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The challenge

More than 2 billion people depend on smallholder farms and about 1.4 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Without the biological diversity of crops and trees, rural families struggle to adapt to changing climates and markets, and cannot meet their nutrition and livelihood needs. Rural communities manage and maintain these resources for immediate use. By doing so, they also adapt and improve them for the benefit of broader society and future generations.

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Our research solutions

This Bioversity International Initiative studies how to curb the loss of crop and tree biodiversity, and support systems that contribute to more diversity through:

Strategies, management and trait identification

This area of work encompasses the design of integrated conservation strategies at global and national scales for priority crop genetic resources, and the preparation of action plans to implement these strategies.

Information services and seed supplies

Our researchers gather evidence with farmers, breeders, seed producers, extension agents and natural resource managers about how seed systems function and how to ensure they deliver varieties and species with traits farmers need.

Policies, institutions and monitoring

We research how policies affect the sharing and conservation of crop and tree diversity and identify incentives for farmers and natural resource managers to conserve, share and use genetic resources.

Research highlights

Helping policy catch up with science

When it comes to the use of plant diversity, science is way ahead of policy. Bioversity International took part in a deep analysis of the difficulties, to guide policy regime changes that will strengthen access and benefit sharing.

 

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On the farm and on the wild side

Conserving plant genetic resources in farmers' fields so that they can evolve with changing conditions is often said to be a good thing, yet without very much evidence. A new study examines the case for in situ conservation, marshalls the evidence and raises important questions.

 

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Our strategy

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Our research portfolio

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Our partners

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Richard Scobey, President, World Cocoa Foundation. Credit: WCF

A toast to cocoa diversity

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Latest publications

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