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Partnerships and Communications

The Crop Trust’s success depends on the dedication and commitment of its many partners. In 2023, we renewed existing partnerships and forged new ones at several global events, including Climate Week NYC in New York, COP28 in Dubai and the African Food Systems Forum (AGRF) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Crop Trust was also chosen to be the annual partner of the German City of Bonn—which hosts our organization—in 2023.

In September, the Crop Trust Endowment Fund received a welcome boost at Climate Week NYC when Andy Jarvis, Director of the Future of Food program at the Bezos Earth Fund, announced a new contribution of USD 440,000 through Bioversity International, USA. The new donation will help achieve the Endowment Fund’s long-term goal of generating sufficient returns to secure key collections of crop diversity in genebanks worldwide.

“This contribution embodies our shared responsibility to safeguard the genetic diversity that underpins our agriculture, enabling us to navigate the challenges of climate change with adaptability and resilience,” Jarvis said. “Investing in the conservation of crop diversity means investing in lasting innovative solutions.”

At COP28 in December, the Crop Trust contributed its expertise to discussions on biodiversity, agriculture and climate resilience, aiming to foster collaboration for a sustainable future. Crop Trust representatives organized or participated in seven sessions during the week, and Executive Director Stefan Schmitz delivered a statement during the high-level segment. The Food Forever Experience brought together high-level delegates and officials from governments, civil society and the private sector to combine a delicious meal with the chance to dig into crop diversity issues relating to biodiversity, climate change and sustainable agriculture.

At the African Food Systems Forum in September, the Crop Trust helped secure the future of some of Africa’s most beloved staple crops, including important legumes, when it signed a Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Through this landmark partnership, the Crop Trust commits to providing a guaranteed source of funding for IITA’s genebank, the Genetic Resources Center, in perpetuity.

In November, the Crop Trust commemorated its partnership with the City of Bonn at a reception in the Old Town Hall of the former German capital. Speakers included Professor Maximilian Weigend, Director of the Bonn Botanical Gardens, and Xavier Longan, Deputy Director of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Action Campaign. They discussed the importance of the Crop Trust’s mission of conserving crop diversity and making it available for use globally, forever, for the benefit of everyone. Ursula Sautter, Bonn’s deputy mayor, delivered an opening address for the guests.

The activities highlighted above are not just milestones; they represent the tangible outcomes of our donors’ continued dedication and support. We express our deepest gratitude for being an indispensable part of this transformative journey.

In 2023, the Crop Trust also co-hosted a webinar with the Crawford Fund to honor the late Tim Fischer, who chaired both organizations. A former deputy prime minister of Australia, Fischer was a passionate advocate for food security and biodiversity conservation. The webinar was an opportunity to discuss these and other issues that engaged him during his long and distinguished career. Tim passed away in 2019 and is much missed, but his legacy will long endure.

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