External Event
Virtual seminar

Enhancing Biodiversity and Resilience in Intensive Farming Systems: Results from an ETH Zürich-IFPRI Collaborative study

Online seminar
IFPRI, ETH Zürich, and Bayer

The growth of our global food production capacity over the past century is unprecedented, and has been facilitated by advances in crop breeding, mechanization, intensification, and the application of chemical inputs. This has come at a cost in terms of biodiversity loss and land degradation. This apparent trade-off between productivity and environment can be resolved through adoption of new farming practices that emphasize restoring and maintaining biodiversity on agricultural land to the benefit of soils and crops. The science underpinning such practices is still being developed and trialed, but we know enough to propose alternative management principles. Similarly, farmers have long been experimenting and adapting their farming systems, sometimes drawing on scientific outputs, but more often than not drawing on their own experiential learning and knowledge exchange across farmer networks.

In recognition of the developing science coupled with the growing interest of farmers in exploring new approaches to enhance farm resilience, ETH Zurich and IFPRI are pleased to share their research findings undertaken as part of the Enhancing Biodiversity and Resilience in Crop Production project, supported by Bayer. Over the course 2021-2022, ETH Zurich and IFPRI, together with partners in Germany, France, Brazil, and the USA, conducted systematic reviews of the scientific literature, complemented with interviews with farmers in each country, to evaluate management options for enhancing biodiversity and resilience in crop production. A panel composed of farmers, researchers, government and private sector actors will then comment on these research findings through the lens of farm management realities, and offer their perspectives on how to advance this area of research and how to achieve greater coherence of multiple policies, programs, and efforts.

Welcome Remarks

Project Overview

Presentations of key findings

Practices and Technologies

Factors affecting farmers’ participation in agri-environmental schemes

  • Sergei Schaub, Postdoctoral researcher, Agroscope and ETH Zürich

Spatial distribution of intensive soybean, maize, and wheat production systems in Brazil, France, Germany, the United States

  • Zhe Guo, Senior GIS Coordinator, IFPRI

Co-developing a framework and indicators for assessing the performance of biodiversity-enhancing practices

  • Xin Zhang, Associate Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Panel Discussion

  • Wei Zhang, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Adrian Ivory, Manager Strathisla Farms, Blairgowrie, Scotland
  • Fernando Sampaio, Director, Produzir Conservar Incluir (PCI) Institute, Brazil
  • Sergei Schaub, Postdoctoral researcher, Agroscope and ETH Zürich
  • Celine Termote, Regional lead for Africa of the food environment and consumer behaviour research group, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT
  • Bärbel Hundt, Biodiversity Strategy Director, Bayer Crop Science


Closing Remarks

  • Xin Zhang, Associate Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Note of Thanks