Setting conservation priorities for the wild relatives of food crops in Indonesia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Crop wild relatives (CWR) have been increasingly used as a genetic resource in crop improvement programs, thus, their conservation is essential for future sustainable agriculture and food security. Generally, CWR are threatened but their conservation has just recently come to global attention. Ex situ conservation (to ensure the availability of material to plant breeders and reintroduction programs) and in situ conservation (to permit their natural evolution) need better planning to ensure success. However, Indonesia as one of the important areas for CWR diversity does not yet have specific plans to conserve these resources. The basis for CWR conservation planning is having a prioritized inventory of CWR upon which to focus CWR conservation actions in Indonesia. Therefore, the initial CWR conservation planning steps reported in this paper are CWR checklist development and subsequent prioritization to permit better allocation of resources and time for conservation action. A total of 1968 taxa were recorded as wild relatives of food crops in Indonesia. About 571 (29%) of those taxa are national endemics and 864 (44%) are narrow regional endemics. After prioritization based on the socio-economic value of the related crops and potential utilization for plant breeding, 234 taxa were established as a priority for conservation. Ninety-five of these priority taxa are important at the national and global levels (such as wild relatives of rice, banana, mango, breadfruit, sugarcane, taro, coconut, sweet potato, melon, sorghum, citrus, and aubergine), 69 are important at the national and regional levels (such as wild relatives of tropical fruits and sugar crops), and 70 taxa are important at global level only (such as wild relatives of yam, figs, and raspberry). Those priority taxa are now the target for further CWR conservation action both of ex situ and in situ gap analyses and the establishment of a systematic conservation planning strategy for effective conservation action in Indonesia.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-824
Number of pages16
JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Conservation planning, Crop improvement, Crop wild relatives, Prioritization, Socio-economic value