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To conserve and promote a sustainable use of genetic resources is not a one-man-show. Collaboration between organisations and across country borders is needed. An important part of NordGen's work therefore includes collaborations and networks at global, European, Nordic and national levels.

Global level

One of the most important overall agreements concerning NordGen’s operations is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international agreement signed in Rio in 1993 by most of the world’s countries, including all the Nordic countries. In 2010, the Nagoya Protocol, dealing with access and rights to genetic resources was been adopted as an addition to the convention.

NordGen is also an observer in the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA). CGRFA was formed in 1983 at an FAO congress aimed at preserving and promoting the use of biodiversity relevant to food and agriculture. 178 countries and the EU are members of the Commission that meet every two years.

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) was established by FAO in 2001 and is a tool used to implement parts of CBD. The purpose of ITPGRFA is to highlight the efforts of the world’s farmers to preserve a diversity of crops and to ensure that everyone who needs it has access to plant genetic material and that the profits that arise are distributed fairly. NordGen is an observer in ITPGRFA’s Governing Body, which meets every other year.

European level

At the European level, NordGen participates in a variety of networks and projects to strengthen the work on genetic resources. Examples of such networks and projects are ECPGREUFORGENERFP and Farmer’s Pride.

Nordic level

Within the Nordic region, NordGen’s working groups, the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Council and the Forest Regeneration Council are important networks that help us to better fulfill our mission. We also collaborate with the Nordic countries’ national genebanks, which are responsible for vegetatively propagated plants. Nordic Forest Research (SNS) and the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) are also important partners.

National level

Each country also has responsibility for conserving certain national genetic resources, for example vegetatively propagated plants. These responsibilities are often organised under what is known as national programs for genetic resources. 

Each program has a national coordinator. The coordinators participates in NordGen's working groups. The main task of NordGen is to work for the benefit of the Nordic region and promote Nordic synergies, and to enable cooperation and coordination where this is required. 

The national programs for plant genetic resources are for example doing inventories and collections of plant material. They also establish and maintain national genebanks for vegetatively propagated plants and clonal archives. 

There are also national coordinators for farm animal and forest genetic resources.

Exactly how the national programs and their coordinators are organised differ between the Nordic countries.