As wild plants, the natural populations of many crop wild relatives are increasingly at risk due to urbanization and habitat destruction, the encroachment of invasive species, and, of course, climate change. Alongside efforts to collect and conserve CWR diversity in genebanks, the preservation of these species in their wild habitats is important in order to support the continued evolution of these species in association with their natural environments.


Recently, Bioversity International published a list of descriptors to create a standardized language for capturing key data on CWR species managed in in situ conservation. The establishment of core descriptors for collecting data will facilitate the use of such data in comparisons across multiple protected areas. The resource includes details for describing scientific name, site location, population size, and conservation notes. Hopefully, it will stimulate further development of documentation for CWR and improve the efficiency of managing and conserving CWR resources.

The Core descriptors for in situ conservation of crop wild relatives is a product of consultations with national and international partners and experts, and were developed in the context of the UNEP/GEF funded project ‘In situ conservation of crop wild relatives through enhanced information management and field application’ implemented by Bioversity International and partners in Armenia, Bolivia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.

Bioversity announcement

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Post by Vivian Bernau, Visiting Researcher at CIAT