Agricultural Biodiversity
Case Studies

The programme of work on Agricultural Biodiversity adopted by COP5 includes activity 2.1:

Carry out a series of case-studies, in a range of environments and production systems, and in each region:

  1. To identify key goods and services provided by agricultural biodiversity, needs for the conservation and sustainable use of components of this biological diversity in agricultural ecosystems, and threats to such diversity;
  2. To identify best management practices; and
  3. To monitor and assess the actual and potential impacts of existing and new agricultural technologies.

This activity would address the multiple goods and services provided by the different levels and functions of agricultural biodiversity and the interaction between its various components, as set out in the appendix hereto with a focus on certain specific and cross-cutting issues, such as:

  1. The role and potential of wild, under-utilized and neglected species, varieties and breeds, and products;
  2. The role of genetic diversity in providing resilience, reducing vulnerability, and enhancing adaptability of production systems to changing environments and needs;
  3. The synergies and interactions between different components of agricultural biodiversity;
  4. The role of pollinators, with particular reference to their economic benefits, and the effects of introduced species on indigenous pollinators and other aspects of biological diversity;
  5. The role of soil and other below-ground biodiversity in supporting agricultural production systems, especially in nutrient cycling;
  6. Pest and disease control mechanisms, including the role of natural enemies and other organisms at field and landscape levels, host plant resistance, and implications for agro-ecosystem management;
  7. The wider ecosystem services provided by agricultural biodiversity;
  8. The role of different temporal and spatial patterns in mosaics of land use, including complexes of different habitats;
  9. Possibilities of integrated landscape management as a means for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

This follows up on decision III/11, where COP invited countries to share case-study experiences addressing the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity. Further, COP (decision III/11, Modified by decision IV/6) encouraged interested Parties and international agencies to conduct case studies on:

Case studies received to date are available on this site. Additional relevant material such as workshop reports and technical papers are also provided.

Additional case studies are invited. Guidelines are available in html and pdf format (20 kb)

(76 record(s) found)

