English website

Joining forces for biodiversity in agriculture

The City of Bonn and the Global Crop Diversity Trust celebrated the launch of their annual partnership with a reception at the Old Town Hall on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. The Crop Trust has been based in Bonn for ten years, working to promote biodiversity in agriculture to ensure food security for the world's population.

Mayor Katja Dörner and Crop Trust Executive Director Dr. Stefan Schmitz toured the Crop Trust's new exhibition at the launch of the annual partnership.

"The diversity of our crops is a valuable cultural heritage," said Crop Trust Executive Director Dr. Stefan Schmitz. "It ensures our survival in a changing climate and helps make agriculture more environmentally friendly. We must not allow this immeasurable treasure of humanity to disappear."

"Your work puts a focus on preserving plant diversity around the globe," said Mayor Katja Dörner. "We are pleased to raise awareness and mobilize support for this important mission as part of our annual partnership - which is also important on a local and sometimes even individual level."

About the Global Crop Diversity Trust

The goal of the Bonn-based Global Crop Diversity Trust is to conserve and keep available the genetic diversity of crops in agriculture in order to ensure the long-term food security of the world's population. Initially based in Rome, the Crop Trust was established in 2004 as an independent foundation under international law and has since served as a funding instrument of the International Seed Treaty. In 2013, its headquarters were relocated to Bonn.

The Crop Trust operates a global seed vault on Spitsbergen.

The Crop Trust supports the conservation of the most important collections of plant genetic resources in seed banks. Together with the Norwegian government and the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen), the Crop Trust operates the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Seed banks collect and conserve seeds of the most important crops and their "wild" relatives and are therefore of particular importance for the conservation of biodiversity and the food supply of mankind.

Both partners share important principles

Biodiversity, sustainable food production and healthy food are important principles that both partners share. The City of Bonn promotes organic farming in the region through its Biostädte initiative, for instance. At the annual spring market, visitors can purchase a variety of seeds and seedlings, and the Crop Garden of the Botanical Gardens of the University of Bonn displays rare local crops such as the "little Bonn pea" or the "Bonn Advent cabbage" and organizes regular seed swaps.

Public exhibition informs about the Crop Trust’s work

At the launch event, the Crop Trust presented a new photo exhibition for the first time, which had been produced for the annual partnership with the City of Bonn. The large-format photographs provide information about the Crop Trust's crucial role in safeguarding global plant diversity for future generations around the world. Through the exhibition, the Crop Trust aims to strengthen ties with local organizations and authorities in Bonn while introducing the Crop Trust's mission and values to a wider audience.

After the launch event, the exhibition will move to the City Hall. There it will be open to the public from March 10 to 31. For International Biodiversity Day on May 22, it will be relocated to the Botanical Gardens of the University of Bonn.

Background annual partnership

Since 2000, the City of Bonn has invited a Bonn-based international organization to participate in an annual partnership. This provides the organization with the opportunity, amongst others, to present itself and its subject areas in a series of high-profile events. The City supports these events with extensive services. With these annual partnerships, the City of Bonn contributes to a closer international as well as municipal cooperation.