The Icelandic Genetic Resource Council in Agriculture (IGRCA)

Iceland is a member of the UN‘s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which covers all living species.  In Iceland, the responsibility for genetic resources in agriculture, whether they are cultivated plants or livestock, is in the hands of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. The Council for Genetic Resources in Agriculture (CGRA) falls under the Agriculture Act 70/1994 and laws on animal import 54/1990. and has the following responsibilities:

The CGRA operates in accordance with a regulation issued by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture 151/2005. It is currently housed at the Genetic Resource Centre at the Agricultural University of Iceland in accordance with an agreement between the university and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture from May 2009.



Main responsibilities of IGRCA are:

  1. Co-ordinate national activities relating to the conservation of genetic resources in agriculture.
  2. Stimulate research on genetic resources in agriculture.
  3. Distribute knowledge on genetic resources and their importance, both through teaching and providing information to the general public.
  4. Advise stakeholders and government on the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources in agriculture.
  5. Take care of international activities in the field in collaboration with national co-ordinators for respective institutions.



Members of the council 2016 – 2019

Chair  Emma Eythorsdottir, associate professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

Thorvaldur Kristansson, horse breeding consultant at The Icelandic Agricultural Advisory Centre.

Charlotta Oddsdottir, assistant professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

Sæmundur Sveinsson, rector at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

Trausti Baldursson, director of the administrative department at the Icelandic Institute of National History.

Brynja Hrafnkelsdottir, a specialist at the Icelandic Forestry.

Leo Alexander Gudmundsson, a biologist at The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute.

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