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.
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.
Healthy diets from sustainable food systems
Productive and resilient farms, forests and landscapes
Effective genetic resources conservation and use
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.
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.
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
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias
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:
Trish Malloch Brown
M. Ann Tutwiler
Doug van den Aardweg
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
Trish Malloch Brown
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
Total revenue in 2018 was US$30.5 million. Thanks to the generous support of our funders we generated evidence and worked towards mainstreaming our innovations in large-scale programmes of governments and their development partners. Our partnerships grew with multilateral organizations keen to mainstream agrobiodiversity in their programmes, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Commission (EC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UN Environment, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Our relationships with the governments of Australia, Germany, Netherlands, India, Italy, Peru and Uganda also strengthened. The Government of Italy provides core support to our mission through the legal annual contribution. The Government of Uganda committed to the fourth phase of a partnership focusing on banana production in East Africa. India’s Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) renewed its support for Bioversity International, committing to a new multiyear programme of work to improve agricultural sustainability, smallholder well-being and resilience to climate change in India. Our collaboration with China is active, and joint agrobiodiversity research programme offers the opportunity to partner with key scientific institutes.
We acknowledge the in-kind contributions of facilities and experts from Belgium’s KU Leuven, and the governments of China, Germany, India and Italy among others. In 2018, the value of in-kind contributions amounted to at least $5 million. These commitments are complemented by other supporters of our work who are listed in this report.
The Government of Australia continues to invest in nutrition and school feeding programmes, through our local agriculture-food systems work, which is underpinned by the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Initiative. This Initiative brings together research and policy partners from many countries and is supported by FAO, UN Environment and GEF.
The Government and partners of the Netherlands, including Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, are key partners in scaling out our seed systems work through the CGIAR-Netherlands Partnership.
Strategic new partnerships have been established with the Dutch KIT Royal Tropical Institute and the European Forest Institute to support our forestry research work.
Several funders are responding to our call to action in improving cocoa yields through resilient production systems and ensuring fine flavour of cacao, including the European Cocoa Association, the World Cocoa Foundation, Peru and Germany.
Our longstanding funding partners continue to invest in Bioversity International and we are confident they will remain committed to the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Australia, the Crop Trust, the European Commission, Germany, IFAD, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are historically significant supporters of both organizations. We are confident the potential to increase our impact together through the Alliance will bring significant results.
- CGIAR Trust Fund (includes: Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Arab Fund, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Chad, China, Colombia, Crop Trust, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Finland, Ford Foundation, France, Germany, Ghana, Gulf Cooperation Council, Honduras, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Islamic Development Bank, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kellogg Foundation, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syngenta Foundation, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Kingdom, United States of America, World Bank))
- Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
- International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
- International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
- International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
- International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
- International Potato Center (CIP)
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
- World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Other funding partners
- BIOVISION Foundation for Ecological Development
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
- Christensen Fund
- David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- European Cocoa Association (ECA)
- Fresh Studio Holding Limited
- Guangxi Maize Research Institute (GMRI)
- Kenya Society of Ethnoecology
- KIT Royal Tropical Institute
- KU Leuven
- McGill University
- McKnight Foundation
- New Venture Fund
- Oregon State University (OSU)
- Pennsylvania State University (PSU)
- Puratos Group NV/SA
- RSF Social Finance
- Syngenta Seeds
- University of Oxford
- University of Queensland
- Valrhona SAS
- Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
- World Cocoa Foundation
- WYG International Limited
Governments and international organizations
- Crop Trust
- European Commission
- European Forest Institute (EFI)
- European Union
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/Global Environment Facility (FAO-GEF)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United Nations Environment Programme/Global Environment Facility (UNEP/GEF)
- United States of America