International scientific symposium "Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets"
Pubblicato Lunedì 02 Agosto 2010 16:22

3-5 NOVEMBER 2010


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Bioversity International are pleased to announce the International Scientific Symposium “Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets” that will take place from 3 to 5 November 2010 in Rome, as part of the World Food Week/World Food Day 2010 celebration and in support of the 1 Billion Hungry campaign (www.1billionhungry.org).



The Global Challenge

The alarming pace of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and their impact on poverty and health make a compelling case for re-examining food systems and diets. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop and promote strategies for sustainable diets, emphasizing the positive role of food biodiversity in human nutrition and poverty alleviation. Presently, one billion people suffer from hunger and another two billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Diets low in variety but high in energy contribute to the escalating problems of obesity and chronic diseases, affecting also poor people and developing countries. The recent trends show an increase in these problems, highlighting the inadequacy of the present food supply and dietary patterns. Globalization, industrial agriculture, rural poverty, population pressures, and urbanization have changed food production and consumption in ways that negatively affect ecosystems, biodiversity, and human diets.


The Symposium

The Symposium is a three-day event. Its main purpose is to discuss the impact of food consumption patterns on human health, agriculture production, environment and poverty alleviation. It will serve to identify practices and production systems that would protect food biodiversity while improving the nutritional quality, affordability and sustainability of diets. One of the major outcomes of the symposium will be an agreed understanding of the concept of “sustainable diets” and recommendations on how such a concept can be promoted and applied in different agro-ecological zones, particularly to benefit the rural poor. Experts from academic institutions and research centres, UN agencies, national and local governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and foundations, will further elaborate the emerging concept of “sustainable diets” through a biodiversity-focused cross-sectoral approach. The value of nutrition in food biodiversity will be highlighted to support a shifting paradigm in approaches to malnutrition, for both urban and rural settings. The Symposium aims at providing recommendations for food production, distribution and consumption, with positive impacts for and rehabilitation of the environment. Nutrition and trends in the sustainable utilization of biodiversity will be explored at the Symposium and best practices will be presented. This Symposium will bring together the evidence, showcase synergies and demonstrate benefits across different development sectors.



  • The role of food biodiversity in human nutrition, health, and poverty alleviation;
  • repositioning nutrition, food and biodiversity as central to sustainable development and to the right to food;
  • food as an ecosystem service;
  • varietal differences in the nutrient content of foods;
  • food-based approach for improving nutrition through biodiversity;
  • biodiversity as an element of dietary diversity;
  • bringing biodiversity to the plate;
  • eco-friendly, healthy diets, and local and traditional food systems;
  • food chain sustainability from production to consumption;
  • biodiversity, nutrient requirements and food-based dietary guidelines;
  • challenges for trade to promote food biodiversity;
  • sustainable healthier diets for consumer and environment;
  • Mediterranean diet as an example of a sustainable diet;
  • urban nutrition and biodiversity
  • case studies on successful interventions that promote food biodiversity;
  • cross-cutting approaches to biodiversity and sustainable diets;
  • international policies and instruments.


The call for abstracts is now open, for oral presentations and poster sessions. The length should not exceed 400 words. Authors should email their abstract to Sustainable-Dietsfao.org


6 September 2010: Abstract submission

27 September 2010: Acceptance notification 


The 3-day programme includes invited lectures, submitted oral presentations and poster sessions.


The official language will be English.



The conference will take place in Rome, at FAO Headquarters.



Rima Alcadi (IFAD)

Barbara Burlingame (FAO)

Ruth Charrondière (FAO)

Sandro Dernini ( FAO Consultant)

Florence Egal (FAO)

Jessica Fanzo (Bioversity International)

Stefano Mondovi (FAO Consultant)

Stefano Padulosi (Bioversity International)


The  Symposium is organized by the FAO Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division and Bioversity International.

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