The Crop Trust participates in the Pre-Summit to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

The Crop Trust’s Executive Director Stefan Schmitz participated in two key sessions. “Demand, Innovate and Scale: Partnership and Research to Deliver the 2030
Agenda”, a virtual-only, main program session moderated by Juan Lucas Restrepo, Global Director of Partnership and Advocacy of the CGIAR , which was held on 26 July 2021 from 18:30 to 19:20 CEST. This session will highlight the role of Research and Innovation in achieving sustainable and resilient food systems.

“Agrobiodiversity for a Sustainable Future”, an affiliate session, was held on 26 July 2021 from 19:30 to 20:20 CEST. At this session, hosted by the Alliance and CGIAR, representatives from the UNFSS Solution Clusters on Agrobiodiversity, including the Crop Trust, presented ideas generated in preparation for the Summit (see below for further details) and gathered feedback from the audience.

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The Crop Trust’s Game-Changing Solution

The Crop Trust’s Game-Changing Solution for conserving agrobiodiversity focuses on scaling up financial resources to support ex situ conservation, globally, by engaging a wider set of stakeholders through innovative finance mechanisms, as well as the need for crop diversity to form an integral part of any long-term solution for conserving agrobiodiversity for future generations.

The Solution was proposed in March 2021 and presented formally through the UNFSS Action Tracks 3 (Nature-Based Solutions) and 5 (Resilience). The below briefs, drafted by the Crop Trust as Partners of the Scientific Group for the UNFSS, offer context to the proposed solution.

Crop Diversity, its Conservation and Use for Better Food Systems. The Crop Trust Perspective

Safeguarding and using Fruit and Vegetable Biodiversity Prepared by the Crop Trust in partnership with the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA).

In line with the above, the Crop Trust estimates that by investing USD 850 million in its Crop Diversity Endowment Fund, the most essential global collections of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture will be adequately and sustainably safeguarded for farmers, breeders and the global population for the near and distant future.

All briefs by Scientific Groups Partners of the UNFSS can be found here.

The Crop Trust and the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

In response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN Secretary-General will convene the Food Systems Summit in the Fall of 2021. The Summit offers a unique opportunity for the Crop Trust to engage with other stakeholders and present innovative, exciting crop diversity-driven solutions to help create a more equitable and sustainable food system for all.

In line with the Game-Changing Solution described above, the Crop Trust has been exploring various innovative finance mechanisms, including crop-based fundraising and the implementation of a Food Security Bond (FSB). As proposed to the Summit, the FSB would create an opportunity to raise USD 500 million by issuing debt securities with a long-term maturity of 30 years.

This funding would help the Crop Trust scale up the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund to provide critical support to national and regional genebanks around the world; continue its operational support for the 11 CGIAR genebanks; and fund information systems, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and the Crop Trust Secretariat with the aim of securing the foundation of global food security.

Additionally, the Crop Trust is actively engaged in various workflows within the Summit, including a leading role in the “Agrobiodiversity Cluster”. The cluster, established under Action Track 3 of the Summit, is a coalition made up of relevant stakeholders within the agrobiodiversity community, including many Crop Trust partners such as Bioversity International, Norad, ICBA, ICRAF, ICRISAT, ISF, WorldVeg and others. The work of the cluster will be presented and launched at the Summit during Fall 2021. The Crop Trust will then work with other actors to oversee the implementation of the different actions proposed by the coalitions over the next several years.

In addition to its role in the Agrobiodiversity Cluster, the Crop Trust plays an active role in both the Scientific Group and the Finance “Lever of Change” of the Summit. The Crop Trust’s Executive Director, Stefan Schmitz, is a member of both groups and will continue to work actively through the Summit and with other stakeholders towards our shared goal of safeguarding what remains of our world’s agrobiodiversity to ensure a more food-secure future for all.

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