Thus the conservation of agrobiodiversity – world-wide and in the P.R. China – is key to providing insurance against future threats.

The Sino-German agrobiodiversity project

The Chinese government is aware of the importance of agrobiodiversity. In order to adhere to its international responsibilities in this respect, the P.R. China has initiated a range of related national efforts and is successfully implementing the provisions of international agreements regarding biodiversity, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. Evidence of its commitment lies in the fact that it is now home to the second largest gene bank in the world. Still, it is equally important to conserve agricultural plants in their natural environment (Latin: in situ) so that they themselves can continue to adjust to changing environmental conditions through evolutionary processes. In China, there has been insufficient experience in participatory in situ conservation, which actively involves local people in the protection of agrobiodiversity by improving their understanding of, participation in and, most importantly, benefits from conservation.