Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) for the period 2015 – 2018

The activities of the European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources (ERFP) are carried out based upon a Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW). The current MYPOW has been agreed for the period 2015 – 2018 and specifies the following areas:

1.    Improvement of documentation of AnGR in Europe

1.1.    Support measures for the improvement of the national documentation

In some European countries there is no fully operational national inventory or database for the documentation of AnGR. However the documentation of AnGR is one of the main targets of the GPA and an important basis for informed decision-making by countries, the ERFP and FAO at the global level. In particular, these countries should be supported by the ERFP Working Group Documentation and Information in the establishment of their national inventories for AnGR. Therefore, the constraints and obstacles for the establishment of an inventory for AnGR should be identified in the respective countries. Based on these findings, solutions to enable  appropriate documentation of AnGR could be worked out. An EFABIS national node could serve as one option for establishment of a national database. Another option would be a stand-alone database, if such solution is in accordance to national needs and IT requirements and existing arrangements.

1.2.    Facilitated transfer of national data into EFABIS

A tool that facilitates the automated upload of datasets from national databases into EFABIS has been initiated within the EFABIS project and further developed by the ERFP Working Group Documentation and Information. The use of this tool should be promoted in countries, which do not use the EFABIS software for their national inventory. Several information/training activities to explain and operationalize the tool could be undertaken by the ERFP Working Group Documentation and Information.

1.3.    Improvement of the EFABIS (functions, content and data assessment)

The EFABIS is the regional database for the documentation of AnGR in Europe (ex situ and in situ) and its content is used for a regular update of the global database DAD-IS at the FAO. The EFABIS is essential for monitoring and an assessment of the diversity of AnGR in Europe and allows for an informed decision-making by countries from a regional perspective. Both monitoring and assessment as well as user needs might require further functionalities of EFABIS which should be identified and further developed by the ERFP Working Group Documentation and Information. A long term support by the EFABIS node manager is needed.

1.4.    Improvement of assessment of the risk status of AnGR by agreed indicators

The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources includes provisions for developing and maintaining complete documentation for animal genetic resources at the national level. It also calls for the conservation of endangered livestock breeds based on evaluation of their risk status. The national classification systems used to identify breeds at risk are diverse, what affects comparability between countries. Therefore, a better understanding of currently used national systems would be beneficial, and should lead to development of a proposal for a common risk status classification, for consideration by national authorities. Such a common system would provide a good basis for an effective conservation and sustainable use of AnGR in Europe, especially in case of transboundary breeds. The classification system for breeds at risk presented in the FAO Guidelines on in vivo conservation could be considered as a template for a harmonized system for classification and assessment methods.

2.    Improvement of in situ conservation of AnGR in Europe

2.1.    Exchange of information about national activities

National Activities on in situ conservation, published e.g. in national reports or reports from projects carried out in countries or the ERFP projects such as the SUBSIBREED project, when completed, should be circulated among National Coordinators and other stakeholders of the ERFP. The ERFP website provides the opportunity for such publications. National Coordinators should inform the ERFP Secretariat about important or interesting activities in their countries. The ERFP Secretariat should circulate this information through the mailing list and/or upload it on the ERFP website.

2.2.    Improvement of communication with the EU

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), zootechnical, veterinary and ABS legislations as well as Horizon 2020 are of a particular importance for the management of AnGR in Europe. Currently major elements of these legislations are in a revision process. The EU offers for example, financial support for keeping breeding animals of local endangered breeds. Besides, other measures of the CAP have also impacts on the  conservation and sustainable use of AnGR.  The revised measures will be implemented in the EU member states. To ensure a sufficient consideration of AnGR requirements within these revision processes, an improvement of the communication with the EU and among the EU member states is important. A new Task Force “Collaboration with the EU” should therefore be created to draft a concept note /proposal for the improvement of the communication between the  ERFP and the EU. (see also point 4.3).

3.    Improvement of ex situ conservation of AnGR in Europe

3.1.    Establishment of a European Genebank Network for AnGR (EUGENA)

The ERFP Working Group Ex situ Conservation has the primary responsibility for this issue. There should be further workshops with internal and external experts to further develop a concept for EUGENA. The ERFP Task Force for Access and Benefit Sharing should take over the development of draft standardized Material Transfer Agreements and Material Acquisition Agreements for further consideration by the Assembly of NCs. Additionally, Common Terms of Agreement and a model Letter of Agreement have to be developed. The objective is the advancement and finalization of the Genebank Network concept leading to  establishment of the EUGENA by a formal agreement among National Coordinators (or countries) and/or national genebanks.

