a No information.

Source: Data according to Virchow (1999a).

a No information.

Source: Data according to Virchow (1999a).

3.2.3 Interpretation of the expenditure data

Concluding the analysis of the international expenditures on PGRFA conservation, the survey results of the 39 countries can be summarized as follows: 89% of the PGRFA conservation expenditures by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries surveyed go towards their domestic conservation activities—US$406 million out of a total of US$456 million, mainly for ex situ conservation of their PGRFA accessions. 76% of the expenditures for conservation activities in the developing countries surveyed (US$52 million) were funded nationally, while US$17 million, representing nearly one-quarter of the domestic expenditures, were funded through bi- and multi-lateral financial contributions. Although the 16 OECD countries are conserving 53% and the 23 developing countries 47% of their combined conserved accessions, the OECD countries spent 85% of the combined total costs of ex situ conservation of US$475 million. Not surprisingly, the contributions for foreign assistance originate predominantly from the 16 OECD countries (Virchow, 1999a).

When the countries are grouped into agrobiodiversity rich and poor countries and furthermore into countries having high and low absolute domestic expenditures on PGRFA conservation, most of the OECD countries analyzed can be categorized as the agrobiodiversity-poor countries with the tendency to higher absolute expenditures.2 The majority of these genetic resource-poor countries are very interested in building up and maintaining a high level of PGRFA from many other countries and need gene centers to supply their breeding industry with sufficient resources and to ensure long-term sustainable food production. In addition, some developing countries, such as Egypt may be seen as an example of a genetically resource-poor country with a large agricultural sector that has to grow crops under harsh conditions. Consequently, its government must ensure that the need for a sustainable supply of crucial inputs is met. Even if domestic expenditures are expressed as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, a country like Egypt still has a high ranking in terms of expenditures (see Fig. 8-3).

Not only are some resource-poor countries interested in the conservation of PGRFA, but some agrobiodiversity-rich countries are as well, e.g., India, Ethiopia, South Africa, China and Tanzania. These countries are spending as much on PGRFA conservation in relation to their average income as genetic

2 The concept of agrobiodiversity-rich and -poor countries can be summarized as:

(i) Agrobiodiversity-poor country: The country is not part of a gene center or has less than 10,000 accessions stored ex situ.

(ii) Agrobiodiversity-rich country: The country is part of a gene center and has more than 10,000 accessions stored ex situ (see Virchow, 1999a, for more detail).

resource-poor countries like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Especially in India, Ethiopia, and China, the estimated value for PGRFA conservation turns out to be very high. Indeed, these countries are also playing a leading role in international negotiations on the issue of internalization and compensation with regard to PGRFA conservation in their countries. The countries fall into four groups when measured in terms of the degree of agrobiodiversity and the level of domestic expenditures expressed as GDP per capita (see Fig. 8-3). Of major interest are the two groups with high relative domestic expenditures. They are countries strongly committed to PGRFA conservation, but for different reasons. On the one side (left top) are the demand-driven spenders. These are agrobiodiversity-poor countries, which spend a large amount on PGRFA conservation. The governments of these countries see the need for their breeding industry to safeguard its supply of genetic resources as inputs for breeding. On the other side (right top) are the supply-driven spenders, which are agrobiodiversity-rich countries. These countries invest a great deal in the conservation of PGRFA not only for their own country's breeding efforts but above all to be able to operate as PGRFA suppliers on a market for genetically coded information that is yet to be developed.

On the other hand, there are countries that show a low domestic expenditure level in relation to the national average income regardless of whether they are poor or rich in agrobiodiversity. Countries with high agrobiodiversity like Russia or Pakistan do not invest much in conservation programs in spite of being genetically resource-rich. These countries lack the financial resources to enlarge their conservation activities (e.g., Pakistan) or face a steady decline in these financial resources (e.g., Russia), which undermines their ability to maintain a high quality of conservation. In both cases, the lack of funds and relatively low investment in PGRFA conservation makes the threat of PGRFA loss highest in this group.

Finally, there is a group of agrobiodiversity-poor countries with low financial commitment. This group mainly consists of countries with few or no activities in the breeding and seed industry (e.g., Switzerland, Austria, Poland, and Romania). Other countries (e.g., United States and Canada), however, do not seem to fit into this group due to their intensive activities in the breeding and seed industry. This leads us to the recognition that endowments of PGRFA on its own is a fundamental but not sufficient criterion for characterizing and comparing the efforts made to conserve PGRFA at the national level.





France United Kingdom

South Africa China o 5 E o o o

USA Japan Canada


Italy SlovRep.



Romania Poland Portugal Switzerland Austria

Tanzania Brazil Peru


Pakistan poor

Agrobiodiversity rich

Figure 8-3. Relative domestic expenditures on PGRFA conservation for selected countries3 Source: Virchow (1999a).

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