The International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer11

This Code of Conduct aims to promote the rational collection and sustainable use of genetic resources, to prevent genetic erosion, and to protect the interests of both donors and collectors of germplasm. The Code, a voluntary one, has been developed by FAO and negotiated by its Member Nations through the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.12

The Code proposes procedures to request and to issue licenses for collecting missions, provides guidelines for collectors themselves, and extends responsibilities and obligations to the sponsors of missions, the curators of gene banks, and the users of genetic material. It calls for the participation of farmers and local institutions in collecting missions and proposes that users of germplasm share the benefits derived from the use of plant genetic resources with the host country and its farmers.

The primary function of the Code is to serve as a point of reference until such time as individual countries establish their own codes of regulations for germplasm exploration and collection, conservation, exchange, and utilization.

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