The 3rd Call for Proposals under the Benefit-Sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was opened on 7 March 2014. The Call will invest more than USD 10 million in projects globally. The thematic focus of the Call for Proposals 2014 is: Sustainable food security through assisting farmers adapt to climate change.
“The International Treaty is at the forefront of making benefit-sharing areality on the ground,” said Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of theUnited Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). “Its new call for project proposals offers an excellent opportunity for capacity-building and technology transfer, which are also in keeping with the Convention that promotes a specific global response to desertification, land degradation and drought.”
The International Treaty
The Treaty aims at:
- Recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world;
- Establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials;
- ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated.
The Treaty’s innovative solution to access and benefit sharing is the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing
(MLS). The MLS puts 64 of the most important crops into an easily accessible global pool of genetic resources that is freely available to potential users in the Treaty’s ratifying nations for some uses. Those who access genetic materials through the Multilateral System agree to share any benefits from their use through four benefit-sharing mechanisms established by the Treaty.
Capacity building is embedded with the MLS, the main operational component of the Treaty. Capacity building follows two trajectories: it is a mechanism to share the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources under the MLS, and it is also a pillar that sustains the comprehensive and balanced implementation of the entire set of MLS provisions by developing countries. The Benefit-sharing Fund
looks at the first aspect of capacity building. The Joint Capacity Building Programme has been set up by the Treaty Secretariat, FAO and Biodiversity International, to trigger the second set of capacity building activities.
The Benefit-Sharing Fund
The ITPGRFA is committed to a rigorous, objective and efficient grant making process, and for this has set up a Benefit-Sharing Fund. So far two rounds of projects have been funded through this mechanism.
The thematic focus of the Call for Proposals in 2014
, within the three agreed priorities of the Benefit-sharing Fund, is to help ensure sustainable food security, by assisting farmers to adapt to climate change through a targeted set of high impact activities on the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The application deadline is May 5th 2014.