"The Bezos Earth Fund pledged 17 million USD for Future Seeds, a new CGIAR genebank inaugurated today," said Cristián Samper, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.
"The funds will be used to support the genebank and climate-change mitigation science that emphasizes carbon sequestration using the roots systems of plants."
Future Seeds is the world’s largest genetic library for beans, cassava and tropical forages and has just officially opened near Cali, Colombia, to preserve plant biodiversity and support cutting-edge agricultural research. The facility, managed by CGIAR’s Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), provides plant genetic material free of charge for researchers to breed new varieties that can withstand the impacts of rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions.
“The Future Seeds genebank will strengthen the global toolkit for researchers and crop breeders to find the traits that could further climate-proof and shock-proof global food systems. This new investment from Bezos Earth Fund will help safeguard the resource for future generations, and will support the genebank’s work to use crops for climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration,” said Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of the Alliance and CGIAR’s Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy.
“We are in a race against time to conserve crop biodiversity, which is the foundation of our crop research, our food supply, and ultimately of humanity itself,” added Marco Ferroni, Chair of CGIAR’s System Board. “This newest genebank shows how CGIAR is playing a pivotal role, working with national and regional partners, and leveraging global science to deliver impact.”