New tools for biodiversity conservation

June 4, 2012 at 6:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Training course on in situ conservation, 14-20 May, Tunis


Staff of Tunisia’s national genebank are now familiar with state-of-the-art tools for biodiversity conservation

Twenty young researchers from Tunisia have acquired new skills in biodiversity conservation. A week-long training course, conducted by ICARDA scientists, focused on how to identify biodiversity ‘hot spots’ (areas exceptionally rich in genetic resources), and how to manage them to ensure protection as well as effective use of the genepool. In-situ conservation, protecting genetic resources by protecting the site or habitat, is an essential supplement to ex-situ conservation in genebanks.

The course was held at the headquarters of the National Genebank of Tunisia. The resource persons were Dr Ahmed Amri, Head of ICARDA’s Genetic Resources Section; and Dr Mohamed Fawzy Nawar, an expert on information platforms. The course included classroom lectures on population size, different conservation approaches, and other subjects, as well as practical sessions, where groups of trainees learnt to develop management plans for various situations. Another major component was the use of specialized software programs for ‘gap analysis’ to guide future collection missions and identify priority areas for in situ conservation.

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