People benefit from ecosystems in many ways, these are known as ecosystem services. In agriculture, these services include pollination, the provision of clean water, natural pest and disease control, nutrient cycling and more.
Yet despite the importance of ecosystem services to farming communities, markets, policies and research often focus on specialization and economies of scale where biodiversity is seen as an impediment to crop productivity and farm income.
Bioversity International researches how agricultural and tree biodiversity can improve the provision of ecosystem services to create productive and resilient agricultural ecosystems.
We work at both the farm and landscape scale to develop solutions with multiple stakeholders by encouraging dialogue and the use of traditional and scientific knowledge systems.
Bioversity International develops tools and partnerships for the co-management of landscapes and their ecosystem services. We investigate the role that agricultural and forest biodiversity plays in contributing to sustainable multifunctional landscapes.
Bioversity International is currently looking at how diversity at different scales, from variety within a crop, to the species and landscape level, can help manage pests and diseases.
Mapping Ecosystem Services to Human well-being (MESH) is a free, downloadable software tool which ‘meshes together’ existing ‘living’ maps of ecosystem services from already existing tools (such as Natural Capital Project’s InVEST, for example) into a user-friendly interface that enables users to rapidly analyze the impact of a policy or investment decision on ecosystem services such food production, erosion or carbon sequestration.
Learn more about MESH
This work contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) by researching how agricultural biodiversity, and in particular, intra-specific diversity (diversity within a species) contributes to ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. Bioversity International scientists also lead the program's Ecosystem Services and Resilience Advisory Group.