2022: A Year with Two Sides
Vendor weighing apples in roadside market. Cao Phong District, Hoa Binh, Vietnam. Photo: Michael Major for Crop Trust
11 July 2023
2022 has been a year with two different sides.
On the one hand, the world is ramping up its efforts in fighting climate change. With the world gradually opening up following the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries, including the United States of America and Australia, enacted legislation aimed at curbing climate change. And, at COP27, countries agreed to develop new funding arrangements that can mobilize resources to help developing economies suffering from the impacts of climate change.
On the other hand, time for us to do something about it is running out, one grain of sand at a time. We are experiencing the resurgence of climate change-related disasters—devastating floods in Pakistan and China, record-breaking heatwaves in the US and Europe, long-term drought in the Horn of Africa and in large parts of the US, to name but a few.
And on top of this, the conflict in Ukraine demonstrated once again just how interconnected—and vulnerable—the world’s food systems are.
Genebanks and the invaluable—and irreplaceable—collections of crop diversity they hold are the foundation on which we will build a food- and nutrition-secure future. But many genebanks are neglected, underfunded and at risk from the vagaries of the climate and conflict, as Ukraine and Yemen demonstrated.
The Crop Trust is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that genebanks around the world receive the recognition and support that they must have if they are to fulfil their missions. We are putting in place components of the systems that are needed to achieve this, including the Crop Trust’s endowment-driven funding approach, a strong project portfolio, and actions such as the Emergency Reserve for Genebanks, which made its first disbursement in 2022 to support the genebank in Yemen.
The Crop Trust is in the process of developing its strategy to 2030, constructed around three goals: (i) to provide long-term funding for essential operations of key genebank collections globally; (ii) to boost project-based funding for genebanks to upgrade their facilities, conserve crop diversity in genebanks and increase the availability of crop diversity to farmers, plant breeders and researchers; and (iii) to significantly raise global awareness of the importance of crop diversity. The ultimate objective is the establishment of a global partnership to provide a collective effort for an effective, goal-oriented and sustainable global genebank system.
The Executive Board is delighted to see the progress the Crop Trust is making toward this vision and championing the cause of genebanks and crop diversity. The Crop Trust is working on innovative funding strategies as well as a growing portfolio of exciting projects that have already strengthened numerous genebanks and delivered new diversity into the hands of farmers and breeders.
The Executive Board experienced changes of its own, with the departure of Marcio de Miranda Santos (2017‒22) and Hanne Blåfjelldal (2020‒22). I thank them for their service on the Board and wish them the very best for the future.
We were deeply saddened by the death of our esteemed CGIAR colleague, Crop Trust Executive Board Member and friend Barbara Wells. May her passion for science and crop diversity inspire us all.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of the Crop Trust’s staff and partners in making 2022 a success. This report is a tribute to your work.
Category: Annual Reports & Financial statements