Support crop conservation... while playing board games

Makers of the award-winning board game Catan have come up with a new way to learn about the importance of crop conservation, while also raising money for the Crop Trust.

The standard Catan base game requires players to compete for resources like crops, fuel and construction materials as they seek dominion over the fictional island of Catan. It features a main board, with the option to add-on different “scenario” packs to diversify the game.

The new scenario, Catan: Crop Trust challenges players to cooperate as well as compete, by storing seeds from their harvests of rice, wheat, maize, beans and quinoa in a vault resembling the iconic Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.

All proceeds from the sales of the game will be donated to the Crop Trust endowment fund, which provides long-term support for seed banks all over the world, including the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

“This is in recognition of the fact that conserving crop diversity is essential for the survival of all on Catan – and of course, in the real world too,” says Benjamin Teuber, Managing Director of Catan and co-creator of the new scenario.

“This is a completely new element for Catan players to navigate. The focus during harvesting is on cooperation as well as competition. Of course, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is one of the world’s most iconic examples of international cooperation, so the Crop Trust was a logical partner for developing this new Catan scenario.”

Catan: Crop Trust will go on sale on Monday 8th November 2018, following its official launch at the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL ’18 games fair in Germany on October 26th. It comes with a specially-produced almanac that explains the history of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, frequently asked questions, and examples of the importance of crop conservation: from enabling scientists to develop more resilient rice, to more nutritious maize and more.

“This is a fun, innovative and educational way for more people to learn about the importance of crop conservation,” said Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust. “We’re delighted that Catan has pioneered this new version of the game, and generously chosen to donate profits to the Crop Trust. This will help ensure that seeds – the foundation of our food supply – are safe, and available to all."

Managers of some of the world’s most important genebanks played prototypes of the Catan: Crop Trust game in Svalbard in February this year, as part of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The anniversary, which saw the Vault reach almost 1 million accessions, also marked the single largest deposit of seeds in its history, with 76,000 different crop varieties deposited by 23 institutions.

This special scenario for the Catan base game will be available in English and German in 2018, with plans for versions in other languages in 2019.

For more information:
The Crop Trust
Platz Der Vereinten Nationen 7 53113 Bonn, Germany
+49 (0) 228 85427 122

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