This is any biological material that contains genes and/or metabolic material that can be derived from genes. Genetic resources are known as the building blocks of life.
Our intricate web of genetic resources, our biodiversity, is both the most complex and most vital feature of our planet. It produces a delicately balanced system that supports our own wellbeing, the health of our environment, and the sustainability of the world around us. Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is a term used to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes (IUCN)
This is the emerging competitive global market based on genetic resources.
It’s agricultural biodiversity, the genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Basically, biotechnology is technology based on biology. It’s used to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. In fact, it isn’t new – it’s been used for over 6,000 years to make and preserve food products, such as bread and cheese.
It’s about the availability and accessibility of food, it’s when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.
By developing our understanding of them and safeguarding them, we can protect endangered species and the communities that are dependent on them for sustenance and livelihood. Preserving biodiversity is not an end in itself - the organized preservation of genetic resources is a prerequisite for future generations to be able to meet the challenges of disease, pests and climate change. This will enable us to achieve nutritional diversity and allow producers to adapt to the demands of changing markets.
Oman is blessed with a wealth of unique genetic resources. Of course, these are amazing and beautiful in themselves, but their DNA, or genetic make-up, the building blocks that they’re made up of, means amongst other things that they are resilient and can stand up to the rigours of a tough climate. For this reason, scientists and researchers around the world are interested in finding out more about them, seeing what they can learn from them – especially as the world climate is in crisis and we will be needing plants and animals that can survive as the weather patterns alter so we can keep producing enough food for everyone. Apart from that, the DNA of our plants, animals, marine life and microbes holds lots of valuable information – information that can help us find solution to a variety of global challenges and problems.
MAWARID’s work is intended to serve and benefit not only the people of Oman but the wider international community and the generations yet to come as it develops as a collaborative regional center for all animal and plant genetic resources activities, promoting the sustainable useof knowledge across economic sectors and social segments, and creating commercial value from world-class research and practical innovation.
It isn’t. For millennia our ancestors kept seeds for future planting and domesticated and cultivated wild plants to meet their needs and the conditions of our land. However, the rapid development of biotechnology in recent years has enabled us to use genetic resources in ways that have not only changed what we understand about the living world, but have also led to the development of new products and practices that contribute to our well-being- from life-saving medical discoveries and improvements in the way we cultivate and grow crops to responses to challenges such as climate change.
Definitely. Mawarid is certainly looking at how we can create value for Oman from our incredible genetic resources, how we can use our plant, animal, marine and microbial life and what we learn from them to build businesses and create jobs. In fact, they have the potential to make an important contribution to our economic diversification. Areas that look particularly promising at the moment are pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, essential oils, environmental engineering, food and agriculture, alternative energy, to name just a few.
Our priority is always to make sure that we look after our nature, our environment, our plants, animals and waters. For us, any use of these precious natural resources must always be sustainable, environmentally friendly and carefully managed. It’s worth saying too, that by building economic opportunities and businesses based on and around our genetic resources, we can also make money that can be used to protect these resources – so it works very much to their advantage and the advantage of our environment.