Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition: A New Agenda for Sustainable Food Systems, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition

A New Agenda for Sustainable Food Systems, 1st Edition

Edited by Danny Hunter, Teresa Borelli, Eliot Gee


314 pages | 60 B/W Illus.

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This book examines the challenges and impacts of poor diets and nutrition from current food systems and the potential contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services in addressing these problems.

There is a strong need for a multi-level, cross-sectoral approach that connects food biodiversity conservation and sustainable use to address critical problems in our current food systems, including malnutrition Building on research from the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (BFN), which aims to better link biodiversity, diets and nutrition, the book presents a multi-country, cross-sectoral analysis of initiatives that have promoted local food biodiversity in four countries: Brazil, Kenya, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. This book offers a comprehensive summary of the BFN project results in each of the four countries along with lessons learned and how this work could be upscaled or applied in other regions. It argues that the strategic promotion and use of food biodiversity is critical in uniting attempts to address conservation, nutrition, and livelihood concerns. The book is structured around chapters and case studies encompassing the BFN project with specific experiences related by partners who played key roles in the work being done in each country. By offering a comparative view capable of furthering dialogue between the respective countries, it is also meant to connect the individual cases for a "greater than the sum of its parts" effect. This means consideration of how localised activities can be adapted to more countries and regions. Therefore, the book addresses global issues with a foot planted firmly in the grounded case study locations.

This book will be of great interest to policymakers, practitioners and NGOs working on food and nutrition, as well as students and scholars of agriculture, food systems and sustainable development.

Table of Contents

Part I: Why biodiversity for food and nutrition?

Chapter 1: Nourishing people, nurturing the environment: biodiversity for food systems transformation and healthier diets

Danny Hunter, Eliot Gee, Teresa Borelli

Chapter 2: Challenges and impacts of poor diets and nutrition

Barbara Burlingame

Chapter 3: Evidence for the role of biodiversity in supporting healthy, diverse diets and nutrition

Libby Hattersley, Bruce Cogill, Danny Hunter, and Gina Kennedy

Chapter 4: From uniformity to diversity: the potential of biodiversity and agroecology to transform food systems

Nick Jacobs, Chantal Clément, and Emile Frison

Part II: The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) Project

Chapter 5: The ABC of mainstreaming biodiversity for food and nutrition: concepts, theory and practice

Eliot Gee, Teresa Borelli, Daniela Moura de Oliveira Beltrame, Camila Neves Soares Oliveira, Lidio Coradin, Victor Wasike, Aurillia Manjella, Gamini Samarasinghe, Birgül Güner, Ayfer Tan, Kürşad Özbek, Saadet Tuğrul Ay, Sevinç Karabak and Nurcan Aysar Güzelsoy and Danny Hunter.

Part III: Future opportunities and directions

Chapter 6: Biodiversity, food systems and urban-rural linkages

Florence Egal and Thomas Forster

Chapter 7: Diversifying public food procurement and school feeding

Luana F. J. Swensson and Florence Tartanac

Chapter 8: Food biodiversity, local sourcing and consumers: gastronomy as a critical interface

Willy Legrand, Clare Hindley, and Gabriel Laeis

Chapter 9: Linking food biodiversity and food traditions to food tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Tracy Berno

Chapter 10: Start me up! Food biodiversity and youth-led innovations

Eliot Gee and HyunJu Lee

Chapter 11: Neglected no more: reframing the food systems narrative using agricultural biodiversity

Teresa Borelli, Eliot Gee and Danny Hunter 

About the Editors

Danny Hunter is Senior Scientist at Bioversity International and the Global Project Coordinator for the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) Project.

Teresa Borelli is a Programme Specialist at Bioversity International providing research and communication support to the BFN Project.

Eliot Gee is a Research Fellow at Bioversity International providing research and communication support to the BFN Project.

About the Series

Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity

Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity

This series of books is published by Earthscan in association with Bioversity International. The aim of the series is to review the current state of knowledge in topical issues associated with agricultural biodiversity, to identify gaps in our knowledge base, to synthesize lessons learned and to propose future research and development actions. The overall objective is to increase the sustainable use of biodiversity in improving people’s well-being and food and nutrition security. The series’ scope is all aspects of agricultural biodiversity, ranging from conservation biology of genetic resources through social sciences to policy and legal aspects. It also covers the fields of research, education, communication and coordination, information management and knowledge sharing.

For more information on Bioversity International, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
NATURE / Natural Resources
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries