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Generating policy support for biologically diverse and climate-resilient agriculture

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Project description

The project supports the development and implementation of international policies and laws affecting the availability and use of genetic resources for climate-smart agriculture. Led by Bioversity International, the research team monitors and makes technical contributions to international meetings of several international bodies.

These bodies include: the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Conferences of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, and intergovernmental and expert-working groups created to undertake intercessional work and negotiations.

In parallel, the team is conducting and supporting research on how best to implement international agreements in national and subnational contexts. For example, the project includes research on present and likely future dependence on genetic resources from abroad as a result of climatic changes. Such knowledge can be a valuable tool to garner national support for a global system for sharing genetic materials. The project works at international, regional and national levels.

Project researchers have been contributing to the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Integration of Genetic Diversity into National Climate Change Adaptation Planning, endorsed by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA).


  • Establishing and ensuring sustainability of subregional hubs for policy and technical support in East/Southern Africa
  • Developing policies to support cooperation between key actors from local to subregional levels
  • Increasing use of crop diversity for climate resilient seed systems

Expected outcomes

By project completion 150,000 resource-poor smallholder farmers (at least 40% women) will benefit in terms of higher productivity, increased resilience, adaptive capacity to face climate change, innovative pro-poor value chains. Targeting youth and women farmers will increase equitable access to high quality climate-smart seeds and better access to seed markets.

Gender and youth

Women and men often make gender-influenced choices with respect to what crops to grow or which seeds to save for replanting. Their participation in and benefits derived from community collective actions to conserve and share crop genetic diversity differs. These differences are researched and opportunities to increase benefits for women identified.


  • Bioversity International
  • Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
  • Mekelle University (MU)
  • Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)
  • Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM), Uganda
  • Hombolo Agricultural Research Institute
  • International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)
  • National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Uganda
  • Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South Africa
  • Genetic Resources Research Institute (GeRRI), Kenya
  • Oxfam Uganda
  • Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT)
  • Southern African Development Community Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SADC-PGRC)
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
  • Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI)
  • Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI)
  • University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
  • National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC), Tanzania

More information

For more information, please contact the project leader:

Funding for this project is provided by: