The CGIAR System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP) is a mechanism for collective action that impacts on the work of individual Centres, on the CGIAR System as a whole, and beyond. Its outputs can be classified as below into five thematic areas:
These outputs provide valuable momentum and quality to the genetic resources activities of the Centres and of other practitioners. However, beyond these material outputs, the SGRP fulfils a valuable convening role that:
Thus, SGRP is at the same time a rallying point, a think-tank and a workshop that identifies, develops and delivers innovative solutions to practical and policy challenges. The individual CGIAR Centres are engaged in a massive task of managing the largest collection of agricultural biodiversity in the world. SGRP provides a powerful means of improving how that responsibility is discharged as part of the collective global effort to put genetic resources to work for development.
Funding conservation efforts is an ongoing challenge for the CGIAR Centres as well as for genebanks in national systems. SGRP has addressed this challenge by working through Bioversity International (formerly IPGRI) representing the Centres, and with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to establish the Global Crop Diversity Trust. This public-private partnership is raising an endowment fund of US$260 million to support in perpetuity the conservation of globally important collections, including the in-trust collections housed by the CGIAR Centre genebanks. Costing studies initiated by SGRP have informed the resource projections for the endowment and SGRP has made technical and intellectual inputs to the concept and coverage of Trust activities.