Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

A spotlight on the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition

25 Jul 2017

Dedicated to studying how diversification of diets and underutilized crops provide nutrients, Bioversity International scientists co-authored chapters on sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly announced a United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025) – a timely call to action to eradicate hunger and end all forms of malnutrition. Following on from the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), national governments need to create the conditions necessary to feed and nourish the planet’s growing population.

As part of activities around the Nutrition Decade, the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) has published a special issue of UNSCN News. The publication features papers related to the Decade’s six action areas identified in the ICN2 Framework for Action: (1) sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets; (2) aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions; (3) social protection and nutrition education; (4) trade and investment for improved nutrition; (5) safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages; and (6) strengthened governance and accountability for nutrition.

Bioversity International scientists from our Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems Initiative have co-authored two chapters in Action Area 1: sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets:

- Creating sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets (pages 15–22)

- Leveraging agrobiodiversity to create sustainable food systems for healthier diets (pages 23–32).

At Bioversity International, we study how the diversification of the whole diet, using locally available vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts and seeds, and animal source foods, across seasons, can provide missing nutrients. In particular, we investigate how a range of underutilized crops which have largely fallen off research-for-development agendas can provide nutritious alternatives within a diverse diet.

To find out more and download a free copy of the publication UNSCN News 42: A Spotlight on the Nutrition Decade, click here.

Further links:

Read Ann Tutwiler, Director General’s blog: Why governments should look to agricultural biodiversity to contribute to the Decade of Action on Nutrition

This research is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health and is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

Photo: Dishes prepared for a food fair held in Zambia. The food was judged in a competition for the most nutritious dish. Credit: Bioversity International/E. Hermanowicz