A (bio)diverse world: Agrobiodiversity in a changing world

6 May, 2015
Thematic areas: 


Coordinator: Domenico Pignone
Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources​ (IBBR)



The introduction of the agricultural practices has brought men to colonize the entire world, has allowed the development of culture and has moulded humanity in its present form. Agriculturehas changed the paradigm of biodiversity allowing the birth of a diversity linked to agriculture and to breeding, what we calla agrobiodiverity.

Diversity is not still, but something mutating in time due to the action of  different forces. During this event some of these forces will be demonstrated. The understanding of the intimate interconnection of these forces gives rise to the science of agrobiodiversity, which is formed by the interaction of many different scientific disciplines. One mighty force driving agrobiodiversity is man himself, through breeding and selecting plants better fit to the food gardens he shapes plants and knowledge at the same time. This event will show how in our food there is not only nourishment but much knowledge and science. The understanding of all the interacting drivers of agrobiodiverity would not be complete if ethic elements would not be explored, that is our ethos, our behaviour.

The first session wil deal with the history of the plants we eat and how they crossed continents following men (Pignone). Most calories of the human diet comes from plants so the relationship between diet and biodiversity will be explored (Oliveira). In a changing world men get farer from the fields so initiatives are needed to fill this gap (Blasi-Donini). One major driver of agrobiodiversity is the climate change that might brake the linkage between agrobiodiversity and cultural heritage (Ponti). Finally the complex factors interconnecting production and commercialization when disturbed may bring to devastating impacts over populations (Di Vecchia).

In the second session the relationships between man and agrobiodiversity will be further explored. Can our nutrition be sustainable in the future ? (Capone). Farmers are in balance between market reasons and societal needs (Colucci) and must respond to consumers desires, whose choises influence agrobiodiversity (Hunter). The growing consumption of animal derivatives has not only influence on huma health but may strongly impact on the rural system (Santori) Aside the scientific part and to complete it some institutional documents will be illustrated. These documents were developed by ethic committees and will elucidate  different views on research and science. Withouth this guidance we cannot imagine a better and (bio)diverse future.


Ministero per gli Affari Esteri
Direzione Generale Cooperazione allo Sviluppo