Bioversity International

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Bioversity International
Bioversity logo.svg
Motto Agricultural biodiversity nourishes and sustains the planet
Formation 1974
Type Non-profit research-for-development
Legal status International organisation
Purpose Research for development
Headquarters Maccarese, Rome
Location
Region served
18 offices worldwide
Director General
[1] M. Ann Tutwiler
Staff
Approx. 300
Website www.bioversityinternational.org

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization with a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. The organization delivers scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity to attain global food and nutrition security, working with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.

Bioversity International is a member of the CGIAR Consortium - a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

The organization is highly decentralized, with about 300 staff working around the world.[2] Its Headquarters are in Maccarese, outside Rome, Italy, with regional offices located in Central and South America, West and Central Africa, East and Southern Africa, Central and South Asia, and South-east Asia.

Background[edit]

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization, focused on safeguarding and using agricultural biodiversity to help meet four global challenges - improved nutrition; adaptation to climate change; increased sustainable production; an increase of agricultural biodiversity in global food systems.[3] Bioversity International delivers its research through three Initiatives:[4] Healthy diets from sustainable food systems; Productive and resilient farms, forests and landscapes; Effective genetic resources conservation and Use.

The organization takes the view that the diversity of plants and animals offers opportunities not only through breeding but also by delivering many other benefits. Some are direct, such as the better nutrition and greater sustainability that come with locally adapted crops. Others are indirect, like the ecosystem services delivered by healthy populations of pollinators, biological control agents, and soil microbes. Agricultural biodiversity will also be absolutely essential to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change, not simply as a source of traits but as the underpinnings of more resilient farm ecosystems.[5]

Governance[edit]

Bioversity International is governed by a Board of Trustees, including one Trustee nominated by the host country (Italy) and one nominated by FAO. The Board also appoints the Director General who manages the operation of the various programs.

History[edit]

In 2014, Bioversity International marked 40 years of operations. Bioversity International was originally established by the CGIAR as the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) in 1974. In October 1991, IBPGR became the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)and in 1994 IPGRI began independent operation as one of the centers of the CGIAR. At the request of the CGIAR, in 1994 IPGRI took over the governance and administration of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP). In 2006, IPGRI and INIBAP became a single organization and subsequently changed their operating name to Bioversity International. Bioversity International still maintains the world's largest banana genebank - the Bioversity International Musa Germplasm Transit Centre in Belgium [6] and manages ProMusa- a platform to facilitate the exchange of information and expertise on banana.[7]

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