Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

10 top reads on agricultural and forest biodiversity

19 Aug 2014

For the latest in agricultural biodiversity research, we have put together a list of ten recent open access publications, all featuring contributions from Bioversity International scientists.

Strategic action plan to strengthen conservation and use of Mesoamerican plant genetic resources in adapting agriculture to climate change

Mesoamerica, one of the main centres of domestication and diversification of globally important crops, hosts a wealth of plant genetic resources which can contribute greatly to climate change adaptation. The Strategic Action Plan is a ten-year road map to strengthen conservation, access and use of plant genetic resources in Mesoamerica, for food security, agricultural adaptation to climate change and other threats
Read it here

The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources

This first-ever State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources report constitutes a major step in building the information and knowledge base required for action towards better conservation and sustainable management of forest genetic resources at the national, regional and international levels. Bioversity International, The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and other partners worked closely with FAO in the preparation of the report.
Read it here

Genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration using native tree species 

Co-written by Bioversity International forest genetic resources specialists, this publication was written as an input to the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources report. This thematic study reviews the scientific evidence on the role of genetic diversity in maximizing tree seedling survival and the regeneration potential of future tree generations, as well as ensuring that restored sites are able to adapt to future stresses. 
Read it here

Maize landraces and adaptation to climate change in Mexico

Mexico, the primary centre of origin and diversity for maize, is at considerable risk from climate change. Small-scale maize farmers are particularly vulnerable because of their geographical location as well as their limited adaptive capacity. This paper examines the critical role that maize landraces have to play in climate change adaptation.  
Read it here

Conservation of fruit tree diversity in Central Asia – Policy options and challenges

Central Asia is one of the most important centres of origin for temperate fruit species, and enjoys very rich inter-specific and intra-specific diversity of fruit trees. However, major changes in the rural economies of Central Asia have exacerbated some of the threats to agricultural biodiversity. This publication summarizes the factors that threaten local diversity of fruit and horticultural crops in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and outlines measures that can be adopted to develop and implement policy and legislative frameworks that better serve conservation goals. 
Read it here

Fine-tuning banana Xanthomonas wilt control options over the past decade in East and Central Africa

Since 2001, Xanthomonas wilt has become the most important and widespread disease affecting Musa in East and Central Africa. Over the past decade, new research findings and especially feedback from small-scale farmers have helped to fine-tune Xanthomonas wilt control options. This paper presents an overview of past and ongoing research towards the development of practical control strategies for the disease. 
Read it here

Community seedbanks in Nepal – past, present and future

In Nepal, community seed banks have a long and rich history. Supported in particular by a number of non-government organizations and more recently, also by government agencies, they can now be found across the country from the terai to the high hill areas and from east to west. However, detailed documentation of activities and results is not always available. These proceedings bring together knowledge of the contributions of community seed banks in all their richness and diversity.
Read it here

Sustainability and food and nutrition security: A vulnerability assessment framework for the Mediterranean region

This paper outlines, for the first time, an approach to develop metrics and guidelines that measure the sustainability of diets. It is part of an ongoing collaborative process drawing upon the expertise of academics, researchers, consumers and policymakers from over 35 institutions throughout the world.
Read it here

Understanding sustainable diets: A descriptive analysis of the determinants and processes that influence diets and their impact on health, food security and environmental sustainability

Understanding the determinants, factors and processes that comprise a sustainable diet is increasingly important in an era of economic growth, rising incomes, climate change and dietary transitions. This open access review paper examines five major determinants of sustainable diets (agricultural, health, sociocultural, environmental, socioeconomic) and their complex inter-relations. The authors present a causal model and framework from which to build tools to enable policymakers and consumers to better realize the potential benefits of sustainable diets and mitigate risks associated with unsustainable agricultural and consumption practices.
Read it here

Issues in agricultural biodiversity

A series of six books – all free to download from our website – of interest to anyone working in biodiversity research, education, communication, information management and knowledge sharing. The series is published by Earthscan/Routledge in association with Bioversity International.
Browse the series here



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Photo: Library at Bioversity International HQ. Credit: Bioversity International