1. A Contribution to the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators: Rapid Assessment of Pollinators’ Status
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations PDF (0)
2. IFAD: Global AgriKnowledge Share Fair
A good example which could be expanded to broader biodiversity scope
3. OECD Biotechnology Update (Newsletter) WEB LINK
4. Chicken shed model: using local plants to house and feed chickens
Available under the following link: Environmental sustainability is achieved because the shed is constructed largely of plants that are part of the local ecosystem. The chicken feed is also made from floristic species and does not introduce foreign substances into the food chain. The excrement of the chickens is collected under the shed, and is used as a natural fertilizer in the home garden or the fields. We are looking for ways to integrate the animal component with the vegetative component in the agro-forestry system.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
HTM (0)
5. GenStat Discovery Edition for Everyday Use
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Wim Buysse, Roger Stern and Ric Coe PDF (0)
6. Horizontal soil core sampler HTM (0)
7. System of Rice Intensification
Association Tefy Saina and Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development
Cally Arthur HTM (0)
8. Vertical soil core sampler HTM (0)
9. Azobacter - A Case Study (First National Report on Biological Resources on Agrobiodiversity - PGR India)
Government of India, First National Report on Biological Resources PDF (0)
10. Biodiversity of Pollinators in Canadian Agriculture
Government of Canada PDF (0)
11. International Workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators
Brazilian Ministry of the Environment
Braulio S. F. Dias, Anthony Raw and Vera L. Imperatriz-Fonseca PDF (0)
12. Pollination: A Plinth, Pedestal and Pillar for Terrestrial Productivity
University of Guelph
Peter G. Kevan, University of Guelph, Canada PDF (0)
Soil Biota
13. Biodiversité des Champignons Mycorhiziens (Canada)
Government of Canada PDF (0)
14. Biodiversity of Mycorrhizal Fungi (Canada) 
Government of Canada PDF (0)
15. Microbial Biodiversity and Grass Seed Cropping Systems (Canada) 
L.F. Elliott PDF (0)
16. Worm Watch (English)
Worm Watch
Government of Canada PDF (0)
17. Worm Watch (French) 
Government of Canada PDF (0)
18. Agricultural Development at the Intersections: Finding Means of Directing Agricultural Development Towards Sustainability and Biodiversity Conservation, in the Nguruman Area of Kenya
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)
ICIPE, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology PDF (0)
19. Case Study: Below-Ground biodiversity, land-use change and sustainable agricultural production: research in the alternatives to slash and burn project (ASB)
Brazil, cameroon, Indonesia
Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF)
TSBF, Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme PDF (0)
20. China's Eco-Farming - An Effective Approach for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity
State Environment Protection Administration
Xue Danyuan, State Environment Protection Administration (SEPA) PDF (0)
21. Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources in Africa - A profile of policy, legislative and Institutional Measures
African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
John Mugabe, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) PDF (0)
22. Cooperative fromagere "Jeune Montagne"
Guy Bouloc, Cooperative Jeune Montagne PDF (0)
23. Feasibility Study for the Implementation of Agro-Environmental Programme in Central Europe - A case project in the Green Lungs area of Poland 1997-1999
Zenon Tedrko (IUCN Poland) and Martien Lankester PDF (0)
24. Great Sand Hills Case Study
Richard Laing PDF (0)
25. How to grow a Wildland: The Gardenification of Nature
United States of America
Daniel H. Janzen, University of Pennsylvania, USA PDF (0)
26. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry
International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)
ICRAF, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry PDF (0)
27. Recovering Local Maize in Brazil
Brazilian Institute for Agricultural Research
Angela Cordeiro and Breno de Mello PDF (0)
28. Strengthening the scientific basis of in situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity on-farm
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)
IPGRI, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute PDF (0)
29. Integrating Agrobiodiversity concerns into National Policies, Plans and Strategies in Eastern Africa
(with participation of ICRAF and WRI)
African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
Doris Mutta (ACTS), Lori Ann Thrupp (WRI), Anthony Simons (ICRAF) PDF (0)
30. Biotechnology, the Gene Revolution, and Proprietary Technology in Agriculture: A Strategic Note for the World Bank
IP Strategy Today No. 2, 2001
JH Dodds, R Ortiz, JH Crouch, V Mahalasksmi & KK Sharma PDF (0)
31. Tanzania Sisal Biogas
Available under the following link: Sisal is the most important cash crop, used to produce yarns, ropes, carpets, clothing and composites, and sold to the domestic and international markets. Since 1999 Katani Ltd, a sisal growing company has developed a system of smallholder and out-grower sisal farming, on land owned by the company and in the surrounding areas. Katani has developed the first biogas plant in the world to convert sisal biomass to biogas. This is used to run electricity generators which power production machinery, with excess electricity supplied to out-growers/smallholders homes, schools and hospitals.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
