MARIJE D. BIJ DE VAATE1, JULIA NDUNGU-SKILTON2, TOBY HODGKIN1
1Bioversity International - Kenya, Global Partnerships Program, Kenya
2Bioversity International - Kenya, Diversity for Livelihoods Program, Kenya
The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research, established in 2006, provides a framework for collaboration and cooperation among those working on different research areas of agrobiodiversity who share a common concern to maximise its contribution to human well-being.
Agricultural production systems are becoming increasingly simplified and vulnerable with loss of crop and livestock varieties, trees, soil organisms, pollinators, species that help control pests and many other useful wild species found in and near agricultural production systems. The problem is most acute in developing countries, where farmers agrobiodiversity can play a key role in enabling farmers to cope with such problems as market shifts, climate change or new disease threats.
The overall goal of the Platform is to enhance sustainable management and use of agrobiodiversity for human needs by improving knowledge of all its different aspects. It does this through promoting the sharing of information, identifying the contribution of agrobiodiversity to major global issues, as well as through supporting research development.
To achieve its goals the Platform encourages and facilitates sharing of experiences through meetings and e-discussions, supports communication among scientists, policy makers and practitioners, and provides information that helps link organisations and researchers around key research issues. It also works on bridging gaps between North and South, conservationists and agriculturalists and those working on different components of agro"=ecosystems.
The work of the Platform is defined by significant global agendas on agricultural research for development, such as the Millennium Development Goals, FAO's Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the 2010 Biodiversity Target of the CBD.
The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research is hosted by Bioversity International, and operates with a small Secretariat based in Rome, Italy, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Keywords: Agrobiodiversity, facilitation, global network, research