Annual Report 2018

Agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet

From our Board Chair

Julia Marton-Lefèvre serves up good news

2018 was a tough year. Seemingly every day another headline appeared in the international news media on the increasing urgency of the climate change or biodiversity loss emergencies. When the newspapers were not talking about the planet’s increasingly fragile health, human health came under the spotlight, in particular the rise of diet-related illnesses and premature deaths. It’s easy to get despondent at what appears to be a lack of policies and action to tackle these problems.

So I am going to buck the trend and serve up some good news – a hero of the hour has arrived to save the day! Biodiversity can provide the tools and pathways to get us out of trouble, to a safe operating space for humanity. By eating it and planting it, we not only improve dietary diversity for people, but also the health of the farming systems that provide food and income security for millions of people around the world. The even better news? By using more of it in diets, markets and production systems, we will safeguard it for the future.

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Today’s global challenges of poverty, malnutrition, climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss call for new solutions, innovations, and stronger partnerships that can deliver higher impact.

To respond to these challenges, and building on their complementary mandates and long collaboration, in 2018, Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) committed to joining forces to create an Alliance.

Why agricultural biodiversity matters

2018 research highlights

Healthy diets from sustainable food systems

Productive and resilient farms, forests and landscapes

Effective genetic resources conservation and use

Scientific publications

In the research highlights section of the Annual Report, you will find stories based on scientific papers and tools produced by Bioversity International scientists working with partners. 

These highlights represent just a small selection of the 145 papers produced in 2018.

Click here for the full list

Funding and research partners

Bioversity International works with partners around the world including a wide range of funders and research partners who share our vision and mission 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.

Bioversity International is proud to be a CGIAR Research Centre. Supported by CGIAR Trust Fund members and in close collaboration with the other 14 CGIAR Centres and hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector, in 2018 Bioversity International participated in:

  • Three Agri-Food System CGIAR Research Programs (Forests, Trees and Agroforestry; Grains, Legumes and Dryland Cereals; and Roots, Tubers and Bananas)
  • Four Global Integrating Programs (Agriculture for Nutrition and Health; Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security; Policies, Institutions and Markets; and Water, Land and Ecosystems)
  • Two Research Support Platforms (Genebank Platform; and Platform for Big Data in Agriculture)

We thank all of our partners for their critical and continued support.

Financial information

In 2018, total revenue was US$30.5 million and expenditure $32.3 million, resulting in a deficit of $1.6 million. This deficit was purposefully incurred as part of the 3-year development plan for the period 2017–2019, which applied reserves to invest in the growth of Bioversity International by incurring operational deficits in those three years. 2020 will be planned and managed to result in a breakeven position. Despite the deficit recorded, operational reserves remain at a healthy level, equivalent of 127 days of average expenditure, well above the minimum target of 90 days set by the Board of Trustees. This application of reserves has allowed strategic maintenance or increase in staff capacity in key areas, and to shift the income portfolio to increase financial resilience.

For more information, download our 2018 Financial Statements


Board of Trustees

Bioversity International Board of Trustees

Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Vice Chair
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Carl Hausmann
Christina Frankopan
Marion Guillou
Agnes Kalibata
Claudio Lenoci
Trilochan Mohapatra
Brent Swallow
M. Ann Tutwiler
Douglas van den Aardweg

Bioversity International UK Trustees

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:

Trish Malloch Brown

Christina Frankopan
Gillian Kettaneh
M. Ann Tutwiler
Doug van den Aardweg

Bioversity International USA, Inc Trustees

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

Richard China
Jessica Fanzo
John Hamer
Trish Malloch Brown
Javier Mateo-Vega
Sara Scherr
Dan Silverstein


Writing: Carlo Angelico, Nora Capozio, Jeremy Cherfas, Samantha Collins, with contributions from many of our scientists

Contributors: Maria Garruccio, Annie Huie, Allison Poulos, Consuelo Tenente

Design: Pablo Gallo

Project Manager: Nora Capozio