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Old April 25, 2017   #29
Marek Kvapil
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 20

Interesting article about the disappearing population of pimpinellifoliums in Peru and about difficulties with saving them:

"The second problem facing scientists such as Chetelat is purely political. Beginning in 1992, members of the United Nations approved a treaty called the Convention on Biological Diversity. It established international regulations on the exploitation of genetic resources, including seeds and plants. If researchers from one nation want to use biological resources from another nation, they must first get its consent and fully inform the donor country about what they plan to do with the material. A corporation or university that profits from use of the biological resources must share the money equitably with the country of origin.

Every single member of the UN but one ratified the treaty, the notable exception being the United States. “Before, you could just take the seeds out of the country and distribute them to researchers and breeders,” Chetelat said. “Now you need prior consent to go in and collect. Then you need a separate permit to export the seeds out of the country. Finally, you have to negotiate an agreement about how you would share any benefits that arise from any seed distribution. It has been impossible to negotiate such agreements with Peru.” Chetelat said he wouldn’t be as concerned if the government of Peru or university scientists there were actively collecting and properly storing wild tomato seeds, similar to the way the country has assembled native potato varieties at its International Potato Center. But Chetelat said that is not being done.

In the meantime, industrial agriculture continues to overtake former pimp habitat. Chetelat is particularly troubled about northern Peru, the area where pimpinellifolium populations are at their most diverse. “With the agricultural development, we’ve already lost populations we wanted to collect. And the worst thing is that we really don’t know what we are losing,” he said."

Why Is This Wild, Pea-Sized Tomato So Important?
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