PDF (0)
32. Five percent technique for farm water storage HTM (0)
33. SPAtial and Time Series Information Modeling (SPATISM) HTM (0)
34. Sustainable domestication of indigenous fruit trees: the interaction between soil and biotic resources in drylands of southern Africa
• Use of indigenous tree species. The • Use of indigenous knowledge. The local populations know which trees are the best trees for production, both quantitatively and qualitatively (sweetness of fruit). We base our search for superior phenotypes on this indigenous knowledge. Relevance: • ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY is achieved by providing additional income and a potentially new source of income for some of the fruits. • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY is achieved by making better use of natural resources and native trees to decrease soil degradation and desertification. • OTHER: The practice increases the vitamin content of the local diet, which is otherwise poor in vitamins.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
HTM (0)
35. Promotion of Biodiversity Conservation within Coffee Landscapes
Food and Agricultural organization (FAO)
Random Dubois, FAO PDF (0)
36. Assessing biodiversity impacts of trade: a review of challenges in the agriculture sector
Treweek, J.R.; Brown, C.; Bubb, P. 2006. Assessing biodiversity impacts of trade: a review of challenges in the agriculture sector. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Volume 24, Number 4, 1 December 2006, pp. 299-309(11).
Jo Treweek; Claire Brown; Philip Bubb PDF (0)
37. Organic coffee production in Mexico - "small farmers need extension support to successfully build their opportunities"
PDF (0)
38. Case study: Improved Agro-Forestry Management near the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in MexicoThompson, I. and Christophersen, T., eds. DOC (0)
39. Case Study: Incentive Measures in EcuadorThompson, I. and Christophersen, T., eds. DOC (0)
40. Inga species and alley-cropping alternative to slash-and-burn agriculture HTM (0)
41. Modeling Tool for Water, Nutrient, and Light Capture in Agroforestry Systems (WaNuLCAS)
Website is the technology.
42. Integrated Impact Assessment of International Trade Policy and Agreements: the European Union’s Sustainability Impact Assessments of Proposed WTO Agreements on Agriculture and Forest ProductsClive George, Trade Impact Section, IAIA, and Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK PDF (0)
43. An environmental impact assessment of China's WTO accession : an analysis of six sectors
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). 2004. An environmental impact assessment of China's WTO accession: an analysis of six sectors. Published by the IISD, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 220 pp.
International Institute for Sustainable Development PDF (0)
44. Strategic Environmental Assessment on the Santa Cruz – Puerto Suarez Corridor, BoliviaMarlies van Schooten, SevS advies voor natuur en leefomgeving PDF (0)
45. Strategic environmental assessment of proposed Human River Irrigation Project, Maharashtra State, IndiaAsha Rajvanshi and Vinod B. Mathur PDF (0)
46. Women’s innovations in rural livelihood systems in arid areas of Tunisia
Appication: Innovations related to crops included fig pollination techniques and the use of plastic bottles for the water-efficient irrigation of melons. For example, one 70 year old woman, uses 1.5-litre plastic bottles to irrigate watermelons and melons. She buries each bottle in the soil with the cork downwards. In the cork she has made tiny holes with a needle so that water is released immediately beside the plant. She fills the bottles with water from a cistern fed by run-off rainwater. The water infiltrates slowly near the plant roots and thus escapes the evaporation that is so rapid in this region.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
HTM (0)
47. Control of Rodents and other Storage Pests
RUN Network
HTM (0)
48. Utilization of Agricultural Biodiversity for Management of Cereal Stemborers and Striga Weed in Maize Based Cropping Systems in Africa - A case study
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
Z.R. Khan, W.A.Overholt, A. Hassanali, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, ICIPE PDF (0)
49. Biological Alternatives to Harmful Chemical Pesticides HTM (0)
50. Conservation tillage HTM (0)
51. Traditional multi-purpose tool used in agriculture in Gujarat, India
The economy achieved by a single tool that can serve at least 11 different purposes helps to ensure the sustainability of the practice. The practice has also given local artisans a boost. Their knowledge and skills are sustained by being recognized and put to good use.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
DOC (0)
52. Zai traditional technique for land rehabilitation HTM (0)
53. Traditional paal technology for watershed management HTM (0)
54. CGIAR: System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP)
55. The Future of Technology Transfer at a Major Land Grant University: Report of the Cornell University Land Grant Panel on Technology Transfer
IP Strategy Tody No. 6, 2003
WR Coffman, JE Alexander, DJ BenDaniel, PL Carey, HG Craighead, CR Fay, PA Gould, JS Gross, JE Hunter, WH Lesser, S Loker, JN MacLeod, JJ Mingle, NR Scott & AF Krattiger PDF (0)
56. Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ): Technical cooperation on biodiversity
GIZ - Germany bilateral (biodiversity)
57. Application of environmentally sound technologies for adaptation to climate change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
UNFCCC, Richard J.T. Klein, Mozaharul Alam, Ian Burton, William W. Dougherty, Kristie L. Ebi, Martha Fernandes, Annette Huber-Lee, Atiq A. Rahman Chris Swartz. PDF (0)
58. Pits for trees: how farmers in semi-arid Burkina Faso increase and diversify plant biomass
Available under the following link: When the farmers started rehabilitating the tracts of degraded land (z-peele in the More language), the land had only a few large trees from a very limited number of species. Yacouba Sawadogo counted only four: Balanites aegyptiaca, Lannea microcarpa, Guiera senegalensis and Combretum micranthum. Twenty years later, he has more than 60 species of tree on the same land. Yacouba has introduced into his forest several medicinal species which had disappeared from the region. He collected these during his travels outside the Yatenga area. When people come to visit his farm during the wet season, he asks them to dig some planting pits, plant some trees or sow some seeds that he collected.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
59. The Millennium Seed Bank Project Experience from RBG Kew
Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew
HTM (0)
60. Case Study: Improved Agro-Forestry in Costa RicaThompson, I. and Christophersen, T., eds. DOC (0)
61. Case Study: Austria - Incentive for Best Practices in Farming
Case study taken from the CBD Technical Series No. 39 Cross-sectoral toolkit for the conservation and sustainable management of forest biodiversity
Thompson, I. and Christophersen, T., eds. DOC (0)
62. Administration of the EIA Regulations in the Western Cape with regard to agricultural landS. Brownlie and R. Wynberg PDF (0)
63. Case-Studies from Spain on Migratory Species
  • Proyecto piloto sobre funcionamiento de sistemas de exclusión de tortugas marinas
  • Movimientos dispersivos y estacionales y fragmentación de la población española de avutardas
  • Actuaciones para la conservación de la malvasia cabeciblanca
  • La invernada de las aves acuáticas en España
  • Informe de actividades de la oficina de especies migratorias
    Ministry of Environment
  • PDF (0)
    64. Traditional ethno-veterinary medicine in Cameroon
    Available under the following link: Relevance: • Important medicinal plants are being identified and conserved. • Infectious diseases that could also affect human beings and game animals are increasingly being treated in time to prevent their spread. • Local people are being trained in the sustainable harvesting of medicinal resources that grow in the wild.
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    HTM (0)
    65. Restoration ecology: techniques for restoring grasslands and wetlands
    TechnicalUniversty Munich
    HTM (0)
    66. Protection and cultivation of rattan by Hani (Akha) People in Yunnan, southwest China
    Available under the following link: The practice depends for its success on the community’s skills in cultivation, joint management and internal organization. At the same time, however, the practice itself improves families’ livelihoods and strengthens the community. The practice does pose a danger of overexploitation, however, if the demand for rattan increases and prices go up. External pressure to extract timber could also affect the area of the rattan forest.
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    DOC (0)
    67. ITPGRFA, FAO, Bioversity International: Joint Capacity Building Programme for Developing Countries on ABS
    International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), FAO, Bioversity International
    68. International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)
    IAAKST(assessments, agriculture)
    69. Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR) WEB LINK
    70. Quinoa processing machine HTM (0)
    71. German Appropriate Technology and Ecoefficiency Programme (GATE)
    The initiative expires in late 1990s.
    72. Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) Technology Transfer Quick Guide
    73. Tree Seeds for Farmers
    The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
    Kindt R., Lillesø J.P.B., Mbora A., Muriuki J., Wambugu C., Frost Kindt R., Lillesø J.P.B., Mbora A., Muriuki J., Wambugu C., Frost W., Beniest J., Aithal A., Awimbo J., Rao S., Holding-Anyonge C. HTM (0)
    74. CATIE: Training programme WEB LINK
    75. Utilisation of Indigenous Fruits
    The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
    Patient. D Dhliwayo Dora Mwenye Patient D. Dhliwayo, D. Mwenye, E. Bhebhe HTM (0)
    76. The Karez System or the Underground great wall
    Traditional Water Management Technologies-from the book, “What makes traditional technologies Tick? A review of traditional approaches fro water management in dry lands”. First part in file tttc-UNU-en
    HTM (0)

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