Seed World

Head of IRRI Gene Bank to Serve at FAO Genetic Resources Secretariat

Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, head of the International Rice Genebank, joins the secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to bolster the implementation of the treaty. He will spend part of his time in Los Baños and part in Rome.
An evolutionary biologist with four decades of experience in plant genetic resources, Hamilton will share his deep scientific expertise as head of the gene bank, maintained by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), to strengthen the global information system (GLIS) on plant genetic resources under the Treaty and its multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing, which covers—in addition to rice—34 crops and 29 forages.
“Ruaraidh’s expertise, which draws on and honors thousands of years of farmers’ knowledge, will be made available to help address a broader set of global food security challenges through the scientific and informatics work of the Treaty,” says Robert Zeigler, director general of IRRI.
The multilateral system seeks to facilitate access to plant genetic resources for conservation and use in research, breeding, and training, guided by global food security goals and to ensure that resulting benefits are shared equitably. Hamilton will help develop options for improving the instruments that enable the fair and equitable sharing of genetic resources.
More information is available here: