Press Release

ECPGR and the Crop Trust Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR) and the Global Crop Diversity Trust welcome the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding for enhanced cooperation on 26 February 2020 at the occasion of a major deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Longyearbyen, Norway.

The two Parties will strengthen their cooperation to improve conservation and documentation of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and to facilitate their use as a contribution to a global system of conservation and use efforts.

The collaboration will focus on the continuing development of the European Genebank Integrated System (AEGIS) and of the European accessions catalogue EURISCO, a primary component of the world catalogue Genesys. The Parties will also collaborate in the development and implementation of the global crop conservation strategies facilitated by the Crop Trust, more specifically by bringing to bear the expertise of the relevant ECPGR Working Groups.

Expected benefits of this collaboration are better and more efficient conservation of European accessions and increased access to them and their related information, as well as increased sharing of knowledge, technologies and ideas by European genebank and crop experts to enhance global conservation efforts.

“ECPGR is really excited about today’s signing and continued collaboration with the Crop Trust,” said Marianne Lefort, Chair of the ECPGR Executive Committee. “In a context of uncertain climate change and increasing demands for food protection and security, safeguarding plant genetic resources is more important than ever. ECPGR wants to be a lead partner to streamline access between genebanks and crop experts in this effort to build more efficient conservation of European PGR accessions.”

“Partnership and strong multi-lateral cooperation are key to ensuring the world’s most valuable crops for food security are protected,” said Stefan Schmitz, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. “The Crop Trust’s continued collaboration with ECPGR will make significant progress towards that protection. We welcome the expertise and existing cooperative spirit of the ECPGR and look forward to developing bold strategies for crop conservation. It is exciting to work alongside such an organization for the efficient, permanent protection of the world’s crop diversity.”

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