|Last updated: 19/06/2013|
At the 4th Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Bali, Indonesia, delegates from 127 countries unanimously approved a resolution on the Funding strategy for the Treaty, dedicating more than USD 10 million to the second round of projects of the Benefit-sharing Fund, which helps farmers to achieve sustainable food security by supporting innovative projects that foster on-farm conservation of genetic resources in developing countries.
With the announcement of the USD 10 million investment in the projects, the Treaty is well on its way towards supporting farmers and its Benefit-sharing Fund is gaining increasing recognition throughout the United Nations system.
The Fund, that has a mobilization target of USD 116 million by December 2014, secured official recognition as an Adaptation Funding Mechanism under the Adaptation Funding Interface of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
With the infusion of new funds for the second round of the project cycle, the internationally balanced selection committee of experts can increase the number and scope of the projects, the first eleven having been highly successful.
The voluntary financial contributions from the governments of Spain, Italy, Australia, Ireland and Norway have been critical to the establishment and growth of the conservation fund. The most recent investment in the Fund comes from Indonesia and is of particular importance, since it is the first contribution from a developing country and signifies the importance which recipient countries attach to this Fund as a means for addressing food insecurity. Moreover, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have offered to play key roles in mobilizing additional resources.
The thematic focus for the most recent call for proposal in 2010 is to help ensure sustainable food security by assisting farmers to adapt to climate change. Project selection is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, using a transparent process and criteria based on quality, relevance and technical merit.
The success of the Fund at this stage is engendering cooperation between United Nations agencies, international research institutions, foundations and other private sector investors. FAO, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, IFAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNOPS, CATIE, Oxfam Novib and the World Bank have expressed interest in further supporting operationalization of the Benefit-sharing Fund.
Dr. Shakeel Bhatti, Secretary of the Treaty, said “The Benefit-sharing Fund of the Treaty is the world’s only financing mechanism with a systematic strategy - developed and welcomed by 127 countries - to help our farmers adapt to rapidly changing climate conditions and save our deteriorating genetic resource base.”