In 2015, at the United Nations in New York, countries agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals; in Paris at the Climate Summit, they reached an agreement on Climate Change; and at the Convention on Biological Diversity, countries focused on mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity into health, nutrition and production system.
Agricultural biodiversity has an increasingly important role to play in creating long-term food system sustainability. It contributes to improving nutrition, enhancing resilience of agricultural production system and increasing adaptation to climate change. Bioversity International, together with partners, investigates how to safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity for future generations and how to use it to diversify diets, production systems, seeds and planting materials.
In the report you will find examples that show the impact of Bioversity International’s work on people's lives on the ground in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our work is organized around three initiatives: ‘Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems’, ‘Productive and Resilient Farms, Forests and Landscapes’ and ‘Effective Genetic Resources Conservation and Use’.
One of the highlights in 2015 was the 30th anniversary of the Bioversity International Musa Transit Centre – the world’s largest collection of banana diversity, which houses more than 1,500 samples of edible and wild species of banana from all over the world.
Bioversity International also participated in the World Expo ‘Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life!’ in Milan, Italy, where we featured women farmers from Bolivia, India, Italy and Mali who came to Milan to share their stories at our main event – Agricultural biodiversity, value chains and women’s empowerment.
Bioversity International's achievements in 2015 would not be possible without the support of a wide range of key funding partners. The continuous and fruitful collaboration with our partners is critical for us 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.
Our work in 2015 has laid the foundation for two important upcoming developments in 2016: The first ever State of Knowledge on Agrobiodiversity for Sustainable Food Systems that will be published and presented at the Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13), in Mexico, in December. The second is an agrobiodiversity index that will guide policymakers and investors to implement policies and investment strategies that ensure that agricultural biodiversity can contribute to food and nutrition security, and to the resilience of food production systems.
The report also presents information about our Board of Trustees, funding and research partners, scientific publications and financial performance during 2015.
Photo credit: Woman picking roots in field of mustard and fodder grass, India. Credit: Bioversity International/C. Zanzanaini