Bonn, Germany (22 May 2013)—The Global Crop Diversity Trust was welcomed to Germany today by the Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection, Ms. Ilse Aigner, at a ceremonial opening of the new headquarters in Bonn. The Crop Trust works with partners around the world to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for global food security.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Bioversity International graciously hosted the Crop Trust jointly in Rome, Italy until January 2013, when the Crop Trust moved to Bonn, Germany. Bonn is establishing itself as a hub for international organizations, and provides an excellent working environment for the Crop Trust.
Executive Director, Marie Haga, who joined the Crop Trust following the move to Bonn, thanked Germany for the welcome and paid tribute to the hard work of all those involved in the relocation to Bonn.
“We are very pleased to have a new and permanent home for the Crop Trust here in Bonn. We are a small organization with a big mandate. With support from Germany and other partners around the world we can, within a decade, raise the necessary funds to guarantee the conservation of crop diversity and thus ensure food security.”
The late Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Crop Diversity Trust until she passed away in 2011, captured the importance of the conservation of plant genetic resources perfectly arguing that “crop diversity is one of the pillars on which food security rests. It is as fundamental as the air we breathe and the water we drink: it is the food we eat.”
The Honourable Tim Fischer AC, former deputy Prime Minister of Australia emphasized, “in times of climatic chaos, the world needs seed diversity and seed security more than ever before.”
The new headquarters of the Crop Trust in Bonn, Germany are located in the Bundeshaus, which at one point housed the offices of the German parliamentary representatives. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, a member of the Crop Trust’s Board, recognized the work of the Crop Trust and the strategic location of the new Crop Trust headquarters. “The Global Crop Diversity Trust is already making a significant contribution to ensuring food security in line with biodiversity, both now and for the future. It is appropriate that this Fund should now operate from Bonn, the UN location in Germany.”