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Resources for Researchers is a database intended as a source for researchers, policymakers, students, and the public to become better informed of major recent analysis on global food security. Included are different perspectives provided through a range of academic journals, government research, think tanks, popular press and opinion pieces, and scholarly reviews. This information has been collected from open sources and includes works that have been produced within the last decade. We have noted gated articles. We will regularly update the database as new works are published. Other topics will be added in the future, such as climate change and forestry. This is a collaborative project. If you think we’ve missed a major piece of work, please let us know.


Biodiversity refers to the variability of living organisms on earth, with special focus on habitat and genetic diversity. It is necessary to maintain biodiversity because upon its decline, the pool of biological resources that are available to future generations is reduced, affecting crop growth. Biodiversity creates and maintains ecological systems, and reduces the odds of crop failure, protects against the spread of plant diseases, and results in greater yields. As biodiversity diminishes and negatively impacts crop growth, the need to protect and maintain the current biodiversity has rapidly increased. With hundreds of plants under threat, we risk losing access to potential sources of food and medicine. We also risk losing their genetic data that could be used to for research on plant disease and pest resistance.

Explore the different Biodiversity categories below:

Why is biodiversity important?

Overview of Agricultural Biodiversity (Agrobiodiversity)

Seed Security and Traditional Seeds


Farmers’ Role in Agrobiodiversity

Ecosystem Services and Conservation

Potential Solutions

Why is biodiversity important?

Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Luigi Guarino and Jeremy Cherfas

These professionals in the agricultural biodiversity field have established this web page as a source for gathering and sharing information about agricultural biodiversity.

About Biodiversity

International Union for Conservation of Nature; January 2013

This gives an overview about biodiversity, how it can be measured, and how much it’s worth.

Cities, Biodiversity, and Governance

Aki Suwa, Alexandros Gasparatos, Christopher Doll, Deljana Iossifova, Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira, Osman Balaban, and Raquel Moreno-Penaranda; United Nations University; March 2011

This paper examines the relationship between cities and biodiversity and how each affects the other.

Rapid Urban Expansion Threatens Biodiversity

Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; September 2012

Researchers predict urban areas will expand by more than 463,000 square miles by 2030. This article analyzes how this rapid urbanization will affect biodiversity.

Biodiversity Conservation for Life

University of Cambridge; February 2012

University of Cambridge created a conservation initiative to address declining biodiversity and how to secure it for the future. This webpage provides links to partnerships established to research this topic.

Overview of Agricultural Biodiversity (Agrobiodiversity)

The Ecosystem Approach and Agricultural Biodiversity

David Cooper; Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity; 2000

This report explains the components of agricultural biodiversity at the ecosystem level and how they are important in supporting production & providing ecological services.

Agricultural Crop Biodiversity

Syngenta: Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture; 2013

Syngenta answers questions about the importance of agricultural biodiversity.

What is Agrobiodiversity?
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
FAO examines trends in global agrobiodiversity.

Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation: Opportunity Knocks

Ken Norris; Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, and Earley Gate; 2008

Agroecosystems will need to play a crucial role in biodiversity conservation.

Supporting Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation: Key Questions

Ronnie Vernooy; Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity; 2003

This overview discusses how agricultural biodiversity affects farmers, research, and consumers.

Linking Agriculture and Biodiversity Can Help Feed the Planet

Emile A. Frison, Julia Marton-Lefevre, and Kanayo F. Nwanze; International Fund for Agricultural Development Social Reporting Blog; June 2013

This article argues that financial, social, ecological, and commercial sectors play an important role to link biodiversity and food security.

Seed Security and Traditional Seeds

Security Crop Biodiversity is Key to Feeding World’s Growing Population - UN Study

UN News Centre; January 2014

FAO outlines voluntary, international standards for genebanks that store seeds used to reproduce plants.

Seed Security = Food Security

Rima Alcadi; International Fund for Agricultural Development Social Reporting Blog (IFAD); March 2014

This blog piece discusses how seed security is the precursor to food security.

Ethiopia Seed Bank’s Novel Approach to Preserving Diversity Under Threat

Claire Provost; The Guardian; March 2014

Ethiopia’s largest seed bank is working to connect scientists and small-scale farmers to conserve traditional, indigenous seeds in face of droughts and other threats.

Food Crop Diversity is Key to Sustainability

M.P. Jones; Sci Dev Net; April 2008

This article examines how thousands of traditional crop species can help break out of dependence on main staple food crops.

