The Establishment of the Crop Trust
The Global Crop Diversity Trust was established in October 2004 as an independent organization under international law. This status was conferred on it through the signing of an Establishment Agreement by seven states from five of the regions referred to in the basic texts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Crop Trust is recognized as an essential element of the funding strategy of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as established in a formal Relationship Agreement signed by the Crop Trust and the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty in 2006.
The Governing Body of the Plant Treaty nominates four members to the Executive Board of the Crop Trust, and the Board presents an annual report on Crop Trust activities to the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty.
The organs of the Crop Trust are:
- The Executive Board
- The Donors’ Council
- The Executive Director
- Technical experts appointed by the Executive Director
The Executive Board
The Executive Board is the principal decision-making body of the Crop Trust. The Board normally meets twice each year. It oversees the operations and activities of the Crop Trust in pursuance of its objective. The Executive Board also approves the budget of the Crop Trust. It currently is comprised of twelve members who are appointed by key Crop Trust stakeholders.
The Donors’ Council
In 2005 the Executive Board established a Donors’ Council to advise it on fundraising and other financial matters related to the activities of the Crop Trust, to provide a forum for the expression of the views of donors on the operation of the Crop Trust, to provide financial oversight and to perform such other functions as are entrusted to it under the Crop Trust’s Constitution. The Donors’ Council is comprised of public and private donors from both the developed and the developing world.
The Crop Trust’s work directly supports the system of ex situ conservation in plant genebanks, described in the Plant Treaty; it is complementary to ongoing in situ conservation efforts in farmers’ field, which are however outside of the Crop Trust’s mandate as defined in its Constitution.
The Crop Trust has developed a Fund Disbursement Strategy, which is based on the principles and strategies in the Global Plan of Action and the principles within the International Treaty. The Fund Disbursement Strategy is recognized by the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty. The Crop Trust’s Fund Disbursement Strategy focuses on three major areas:
- Securing crop diversity of global significance;
- Promoting Participation and Increasing Benefits; and
- Increasing Efficiency and Effectiveness within and between collections.
For a detailed outline of the role of the Crop Trust, refer to The Role of the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Helping Ensure the Long-Term Conservation and Availability of PGRFA