Planned conservation and utilization of local crop genetic resources is of prime importance for food security, as it permits small-scale farmers of developing countries to have permanent access to seed and planting material adapted to their region. Conservation of and access to these resources are most important in disaster-prone areas, as farmers in these regions often lose all of their seed stocks during disasters, either man-made or natural. Furthermore, disasters cause the loss of local varieties or genotypes, hence leading to the erosion of genetic diversity. This publication presents the report, case studies and background papers of a workshop held in Rome in November 1998. The purpose of the workshop was to develop strategies and mechanisms that would strengthen seed security in developing countries and regions in disaster-prone areas, thereby enabling a rapid and effective restoration of farmer seed systems to restore domestic food security following disasters.