Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Conservation and use of forest and tree genetic diversity

Millions of rural people in the developing world depend on trees for food, cooking fuel, shelter, medicine and income. Of the thousands of wild tree species important to people for nutrition and livelihoods, many are becoming scarce. The drivers of forest biodiversity loss are well-known, for example: over exploitation, slash and burn agriculture, changing climate, invasions of exotic species and over-grazing by domestic livestock.

Although several organizations are tackling these problems, Bioversity International occupies a unique niche, studying at a global level, how to use and conserve valuable tree genetic resources.

Bioversity International’s forest research focuses on documenting the diversity within tree species that are important for people, analyzing the threats to trees and their genetic resources and learning how these threats can be addressed to achieve their conservation and sustainable use in protected areas and managed forests and woodlands. We also seek to understand gender aspects and the different ways in which women and men use and conserve tree resources.

Research highlights

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Capacity strengthening and awareness about tree resources
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Resolving conflict over resources
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Trees for food and nutrition
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Responding to threats and promoting sustainable use and conservation
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Gender-responsive forestry research
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Cocoa and coconut

Cacao, Malaysia. Credit: Bioversity International/B. SthapitBioversity International also works on cacao and coconut genetic resources research around the globe. Learn more about the conservation and use of bananas & tree crops.

Where we work

  • Africa: Congo Basin, Southern African miombo and other Sudanian (Sahel) and Somalia-Masai dry forests 
  • Asia-Pacific: South, Southeast and Central Asia
  • Latin America: Amazon Basin, Andes and Mesoamerica/Maya Forest

CGIAR partnership

Bioversity International’s forest research contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry:  Livelihoods, Landscapes and Governance, leading the theme on management and conservation of forest and tree resources. In partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research, the World Agroforestry Centre and CATIE.

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