COMSTECH-PARC Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources and Genebank Operations Management System
May 8-11, 2018

Venue: COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad

Deadline for Applications: March 2, 2018
Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) are imperiled due to both manmade and naturally occurring hazards. Diseases, disasters and climate change threaten not only the produce and reproduction but at times the very existence of plant species is endangered. Researchers and breeders use these PGRFA as the building blocks to tackle the challenges of food security for growing populations not only to sustain productivity but also to enhance the food and nutrition production for feeding the ever increasing population.
Impacts of climate change on global agriculture and ultimately the food security are serious threats for feeding the growing population. The only viable option to mitigate these impacts is development of climate resilient crop varieties that can thrive in more extreme, changeable and uncertain environmental conditions. In the changing scenario, PGRFA have become crucial for minimizing risks of crop production. Development of new cultivars has been found to be the most effective modification to improve crop yields in a range of climate change and adaptation scenarios, achievable through facilitated access to PGRFA. Plant breeders are therefore in need of a continuous supply of diverse and novel genetic diversity to produce new crop varieties able to sustain various challenges. A vast pool of this diversity exists in production systems in nature, and can be preserved in genebanks. The PGRFA community has the knowledge, tools, techniques and rapidly evolving technology to conserve and use these genetic resources wisely to sustain crop production. However, as highlighted by FAO, there is a range of complex issues being confronted in this context in general and in OIC countries in particular. These are causing significant limitations to the effective management and availability of PGRFA, resulting in loss and inefficient utilization of plant diversity, which is critical for food industry and food security
Objectives of the Program: 
The workshop is aimed to achieve two main objectives;
  1. Raise the capacity of the existing PGRFA conservation and utilization facilities in OIC countries with particular focus on;
    • Current status of plant diversity: its use & preservation
    • Main achievements at the global, regional and national level
    • Key technical and scientific advances 
    • Major gaps and needs that require urgent attention  
  2. Development of projects in consultation with the experts for setting up Gene Banks in the OIC member states 
Target Audience:
Managers, technicians and conservationists working in genebanks are mainly targeted to benefit from the workshop. Faculty members from the relevant departments can also attend the workshop. The workshop is aimed to entertain 30-35 participants from OIC member countries. Early applications from OIC countries other than Pakistan will be processed on priority basis. 
Resource Persons:
Leading national & international experts with vast experience in plant genetic resources and genebanks will conduct the workshop. 
Workshop Contents:
  1. Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA): Past, Present and Future Needs
  2. Protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Current Scenario and Future Plans
  3. Genebank Database Management
  4. PGRFA Evaluation, Utilization and Pre-Breeding in Context of International Centers 
  5. Develop GO Flow-chart by Participants
  6. International Treaties and National Legislation on PGRFA
  7. Management of Risk, Infrastructure and Equipment
  8. Country Reports
  9. Visit to BCI/NGP and Allied Facilities; National Herbarium and Hands-on Practice for PGR Collection
Registration Fee:
There is no registration fee for foreign participants from OIC Member States.  Registration fee for Pakistani participants is Pak Rupees 2,500. 
Travel & Local Hospitality: 
Limited number of travel grants are available for participants from OIC countries. Interested candidates are required to download the travel grant form from here and send the duly filled form along with application form by the deadline.
COMSTECH will provide accommodation and meals for selected participants from OIC member states, and PARC will provide accommodation to those residing outside the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Airport pick-and-drop service on arrival and departure will be provided to all participants upon prior information. 
Registration Process: 
  • Step 1: Download Application Form from here
  • Step 2: Read instructions in the application form carefully and submit properly filled form along with your CV to / Foreign participants must submit scanned copy of first three pages of their passport along with the application form. 
  • Step 3: Selected candidates will be notified through email, hence, applicants are required to regularly check their emails. 
Workshop Coordinator: 
Hanifa Beg 
Program Manager, COMSTECH
Tel: +92-51-9220681-3
Fax: +92-51-9205264, +92-51-9220265
Technical Focal Person:
Dr. Abdul Ghafoor
Director, Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI)
National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC)
Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC),
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-321-5189487
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  • 8-11May,
    COMSTECH-PARC Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources
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    Venue: COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad

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