Utilisation of Agricultural Biodiversity in Times of Need

Jeffrey Waki and Seniorl Anzu; Malum Nalu; November 2010

Diversity of local seeds can help farmers adapt to climate change. This quickly gives an overview of a project in Papua New Guinea to match seeds that meet the needs of farmers.

CGIAR Research Program for Managing and Sustaining Crop Collections
The objective of the program is to collect and conserve the diversity of plant genetic resources.

15 Seed Saving Initiatives Protecting Biodiversity for Future Generations
Danielle Nierenberg and Delaney Workman; Food Tank; July 2013
Food Tank highlights 15 important seed-saving projects that are helping to preserve agricultural biodiversity.


Biodiversity for Food and Nutrient Security: The Kenyan Perspective

Ekesa Beatrice Nakhauka; International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation; November 2009

While this study solely looks at Kenya, it gives a good explanation of the importance of biodiversity to achieve food security.

Developing an Agricultural Biodiversity Policy for China

Ronnie Vernooy, Yiching Song, Zongwen Zhang, Jingsong Li, Lijun Liu, Christine Martins, Tianboa Qin, Fuyou Wang, Dayuan Xue, Yayun Yang, Shihuang Zhangl, Xiaoyong Zhang; Bioversity International; 2013

An agricultural biodiversity policy is essential for China to harmonize policies and institutional framework to conserve biodiversity while improving crop production.

The Central Role of Agricultural Biodiversity: Trends and Challenges

Lori Ann Thrupp; Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity; 2003

This paper highlights principles, policies, and practices that enhance diversity in agroecosystems.

Modern Agriculture and Biodiversity: Uneasy Neighbours

Barbara Gemmill and Ana Milena Varela; Sci Dev Net; January 2004

This policy brief examines how modern agriculture and biodiversity can coexist and policies are crucial to maintain both.

Climate Change and Agrobiodiversity in Nepal

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); 2009

This report is an attempt to ensure agrobiodiversity plays a role in Nepal’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).

Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture

European Commission; 2001

This action plan, adopted in 2001, discusses the need for a strategic framework to support sustainable farming activities and save biodiversity.

Farmers’ Role in Agrobiodiversity

Agricultural Biodiversity: Farmers Sustaining the Web of Life

Patrick Mulvany and Rachel Berger; Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity; 2003

Farmers play an important role in agricultural biodiversity and biodiversity helps farmers continue to provide food and improve livelihoods.

Conservation of Crop Diversity on the Farm and in the Wild

Bioversity International

Bioversity researches the importance of local crop diversity to smallholder farmers.

GPI Agriculture Accounts, Part Two: Resource Capacity and Use: The Value of Agricultural Biodiversity

Jennifer Scott; Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada; September 2002

This report looks at the “indicators” of biodiversity, habitats important for biodiversity, especially on farms, and the ecosystems services essential for farming.

Seeds for Needs

Bioversity International

This initiative works with farmers to strengthen their seed systems and to grow more crop varieties.

Agricultural Ecosystem Services and Conservation

Productive Agricultural Systems

Bioversity International

Discusses the research of Bioversity on how agricultural biodiversity can improve ecosystem services and create resilient agricultural ecosystems.

Biodiversity Conservation and Agricultural Sustainability: Towards a New Paradigm of 'Ecoagriculture' Landscapes

Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A. McNeely; National Center for Biotechnology Information; July 2007

This study assesses the potentials and limitations for successful conservation of biodiversity in productive agricultural landscapes.

Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity
Jeffrey A. McNeely and Sara J. Scherr; Ecoagriculture; 2003
This book explores new approaches to agricultural production that complement natural environments, enhance ecosystem functions, and improve rural livelihoods.

Potential Solutions

Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research


The platform supports the development of linkages and partnerships between organizations and individuals working on different areas of agrobiodiversity research and to identify knowledge gaps.

Agriculture, Biodiversity and Markets

Stewart Lockie and David Carpenter; New Agriculturist; May 2010

This book addresses how agrobiodiversity can be achieved and what are the systemic consequences.

How Agricultural Biodiversity can Help Prevent Food Loss - A Focus on World Food Day

M. Ann Tutwiler; Bioversity International; October 2013
On World Food Day, speakers discussed different examples of biodiversity helping prevent food loss.


Bioversity International

Recent publications on research for development in agricultural and forest biodiversity.