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Healthy diets from sustainable food systems

Diverse local Vietnamese foods – nutritious and delicious

In Vietnam, Bioversity International, working closely with partners, is looking at using diverse local foods to improve diet quality and diversity, focusing on women of reproductive age and children between 12-23 months. Adopting a participatory approach to engage the community, the research will ensure recommendations fit with local food preferences and that members feel ownership of findings. Read more

Brazil brings diversity to children’s plates

Brazil is one of four countries leading the GEF ‘Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition’ initiative, looking at how native food species can help improve human nutrition and well-being. In a country where 1 in 3 children between 5 and 9 are overweight, an innovative school-feeding and food procurement programme is set to bring biodiversity back to children’s plates. Read more

Reaping benefits from the Barotse floodplain: men and women’s perspectives

Many rural peoples' food and nutrition security is intertwined with their landscape – the cropland, pasture, trees, forests and rivers of their surroundings. In order to understand the gendered differences in the use of the Zambian Barotse landscape, our scientists used participatory mapping methods to engage women and men in discussions on how gender plays a role in landscape management, knowledge, and nutrition. Read more

Productive and resilient farms and forests

Genetic diversity in forest restoration is essential, say global leaders

In 2014, the decisions of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) were shaped by a successful collaboration with Bioversity International's forest genetic resources scientists. After consulting the SBSTTA, the CBD COP12 urged parties to pay attention to native species in ecosystem restoration. Read more 

Mixing it up in Uganda: Biodiversity bugs pests

Recent findings from Bioversity International trials in pest and disease management confirm the effectiveness of one agricultural biodiversity tactic: mix it up! Intercropping to reduce pest and disease outbreaks is not a new practice; in Uganda, we have been investigating with our partners, how planting different varieties of the same crop in mixtures, can also reduce pest and disease damage. Read more

Non-timber forest products: the way forward for rural women?

In Cameroon, improvement in transportation to remote areas, better access to urban markets and new income-generating opportunities are motivating women and men to sell agricultural and non-timber forest products to earn more money. Using innovative participatory methods, our gender specialist has been investigating what women and men's preferences are when it comes to forest resources. Read more

Effective genetic resources conservation and use

Farmers' varieties legally approved in Mali

Farmers in Mali have achieved a key milestone this year. Working with Bioversity International and partners, seeds of eight varieties of cowpea, fonio, millet and sorghum produced by farmers have been certified by Mali’s national seed laboratory. This is a significant step, as the trade of uncertified seeds is illegal in Mali, even though 92-99% of seed demand is supplied by the informal sector. Read more

Farmers flock to ‘Seeds for Needs’ field day in India

As part of our 'Seeds for Needs' initiative in India, 1700 farmers were invited to a farmers' field day in the state of Bihar, followed by training workshops for farmers on seed selection and production. Farmers shared their experiences working with more crop diversity and visited field trials hosting up to 20 wheat varieties. More than 10,000 farmers are now involved with Seeds for Needs in India. Read more

Banana genetic resources now a click away

In 2014, a new and improved version of the Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS) was made available. MGIS is the most extensive source of documentation on banana genetic resources. It contains key information on 2,281 banana accessions managed in six genebanks around the world, including those conserved in Bioversity International's global banana collection in Leuven, Belgium. Read more

Plant Treaty and Nagoya Protocol – exploring ways to work better together

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Nagoya Protocol are international agreements that commit their member states to implement very different access and benefit-sharing systems. In June 2014, 40 national focal points met key stakeholders to discuss how to implement the two systems in mutually supportive ways. Read more

Research highlights

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.

Our mission is 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.