Irelandís National Strategy for Plant Conservation
comprises a set of 16 targets modelled on the GSPC, through which we can bring about better comprehension and conservation of our native plants and fungi
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The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation



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vert bar Ireland's National Strategy for Plant Conservation - Target 9

Conserve the genetic diversity of all known indigenous traditional Irish agricultural plant varieties of crops, land races and crop relatives as well as other socio-economically valuable plant species.

Many agricultural crops being bred in Ireland today supply a rather small and specialist market including malting Barleys and sugar beet. By targeting heritage crops and vegetables there will be some ability to document and secure these varieties. The genetic integrity of these agriculturally important species have also been addressed under action 35 of the National Biodiversity Plan.

The Irish Seed Savers Association in Capparoe is a charity set up to preserve the agricultural bio-diversity of Ireland.

Actions:

  • Develop a checklist of all traditional Irish-bred agricultural plant varieties and circulate to holders of ex situ collections for comments, additions and to mark materials held.
  • Ensure continued survival of Irish agricultural plant genetic resources in one or more genebanks within the State by 2007.
  • Further collate all existing knowledge on traditional Irish use of plant genetic resources and ensure that this material is effectively archived.
  • Establish a National Heritage Grain Crops programme to promote the growing of a number of Irish bred grain varieties on farms for use in novel or traditional crops (Biomass, Thatching).
  • Promote the continued use of crop varieties and landraces in traditional Irish agricultural systems by developing new incentive mechanisms for farmers by 2011.
  • Develop an Irish Cultivars school projects for Primary (Vegetable) and Secondary (Grain crops) School level. Establish a pilot project in schools to raise awareness of indigenous agricultural biodiversity.
  • Encourage each Local Authority to incorporate a Community Orchard of traditional Irish bred apple, pear, plum and damson varieties in their Local Biodiversity Action Plans. Each Community Orchard should be at least 500m² and comprise a minimum of 20 trees of 10 or more varieties.
  • Develop and write leaflets for gardening clubs and farming organisations promoting the growing of heritage grain and vegetable varieties by 2008.
Milestones & Indicators:
  • Database of all known Irish-bred agricultural plant varieties, and their location in living or other collections published and widely available.
  • Five Heritage Grain Crops established in an incentivised scheme by 2011.
  • Sixteen Local Authorities to have incorporated a Community Orchard in their Local Biodiversity Plan.
  • Establish a pilot project in schools to raise awareness of indigenous agricultural biodiversity.