Question for written answer E-012467-15
to the Commission
Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL)
Loss of biodiversity is a current phenomenon that goes hand-in-hand with the urbanisation of Europe, and the modernisation and intensification of farming and stockbreeding techniques. According to recent estimates, around 11.5% of wild species related to priority European crops are close to extinction, whether because of habitat loss or because they are being absorbed into cultivated varieties through hybridisation processes.
The European initiatives aimed at preserving the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and their wild relations have not been doing enough. Preserving this genetic heritage is considered essential. To that end, the need for a European network of gene banks was identified a long time ago, for both primitive lines and lines related to species under cultivation.
Can the Commission state what it has been doing as regards this essential need to preserve our genetic resources? Can it also give its view of the 500 gene banks currently in the EU joining forces to work together?