ECPGR is an acronym for European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources. The network was founded in 1980 on recommendation of the UN-organizations UNDP and FAO as well as EUCARPIA, a European research center for plant breeding. The daily tasks are performed in some 20 working groups divided on the different crops.
– ECPGR is an important tool for developing European research and innovations useful for the food- and agricultural industries, says Lise Lykke Steffensen, CEO of NordGen.
ECPGR is guided by the steering committee which consists of the national coordinators for plant genetic resources within each participating country. NordGen partakes in the meeting as a permanent observer, a role which also representatives of the European Commission, FAO and Bioversity International carries.
– During this meeting in Thessaloniki, we have a particular focus on which efforts to support the next five years. But we have also formed a new network and written an agreement on cooperation with the European seed industry, says Lise Lykke Steffensen.
The Steering Committee is also to agree on work programs, financing models and level of ambition for the years to come. The Steering Committee meet at least every 2 ½ years but communicate in between meetings and take decisions if needed.