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GCP21 NewsLetter #1
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GCP21 Newletter #001
Global Partnership To Unlock the Cassava Potential

Angela Fernando, a.fernando@cgiar.org  -  GCP21 Communication Coordinator
In this Issue
 What is GCP21?                  
The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) - is a not-for-profit international alliance that was founded in 2003, by Dr. C. Fauquet and Dr. J. Tohme.  Since 2012, GCP21 is Directed by Dr. Claude Fauquet.
GCP21 was created in 2003 in Bellagio, Italy, with the objective of improving cassava productivity towards the goal of alleviating hunger and poverty.  Since then, it has sponsored triennial international meetings to review and advance cassava research, along with expert meetings to focus attention and resources on critical issues in cassava production and use.
What is the vision of GCP21?     
Improving cassava productivity to contribute to alleviating hunger and poverty for hundreds of millions of people worldwide by:
  • Investing in cassava science and technology.
  • Promoting cassava products to stimulate productivity and support the cassava value chain.
  • Developing communication around the crop to raise its visibility.
What is the mission of GCP21?  
Strengthening and supporting cassava research through strategic action such as:
  • Lobbying for public and private investment that capitalizes on cassava’s comparative advantages as a vehicle for development.
  • Fundraising for cassava research to be carried out through partners.
  • Organization of global scientific conferences, to gather the research and development community at regular intervals.
  • Organization of strategic meetings on high priority topics such as the threat of cassava viruses, the urgent need to conserve cassava landraces and the opportunities to turn cassava by-products into livestock feed.
  • Contributing to strategic planning with stakeholders through publication of cassava roadmaps on specific topics.
  • Promoting the development of large multi-organizational research projects such as the Cassava Genome Sequencing project, landrace preservation, DNA fingerprinting, and global databases about the crop, its genome and its pests and pathogens. 
Who are the partners and stakeholders of GCP21?  
GCP21 acts on the basis of mutual interest among its partner members and stakeholders, and has a fundamental role as a convening body rather than an implementing one.  It brings partners together, to stimulate interest and efforts, to identify and develop strategies for resolving fundamental constraints and exploiting new opportunities that cassava offers to alleviate poverty and hunger. 

GCP21 partners include individuals, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), CGIAR centers, Agricultural Research Institutes (ARI), Donors, Development Banks, United Nations, and the private sector.  There is no formal membership structure; individuals and organizations who wish to collaborate under the GCP21 umbrella are considered partners. Strong relationships with other existing initiatives for cassava are a key operational principal. 
What will GCP21 do?                      
GCP21 steers communication on cassava through thematic or global meetings, databases, publications and websites.

GCP21 helps coordinate stakeholders and researchers to identify constraints and priorities and to develop scientific / biotechnological tools that will enable breakthroughs, to enhance cassava productivity and root quality.

GCP21 integrates all efforts and promotes funding opportunities by addressing complex issues in cassava R&D and eventually improving the livelihoods of farmers and consumers of the crop
Where is GCP21 located?                
GCP21 is located everywhere and operates as a network with hubs in different parts of the world.  Priorities will be given to regional offices to be developed and located in regions where cassava is grown intensively, such as Africa, Asia and South America.

GCP21 headquarters are currently hosted by The Agrobiodiversity Research Area at CIAT, Cali, Colombia.  In the near future, because cassava is the most important food crop in sub-saharan countries, GCP21 will develop an African Hub office
What is the GCP21 governance?    
GCP21 is directed by a Director and governed by a Secretariat and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The GCP21 Director is Dr Claude Fauquet and he has been appointed for 5 years in January 2013.

The GCP21 Secretariat will consist of the Director of GCP21, the CIAT and IITA representatives on the RTB Management Committee, and the RTB Director (or their designees), and will be chaired by the CIAT representative.  The Secretariat will oversee the day-to-day operation of GCP21, will do fund raising, will communicate information and take major decisions for the network.

The GCP21 Technical Advisory Committee will scientifically guide GCP21.  It is composed of 5 prominent cassava scientists with strong interest in science leadership capacity and cassava knowledge.
Examples of GCP21 meetings         
  • GCP21, so far organized two global scientific conferences, in Belgium in 2008 and in Uganda in 2012. The third global conference will be held in Nanning, China, October 5-10, 2015.
  • GCP21 organized three strategic meetings in Bellagio, at the Rockefeller Fdn center in 2002, 2010 and 2013.
  • GCP21 was the leader for 4 thematic meetings on "Declaring war on cassava viruses in Africa", “Collecting and preserving cassava landraces”, “Developing a cassava feed-based system in Africa”, and “Developing an international cassava transit site in La Reunion and establishing a Pan-African Cassava Surveillance System (PACSUN)”.
Example of GCP21 Projects            
  • Declaring war on cassava viruses by deploying possible methods: such as monitoring, diagnostic, natural and engineered resistance, and virus-free propagation of most important cultivars and executing the plan at pilot, regional and continental levels.
  • Establishment of a Pan-African Cassava Surveillance Network.
  • Establishment an International Cassava Transit site in La Reunion.
  • Collecting and preserving cassava landraces and identifying them with DNA fingerprinting.
  • Using cassava peels to feed small ruminants.
  • Developing a new fermentation system using cassava waste to produce fish feed…
Announcement
Pre-registration Now Open for the World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops, Nanning, Guangxi, China, Oct 5-10, 2015.

The Congress is the third Scientific Conference of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) & the 17th Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC).
 
Click here to pre-register
Links
A global alliance declaring war on cassava viruses in Africa

Decisions taken in the meeting at Saint Pierre, La Réunion, June 10 to 13, 2014
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