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Emergency Reserve for Genebanks

The Emergency Reserve provides rapid, short-term and urgent support to seed collections in the global system of ex situ conservation. 

Saving our seeds

Genebanks are the foundation of the world’s food supply. They conserve the diversity of crops and their undomesticated cousins and make it available to researchers, breeders and farmers, helping our food systems adapt to the ever-increasing challenges of climate change.

Yet, such collections are not indestructible. Natural disasters, political crises, pest and disease outbreaks, equipment failure and, most recently, the challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic can place them in jeopardy and trigger catastrophic loss of the invaluable resources they conserve.

The permanent loss of crop diversity makes it harder to develop new crops that can withstand climate change and feed a growing world population.

Coming together to build a new safety net

In June 2021, the Crop Trust and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty) launched the world’s first fund to provide financial support to genebanks under imminent threat.

The Emergency Reserve will provide urgent funding for genebanks to ensure they can respond swiftly to emergency situations.

We live in an interconnected world. Losing a unique collection of plant genetic diversity in one country today means losing future opportunities of breeding a plant variety that will be adapted to changing environments and needs [elsewhere].

Kent Nnadozie Plant Treaty Secretary

Partners

  • The Crop Trust
  • The Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty)

Supporters

  • Government of Norway
  • Government of Italy

Crop Trust focal point

Nelissa Jamora

Nelissa Jamora

Agricultural Economist

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