Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project Launched

28 April 2012: A new project has been launched to address the narrowing variety of foods in people's diets, titled the “Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project.” The project is coordinated by Bioversity International, under the leadership of Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The project is co-financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), as well as by international agencies, with implementation support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO).

The $35 million project will conduct research on biodiversity's role in nutrition, and provide information on the nutritional and health benefits of traditional food sources to the four partner countries. The results will be used to enhance the development of policies and regulatory frameworks that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of traditional foods, which are often more nutritious and better adapted to local environments than imported foods, according to the project.

UNEP notes that the project is consistent with the Cross-Cutting Initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition, adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 8), in recognition of the importance of the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition. [Bioversity International Press Release] [UNEP Press Release]