Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

The actions of a community living upstream inevitably affect communities living downstream. Likewise, a degraded ecosystem might have repercussions beyond its immediate area, and the loss of certain ecosystem services might be felt at local, regional or even global scales.

To work at the landscape level, is to look at the bigger picture. How do people's actions affect their surrounding ecosystems and vice versa? And how can people with different interests work together to optimize agriculture, conservation and human well-being?

Bioversity International's work in this area focuses on how agricultural biodiversity and different knowledge systems can contribute to the resilience and multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes.

MESH - Mapping Ecosystem Services to Human well-being

Mapping Ecosystem Services to Human well-being (MESH) is a free, downloadable software tool which ‘meshes together’ existing ‘living’ maps of ecosystem services from already existing tools (such as Natural Capital Project’s InVEST, for example) into a user-friendly interface that enables users to rapidly analyze the impact of a policy or investment decision on ecosystem services such food production, erosion or carbon sequestration.

Learn more about MESH

SEPLS - Resilience Indicators for socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes

Bioversity International in collaboration with the United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) and the Satoyama Initiative have developed a set of indicators to help assess the resilience of rural landscapes and their communities. Currently, UNDP’s COMDEKS programme is piloting these indicators with communities in 20 sites. Feedback from the pilots and Bioversity International's own field tests in Bolivia, Cuba, Kenya and Nepal, are helping researchers further refine these indicators. 

Learn more in this user-friendly toolkit on indicators of resilience

Bridging Managed and Natural Landscapes in Cuba

Increasingly, the line between agriculture and conservation is becoming blurred. In many countries, an increasing amount of food is actually being produced in nature reserves and protected areas, making them not only a hotspot for wild biodiversity, but agricultural biodiversity as well.

In Cuba, Bioversity International in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (INIFAT) and the National Center for Protected areas (CNAP) is working on the UNEP/GEF project ”Agrobiodiversity Conservation and Man & the Biosphere Reserves in Cuba: Bridging Managed and Natural Landscapes”, to study the relationship between farming systems and biodiversity in UNESCO Man & the Biosphere Reserves. By bringing together different sectors, the project is tapping into the expertise of usually separated fields, to work towards strengthening the resilience and food security of these socio-ecological production landscapes.

Links

CGIAR Partnership

This work contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems by researching how agricultural biodiversity and landscape mosaics can improve the resilience of rural communities. Search for contributions from Bioversity International scientists on the WLE Agriculture & Ecosystems Blog.

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