Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project


Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (B4fn)

The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative led by Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Project stems from Decision VIII/23 – Cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition – taken at the Eighth Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-8), carried out between 20-31 March 2006 in Curitiba, Brazil.

Synergising unique experience of multiple leading partners 

The Project has a broad range of partners from relevant ministries in Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey, the scientific community, civil society organisations and local communities. It is coordinated by Bioversity International with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Additional funding is provided by: the four countries, Bioversity International from the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health and support from the World Food Programme (WFP), the Earth Institute, Columbia UniversityCrops for the Future, the World Agroforestry Centre and AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.

Focus areas in the biodiversity for food and nutrition nexus 

Building on its partner’s expertise, the Project is addressing growing concerns over the rapid disappearance of agricultural biodiversity, particularly traditional crops and wild species with nutritional potential. Like most biodiversity, once rich agricultural biodiversity is disappearing due to environmental pressures, unsuitable land management practices and to changes in consumer preferences, dietary patterns and lifestyles. Also disappearing is the traditional knowledge associated with the preparation, storage and cultural use of these foods, which, in the past, made up a significant proportion of local diets.


The Project hence builds on growing evidence showing that agricultural biodiversity has the potential to fulfil many of the nutritional requirements needed for a healthy and balanced diet and thus can help reverse the alarming trends in under- and over-nutrition afflicting many countries worldwide. The evidence will be used to conserve and promote the use of these species in the four countries by:

  • Raising awareness of their importance
  • Creating markets and value chains for their use
  • Making sure that future policies and strategies that tackle malnutrition include the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity as a cost-effective solution to rising diet-related nutrition and health conditions – such as nutrient deficiencies and obesity

For a summary overview of the project please download the project flyer (1.0 MB)