The World Information and Early Warning System on plant genetic resources (WIEWS) database is being developed and will consist of reports on the possible genetic erosion in the natural environment and ex situ plant collections. The system provides information on national programmes on conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and consists of a number of databases and information retrieval software including geographical presentation (maps) of location of ex situ plant collections.
In the years 1992 and 1994 a joint FAO/IPGRI mission to survey plant genetic resource programmes in Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Newly Independent States of the former USSR. As a result of recommendations the FAO provided financial support to the genebank in Bulgaria, IPGRI supported collection of vegetables in Hungary and the CGIAR established a fund in order to rescue the Vavilov's collection in Russia. In China, a FAO/TCP project provided funding to collect germplasm in the Three Gorge's river region where a big construction of a dam has started. In North Korea, a FAO/TCP project has been developed in order to upgrade the genebank to safeguard existing ex situ collection. Another FAO/TCP project will assist the national plant genetic resource programme to recollect germplasm from the war devastated areas in Angola.