Nordic genetic resources showcase in New York

The UN Headquarters in New York. Photo: Silje Bergum Kinsten/

The UN Headquarters in New York. Photo: Silje Bergum Kinsten/

Climate change poses a threat to global food supplies – important crops plants are in danger of extinction as drought and floods increase in frequency and intensity. The Nordic countries make a major contribution to promoting secure food supplies, including through the sustainable use and preservation of genetic resources.

The Nordic countries co-operate with gene banks in Africa and Central Asia, for example, and run the secure seed vault on Svalbard where seeds from much of the world have already been sent for safekeeping.

This work, which is done under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, was presented at the United Nations annual conference on Sustainable Development in New York in May. The Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen) presented Nordic solutions at an event in UN Headquarters on May 13. Nordic and international experts in the field, e.g from the FAO, the Worldwatch Institute and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, took part. 

“One key Nordic objective is to promote food safety in agriculture through the preservation and sustainable use of genetic resources,” Halldór Ásgrímsson, the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, wrote in an article published on one of the UN climate websites.

The 17th UN Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD-17) was held in New York, 4-15 May. This year, the focus was on Africa, agriculture and desertification.


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