The Report on the First Round of the Project Cycle of the Benefit-sharing Fund, published by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in February 2013, is now available online. It contains financial and technical information related to the overall operation of the first project portfolio of the Benefit-sharing Fund, provides an overview of its results and presents a number of lessons learned and recommendations drawn from the execution of the first round of the project cycle.
From 2009-2011, the Benefit-sharing Fund contributed towards strengthening the capacities of more than 6000 farmers and supported the collection of over 360 accessions of traditional varieties and crop wild relatives, as well as the characterization for useful traits of more than 2200 accessions of varieties held on-farm and in gene banks. It contributed to ongoing activities for the identification and/or breeding of more than 270 accessions – which either exhibit high yields, resistances to climate change induced stresses, tolerances to crop diseases, or a combination thereof – and the distribution of locally adapted planting material to more than 1800 farmers. Furthermore, over 1700 accessions of crops addressed by the portfolio will be made available under the terms and conditions of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing of the International Treaty (hereafter ‘Multilateral System’), which is expected to multiply the Benefit-sharing Fund’s impact globally.
In November 2008, the Secretariat of the International Treaty opened the first call for proposals, inviting organizations based in Contracting Parties that work towards maintaining and increasing the use of crop diversity to apply for project grants under the Benefit-sharing Fund. Out of more than 400 pre-proposals initially received, eleven projects in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Near East, were approved in May 2009, with a maximum individual budget of US$ 50 000, amounting to a total portfolio of over half a million US$. Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland were the donors of the portfolio.
The Benefit-sharing Fund is a multilateral fund that invests directly in high impact projects supporting farmers in developing countries conserve crop diversity in their fields and assisting farmers and breeders globally adapt crops to our changing needs and demands. It is replenished through voluntary contributions from Contracting Parties and other donors, as well as commercial benefits that may arise from the use of material from the Multilateral System.
The satisfactory results across the overall portfolio of the first round of the project cycle make a strong case for support for the continuation of this initiative and larger scale investment in future rounds of the project cycle of the Benefit-sharing Fund. The second round is currently being implemented, supporting a portfolio of 19 projects with a total investment of over US$ 5.5 million, and the launch of the third call for proposals is scheduled for 2013.
Download the full report at: http://www.planttreaty.org/node/4355
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