N-fixing maize goop

The news that a maize landrace has been found to fix atmospheric nitrogen because of microbes growing in gunk on its aerial roots has been getting a lot of traction. Understandably. The best take on it I’ve come across is this Twitter thread from Dr Sarah Taber:

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation beyond 2020: A survey

From Botanic Gardens Conservation International:

As you may be aware, a conference of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 28-30 August. This will be followed by a meeting of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Liaison Group, convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

These meetings will bring together plant conservation scientists, policy makers and practitioners from across the world to consider the future of plant conservation, and in particular to develop ideas for a global plant conservation strategy for the post-2020 period.

In preparation for the meeting, a survey, available in English and French, is being carried out to invite views on the nature and content of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation beyond 2020 and how it might be integrated into the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

We would be grateful if you could take part in this brief survey, and encourage your partners, colleagues and networks to do the same.

For those interested in attending the GPPC Conference, more information is available here. Please note that the deadline for registration is 27 July and the early bird registration rate ends on 15 July.

A focus on West Africa

A paper just out on the domestication of pearl millet gives me the chance to acknowledge the terrific amount of work on domestication of West African crops going on in Yves Vigouroux‘s lab.

How to implement the ITPGRFA

A few days ago we posted about a decision-making tool for germplasm users to work out what access and benefit sharing arrangements are likely to be relevant to them. Today, from Bioversity and partners, comes a tool that addresses the other side of the ABS equation: what do countries need to do to implement the provisions of the International Treaty? Here are the specific questions it addresses:

  • Who is responsible for promoting and coordinating national implementation?
  • What is facilitated access to PGRFA under the multilateral system and who has the right to facilitated access?
  • Who may authorize access to PGRFA under the multilateral system?
  • What processes and criteria should be followed to consider requests for PGRFA included in the multilateral system?
  • How to deal with requests for purposes that are (or may be) beyond the scope of the multilateral system?
  • What PGRFA are automatically included in the multilateral system?
  • How to encourage voluntary inclusions by natural and legal persons?
  • How to ensure legal space for the implementation of the multilateral system?
  • How to address benefit-sharing?
  • How to deal with reporting obligations regarding transfers and sales?
  • Who monitors the use of PGRFA under the multilateral system and enforces the multilateral system’s terms and conditions?

Now there really is no excuse for ignorance.

Brainfood: Ecology of domestication, Citizen soybeans, Silkworm domestication, Barley spread, Indigenous management, Maize domestication, Temperate maize, Nutrient yields, Amazon history double, Women & diets, Online classification, Charred breadcrumbs, Wheat drought