The global plan of action for animal genetic resources and the conservation of poultry genetic resources
Worlds Poultry Science Journal 65(2): 286-297
ISSN/ISBN: 0043-9339 DOI: 10.1017/s0043933909000245
The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources was adopted by 109 countries in Interlaken, in September 2007. It aims to promote a pragmatic, systematic and efficient overall approach, which harmoniously addresses the development of institutions, human resources, cooperative frameworks, and resource mobilization for the sustainable use and conservation of animal genetic resources. The Global Plan of Action contains five Strategic Priorities for Action on conservation. Countries have thereby committed themselves to develop national conservation policies, to establish or strengthen in situ and ex situ conservation programmes, to develop and implement regional and global long-term conservation strategies and to develop approaches and technical standards for conservation. Within avian breeds globally, 30% are at risk and 9% are extinct. The proportion of breeds at risk and extinct is highest in chickens. Fast structural change has been identified as one threat to genetic resources. Following the advent of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1, conservation of poultry genetic resources has been discussed. Although in situ conservation of poultry breeds is the preferred method, cryoconservation technology has advanced. Poultry genetic resources are under-conserved, and strategic approaches to conservation need to be developed and implemented.