3.2.    Selected support for the improvement of national activities

In some countries the infrastructure or technical capacities  for implementation of the ex situ conservation of AnGR are lacking or not existing. Furthermore, there might be problems to convince the responsible institutions of the need of further activities. The ERFP should promote the importance of ex situ conservation measures for AnGR throughout the European countries. National activities could be supported by the ERFP through capacity development with the support of the ERFP Working Group Ex situ conservation or by Ad hoc actions.

4.    Support for international processes in the field of AnGR

4.1.    FAO

The ERFP Secretariat remains in a permanent contact with the FAO. Information about important issues and  FAO activities like the preparation of the second State of the World or the Global Plan of Action progress report will be exchanged. The ERFP Secretariat should forward this information to all National Coordinators. The ERFP should support the FAOs activities like the evaluation and assessment of project proposals under the FAO Trust Fund. The work on this should be coordinated by the ERFP Steering Committee, supported by the ERFP Secretariat. A bilateral meeting between the ERFP Steering Committee and the FAO  takes place once a year. These meetings are used to discuss important issues related to the collaboration between the ERFP and the FAO.   

4.2.    CBD Nagoya Protocol on ABS

The Task Force “Access and Benefit Sharing” (ABS) has the primary responsibility for this issue. There is a need for contacts and  a fruitful exchange with other relevant organisations/stakeholders in ABS. The main work will include collection of materials/ documents like model contract clauses, voluntary codes of conducts or standards related to exchange of AnGR. Therefore a collaboration with the breeding industry should be improved. This could be managed by meetings with different stakeholders. For the European Genebank Network for AnGR (EUGENA) standardized Material Transfer Agreements and Material Acquisition Agreement should be developed.

4.3 EU

The ERFP would like to offer support to the EU in the field of AnGR, especially concerning the CAP zootechnical, veterinary and ABS policy as well as Horizon 2020. It is also important to be informed early enough about relevant developments at the EU level. A new Task Force “Collaboration with the EU” (point 2.2) should draft a concept note /proposal to improve communication between the ERFP and the EU institutions. There should be regular meetings with representatives of the different EU institutions responsible for various aspects of AnGR management. Furthermore all National Coordinators are invited to forward relevant information or requests to the concerned ERFP bodies. National Coordinators should try to get in closer contact with the  persons responsible for the above mentioned legislation in their countries.

5.    Support to selected national processes

5.1.    Enhance involvement of European countries to collaborate within the ERFP structures

Countries, that are currently not active in the ERFP framework, should be encouraged and supported to intensify the collaboration. The ERFP should try to find out what are the obstacles for more intensive  cooperation. Important parts of the ERFP website will be published  in Russian.  In addition, further activities should be explored to  facilitate the access to, the understanding of and the active participation in the ERFP structures for many National Coordinators from the Eastern European countries. All countries should furthermore be encouraged to nominate experts to the ERFP Working Groups. Besides, all European countries should be encouraged to financially support ERFP and hence contribute to the ERFP activities.

5.2.    Support to National Coordinators in priority activities in national programmes

National Coordinators from countries with economies in transition in the European region could ask for support in the implementation of the GPA. The support could be provided by the exchange of knowledge in the ERFP Working Groups, or by specific Ad hoc actions.  However, further consideration of support of such activities is needed.

6.    Exchange of information among European stakeholders

6.1.    The ERFP website

The ERFP website is the platform for information about activities in the field of AnGR in Europe. It contains an overview of the objectives and activities of ERFP and its different bodies. Reports of the ERFP meetings and the ERFP workshops are published there. National Coordinators should inform the ERFP Secretariat of important developments in their countries, so that such information can be uploaded on the website. The contact data of the National Coordinators should be updated regularly to have always the current state.

6.2.    The ERFP newsletter

The ERFP newsletter provides an additional tool to exchange information. It informs about activities and news in the field of AnGR in Europe. Reports from projects, events or other activities could be published as well as information about important developments at the  EU level.

6.3.    The ERFP Ad hoc actions

Ad hoc actions are usually decided in the form of projects, workshops, meetings or consultancies to solve specific short-term problems at ad hoc basis. They can be funded by the ERFP budget under the condition that the goals and activities of the proposed Ad hoc action contribute to the goals of ERFP. Proposals can be submitted by each European NC, the chairs of the ERFP Working Groups and Task Forces or the ERFP Secretariat. The results of an Ad hoc action will be reported to the Assembly.