International Day for Biodiversity: The Case Remains for Further R&I Investments to Shape a Sustainable Future
Often understood in terms of a wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, biological diversity also includes genetic differences within each species. This can be varieties of crops or livestock breeds. Biodiversity also considers the variety of ecosystems, such as oceans, waters and soil, that host multiple kinds of interactions among their inhabitants, including humans, plants and animals. Its sheer variety builds the foundation for life on Earth. Biodiversity is fundamental to human well-being, a healthy planet, and economic prosperity for all. It needs to remain protected.
Today, on the International Day for Biodiversity, Eurice is proud to support the call for global awareness of biological diversity. This year’s theme of 'From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity' celebrates the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted during COP15 in late 2022, while highlighting the urgency of what remains to be done in terms of implementing action globally.
“Partnering in a range of biodiversity research & innovation projects, we strongly support the building of more resilient and sustainable food systems and the restoration of ecosystems”, highlights Dr Sonja Bergner, Senior Research & Innovation Manager at Eurice.
The European research projects AGENT, BreedingValue, INCREASE and FoodLAND contribute to more sustainable food systems in different ways:
- AGENT takes stock of the resources of common cereals currently available in regional genebanks within the EU and aims to establish a cooperation network between them. This is an important contribution to stabilising and increasing agro-biodiversity.
- BreedingValue develops new breeding strategies for resilient and high-quality berries, including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, while ensuring genetic diversity and responding to consumer quality and sensorial preferences. The research includes a study dedicated to show the loss of genetic variation in strawberry.
- INCREASE focuses on the four legumes chickpea, common bean, lentil and lupin and implements a new approach to conserve, manage and characterise genetic resources. While contributing greatly to a general awareness of agrobiodiversity across Europe, the project also develops a unique approach of decentralised conservation of more than 1,000 common bean varieties through the active involvement of thousands of European citizens.
- The FoodLAND project is developing, implementing and validating innovative, scalable and sustainable technologies aimed at supporting the nutrition performance of local food systems in Africa, while strengthening agro-biodiversity and food diversity as well as diversity of healthy diets.
For more information on the Eurice portfolio of R&I projects supporting the recovery of biodiversity, please visit our dedicated webpage.