In-situ conservation of crop wild relatives with a priority for food and agriculture using umbrella species (WELGen-Schirmartenkonzept)
Project code: 2819BM040
Contract period: 01.07.2020 - 31.12.2023
Budget: 225,789 Euro
Purpose of research: Applied research
Keywords: environment and nature protection, sustainability, wild plants, agrobiodiversity, genetic ressources, plant genetic ressources, weed, medical and aromatic plants, monitoring, indicators
The planned project will focus on crop wild relatives (CWR) that have a priority for food and agriculture, which are generally no target species for nature conservation. Nevertheless, these species need to be permanently protected as part of biological diversity under Section 1 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act. In addition, as a party of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992), Germany has committed itself to the development and implementation of in-situ conservation measures in accordance with Article 8 a) to d). Due to the large number of CWR and their endangerment, the aim is to conserve as many of these species as possible by using the available resources most efficiently. For this purpose, the umbrella species concept is used, which enables a simplified representation of the biological diversity and prioritises species conservation measures. For the development of a German network of genetic reserves, we will identify CWR umbrella species and candidates for genetic reserves from CWR hotspots throughout Germany. Subsequently, we will implement genetic reserves on a model basis in various regions. Furthermore, recommendations for a structural financing will be elaborated, for example, by integrating conservation and maintenance measures into the programmes of the federal states with funding from the Gemeinschaftsaufgabe 'Verbesserung der Agrarstruktur und des Küstenschutzes' (GAK) and/or the Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP). The overall result will be a tested procedure how to select genetic reserves of priority CWR that is economically efficient and can be integrated into existing nature conservation and agricultural financing programmes.