, including biotechnology profiles, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, with country-specific information on research policies for the developing world.