In 2015, at the United Nations in New York, countries agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals; in Paris at the Climate Summit, they reached an agreement on Climate Change; and at the Convention on Biological Diversity, countries focused on mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity into health, nutrition and production systems.
Agricultural biodiversity has an increasingly important role to play in creating long-term food system sustainability, with contributions to make in terms of improving nutrition, enhancing resilience of agricultural production system and increasing adaptation to climate change,.
In the report you will find examples that show the impact of Bioversity International’s work on people's lives on the ground in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our work is organized around three initiatives: ‘Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems’; ‘Productive and Resilient Farms, Forests and Landscapes’; and ‘Effective Genetic Resources Conservation and Use’. Through these initiatives, we investigate how to safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity for future generations and how to use it to diversify diets, production systems, seeds and planting materials.
“Agricultural biodiversity has an increasingly important role to play in creating long-term food system sustainability.”
Increasing the sustainable use of agricultural and tree biodiversity in production and consumption systems plays an important part in solving today’s challenges – reduce global malnutrition, adapt to climate change, increase productivity and reduce risk, and address shrinking food diversity.
Bioversity International’s strategic objectives are to diversify diets, production systems, seeds and planting material, and safeguard biodiversity.
To achieve these objectives, Bioversity International integrates its research portfolio into three initiatives.
Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems
Productive and resilient farms and forests
Effective Genetic Resources Conservation and Use
In 2015, Bioversity International produced 169 scientific publications on topics that include:
- banana genetic resources conservation and management systems
- biodiversity and ecosystem services
- diet diversity and nutrition
- forest genetic resources and restoration
- fruit tree and tree crops diversity
- genetic resources policies and institutions
- neglected and underutilized species
- on farm and in situ conservation.
Bioversity International works with partners around the world to identify and deliver innovative solutions to ensure agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.
Our partners are national and international research systems and advanced research institutes, non-governmental organizations, foundations, private sector organizations, government ministries, UN agencies and international bodies.
Bioversity International's work would not be possible without the support of the CGIAR Fund members and a wide range of funding partners who share our vision and mission.
The continuous and fruitful collaboration with our partners is critical for Bioversity International to deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.
Mobilizing funding is becoming more challenging as many CGIAR donors cut their aid budgets and divert resources to crisis management and achieving short-term results. To address these significant funding cuts, Bioversity International has used a combination of cost-cutting measures, strategic use of reserves, and has developed additional fundraising plans.
Funding to Bioversity International from bilateral sources is on the increase and development of several ‘big idea’ evidence-based products, which are attractive and ripe for support by development budgets, will help the Institute to recover and grow again.
Revenue in 2015 amounted to US$ 36.3 million (2014: $42.4 million) against expenditures of $36.9 million (2014: $42.2 million), resulting in an operating deficit of $0.6 million for 2015. Bioversity International’s reserves were at $10.7 million (115 days) at 31 December 2015, compared with $11.1 million (107 days) at 31 December 2014, both of which are above the target of 90 days set by the Board.
Despite the challenges posed by several unexpected cuts and a difficult bilateral resource mobilization environment, Bioversity International has implemented effective mitigating measures and continues to achieve great results in delivering scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.
For more information, download our 2015 Financial Statements
Board Chair: Cristián Samper
Vice Chair: Carl Hausmann
Maria Helena Semedo
M. Ann Tutwiler
Douglas van den Aardweg
Bioversity International created a UK registered charity (no. 1131854) in October 2008 to increase awareness and support for its research agenda and activities. Bioversity International UK is governed by an independent Board of Trustees.
Board Chair: Trish Malloch-Brown
Jacqueline de Chollet
M. Ann Tutwiler
Bioversity International USA, Inc aims to engage and inspire a wide range of partners and donors to ensure that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. It is led by a committed and highly regarded Board of Trustees:
M. Ann Tutwiler
Xanthomonas wilt of banana is considered as one of the biggest threats to East and Central Africa’s bananas. Once the crop is infected and is not managed properly, the disease can completely prevent fruit production, as there are no known sources of natural resistance in the cultivated banana diversity. At its peak in 2004, the wilt significantly affected the banana production in Uganda, a country where a large chunk of peoples’ diets is comprised of dessert, cooking and beer bananas.
Across the affected countries (seven countries so far), the previously promoted Xanthomonas wilt control package comprised techniques such as uprooting the complete mat (two or more banana stems growing together), sterilizing garden tools, using clean planting materials, early removal of male buds to prevent insect vector transmission and limiting the movement of small ruminants in banana fields that contain diseased stems.
Under the umbrella of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, Bioversity International, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative have been working with national partners and the relevant communities to manage the wilt through the ‘single diseased stem removal’ (SDSR) approach. This new and simpler approach contains the devastating disease through destroying only the diseased stems, in contrast to complete mat removal that destroys both diseased and healthy stems arising from an affected mat.
SDSR can bring the disease under control within a year while saving labour and money. For example, in the village of Katana centre, in South Kivu, eastern DR Congo, thanks to SDSR application in fields suffering an initial Xanthomonas wilt incidence of 80%, wilt incidence dropped to below 2% within 3 months and to below 0.5% in a 10 month period (see photo on the right).
SDSR is thus promoted as a substitute for or complement to the complete mat removal that, despite being effective, has been poorly adopted due to its high cost and labour-intensiveness. The SDSR technique also has to be applied in combination with tool sterilization and male-bud removal.
A farmer can choose the wilt-management approach according to his or her farm’s agro-ecological conditions, type of farming system, type of household, and the livelihood strategy of their household or community. For example, SDSR is well suited to less intensive banana production systems whereas complete mat uprooting is best advised for intensive, market-oriented banana production systems.