Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Bioversity International and the European Union

The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest funder of development assistance and among the top three research funders. It has provided consistent support to Bioversity International over the past two decades, supporting more than 40 projects addressing global hunger and extreme poverty.

EU funding has been provided through their contribution to the CGIAR Fund as well as through mechanisms including the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP-EU) Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology, the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO-EuropeAid) and the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

Highlights:

The Agrobiodiversity Index

The Agrobiodiversity Index is a tool to measure and manage agrobiodiversity across three dimensions: diets, production and genetic resources.

It will help decision-makers – governments, investors, companies, farmers and consumers – ensure that food systems are more diverse and sustainable. The Index is being developed with the critical support of the European Commission.

“The use of biodiversity can be incentivized by market mechanisms,” said Roberto Ridolfi from the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development department in a recent article for Thomson Reuters. “In the future, little by little, it will become good practice in the stock market."

Find out more

Using forgotten crop varieties to enable the poor to manage risks

Bioversity International leads a Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) value chains development initiative in several regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

For example we have been working in Bolivia and Peru for more than ten years on traditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth and cañihua, which are highly nutritious and have been cultivated for thousands of years in the high altitude plains. But these crops were in decline. Research to improve production and processing methods, strengthen market links, and deliver promotional campaigns led to increased cultivation, market opportunities, and consumption of these traditional forgotten grains. Empowering actors throughout the whole value chain helps them to reduce malnutrition, cope with climate change and improve livelihoods (read the impact brief - pictured right - to find out more).

In 2015 we launched a new initiative to study how underutilized crops can enhance resilience and nutrition in Mali, India and Guatemala. This initiative is supported by the European Union, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Thanks to support from ACP-EU and DEVCO, we are currently strengthening capacities and informing policies to make these forgotten but resilient and nutritious crops of national and regional importance more accessible.

Safeguarding and using crop wild relatives for food security

SADC Crop Wild Relatives

Through financial support from the ACP-EU, Bioversity International’s scientists are currently working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Mauritius, South Africa and Zambia to reinforce their national strategies for the in situ conservation and the sustainable use of crop wild relatives.

This is being done through the establishment of protected area networks and the development of National Strategic Action Plans. The aim is to scale out these methods and approaches in the future to allow other countries to design and implement their own targeted conservation measures.

Read: Crop Wild Relatives - are they going to end up like the dodo?
Read the factsheet: Enhancing the link between in situ conservation and use of crop wild relatives (CWR) in the SADC region to underpin regional food security and mitigate predicted adverse impact of climate change


News about our collaboration with the European Union

17 Mar 2017

Multi-sector inputs towards a solid Agrobiodiversity Index prototype

Last week company, country and investor representatives gathered to consult on the Agrobiodiversity Index – a tool to measure and manage agrobiodiversity across four dimensions: nutrition, production, seed systems and conservation.

07 Dec 2016

A measure of diversity from production to diets: The value of an Agrobiodiversity Index

Bioversity International's Director General, Ann Tutwiler, guest-blogs for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) from the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico and explains the importance of mainstreaming agrobiodiversity in food systems and ... read more

29 Jun 2016

Capturing crop wild relative and landrace diversity

New book by CABI, with contributions from Bioversity International, reviews all aspects of use and conservation of crop wild relative and landrace diversity as a basis for crop improvement and future food security. 

13 Jun 2016

Addressing the weather data paradox head-on in Guatemala and Mali

Weather data is vital for climate science, but it is often inaccessible. To solve this, weather stations are being installed in Mali and Guatemala.

19 Oct 2015

Crop wild relatives – are they going to end up like the dodo?

Many crop wild relatives are at risk of extinction. How to safeguard and use them was the theme of a side event held during the Plant Treaty Governing Body. Bioversity scientists and event organizers Dulloo and Thormann report.

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