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DYNAmic seed networks for managing European diVERSITY

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DYNAVERSITY (DYNAmic seed networks for managing European diVERSITY)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-04-30

Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is an arena populated by a large variety of social actors (i.a. farmers, gardeners, natural parks, seed craftsmen, community seed banks, researchers, ex situ actors, consumers) playing a more and more dynamic role in the valorisation of genetic resources. Acknowledging that diversity DYNAVERSITY is proposing a dynamic management and governance aiming at enhancing interactions, complementarities and synergies between all actors. By creating the Sharing Knowledge and Experience Platform (SKEP), representing actors coming from research, ex situ networks and communities of practice, and respecting the singularities of each of the actors, DYNAVERSITY has the objective to facilitate exchange and integration of scientific as well as practical knowledge on how to best manage diversity in agriculture and in the entire food chain, restoring evolutionary and adaptation processes.

To achieve the above, DYNAVERSITY has the following specific objectives:
• Generating a knowledge base on the characteristics of genetic resources used in in situ conditions, good practices on conservation and management issues
• Mapping actors and stakeholders
• Promoting new sustainable partnerships between European conservation stakeholders
• Integrating natural parks activities within the conservation realm of action
• Raising public awareness on the importance of genetic resource
• Promoting an enabling institutional framework for new dynamic seed systems
DYNAVERSITY started on 1/11/2017 for a period of 3 years. The global coordination started during the KO meeting that took place on 16-17/01/2018. The main actions made during the first reporting period can be summarised as follows:

The main progress in WP1 was the mapping, review and analysis of the relevant terms and concepts used within PGRFA communities which help explain critical controversies in the PGRFA communities. The mapping relied on SKEP contribution, various exchanges between partners which have allowed deciding and agreeing on the concepts and on their description. Results will be the basis for upcoming WPs to be illustrated with interviews, case studies, in situ communities. We did not encounter deviations or problems under WP1. As the main challenge, we faced the fact that sustainable use of PGRFA is an arena populated by often antagonistic actors, institutions, and organisations, each of which uses different language and concepts to describe their work or use similar terminology in different ways.

Under WP2, the SKEP has been successfully established and is currently ongoing. The SKEP members have reviewed several draft deliverables produced mainly under WP1. They will continue such reviews during the second periodic period and will be associated to other activities based on an ad hoc approach. Most of the time has been dedicated to the identification and the running of the 20 case studies which have performed by several consortium partners. When all the case studies are complete (end of June 2019), WP2 will start identifying best practices, challenges, obstacles and bottlenecks.

The work started in the three tasks of WP3 but no deliverables were planned during the first reporting period.
In order to raise a broad public awareness about genetic resources conserved in situ in Europe, demonstration days have been planned during all the duration of the project. During the first year of the project, several events have been organised in France, Belgium and Italy. Consumers are an essential audience and then, an entire task including three distinct actions which have all been initiated during the period has been dedicated to the consumers. A first internal workshop dealt with the barriers to a better use of CWR, landraces and in situ genetic resources in breeding activities. A fourth target will be involved mostly in the second period in order to produce technical manual to sustain the use of genetic resources.

In the first reporting period the specific objectives of WP4 were i)collect data and information from other projects; ii)plan the survey on access based on LINKAGES surveys; iii)present and discuss with partners and SKEP members the preliminary outline of seed systems and share with them the overall approach; iii)share strategies with Farmers’ Pride project. To date, all the objectives have been met. At the beginning of the second period a timetable for 2019-2020 will be discussed within the Steering Committee in order to define the meetings of Task 4.4 and in particular the dissemination approach so as to have the maximum complementarity with the Farmers’ pride project.

WP5 objectives have been achieved by designing and developing innovative communication strategies, tools and products both traditional (website with project description, print and digital leaflets, booklets, manuals, presentations) as well as modern cross-media and more experimental products (artistic photo exhibition, graphic concept cards, video scribing and digital animations, online training modules). All these products are being disseminated through the most appropriate communication channels: institutional, web, printed materials during face-to-face events, related projects and social media, specialised publications.

WP6 made sure that the rules of participation to this project were clear for all Consortium partners; to identify and overcome issues that may occur, monitor the correct implementation of the workplan and present a clear reporting. These objectives have been met by the organisation of the KO meeting in Jan. 2018 and the first annual meeting in Jan. 2018. This WP helped assisting the partners on the administrative and financial issues and coordinated and prepared the reporting process. Transversal issues concerning various WPs were discussed during dedicated sessions of the physical and informal meetings (workshops, phone or email exchanges) which allowed making progresses. WP6 managed the administrative issues related to the SKEP platform.
DYNAVERSITY results will potentially lead to the following (expected) impacts:
• Implementation of a dynamic approach, which frames genetic resources within a more general questioning of the agricultural and science paradigm and constructing, rights-based governance approaches to agricultural biodiversity conservation leading to a greater knowledge of the status and characteristics of in situ genetic resources in Europe.
• Identification of good practices in conservation and dynamic management of PGFRA. These actions will also help to understand the social dimension of the existing networks. All these results are expected to establish more durable partnerships between in situ conservation stakeholders;
• The SKEP aims to become a long-term European platform for local, national and European in situ conservation strategies.
• The project results should contribute to diminishing the divide between in situ and ex situ conservation efforts.
• Through a series of dissemination events, DYNAVERSITY expects to increase awareness of the wider public as regards the wealth and importance of genetic resources for agriculture and consumers.
• By becoming a relevant channel to spread good practices accumulated to date by various communities of practices DYNAVERSITY will increase the use of genetic material form in situ sources in multiple breeding activities and in the food chain.