Enhancing Biodiversity & Resilience in Agriculture

ETH Zurich researchers join forces with Bayer and the International Food Policy Research Institute to develop nature-based solutions that counteract biodiversity loss on farms.

Flower Strips
Image Credit: Iowa State University, Omar de Kok-Mercado

Enhancing Biodiversity & Resilience in Crop Production

Project Goal

To embed biodiversity and resilience thinking in intensive arable systems


Restoring biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, which now cover 50% of the Earth’s land surface, will require working with farmers to develop new knowledge and tools for integrating natural habitats into agricultural systems. Doing so can enhance the ecological and economic resiliency of agriculture while supporting biodiversity, both central objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This project will consolidate and synthesize existing knowledge relating to farm and landscape practices to enhance biodiversity and resilience in intensive soy, maize, and wheat production systems. The project team will work together with farmers in Brazil, Germany, France, the United States to validate the currently available management options and to evaluate potential beneficial policies and business models.


  • Synthesise knowledge on habitat creation options for biodiversity and resilience
  • Explore scenarios with farmers for biodiversity-oriented outcomes
  • Develop the basis for decision-making and value generation tools
  • Outline financial and business models by which interventions can be scaled



Project Partners

This project brings together academic, industry, and policy expertise in agriculture and ecosystem management. ETH Zurich and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have joined with partners in Brazil, Germany, France and the USA, to provide both global and local perspectives. Bayer AG, as the funding agency, has strong interest in identifying practices that could enhance biodiversity, while simultaneously improving the resilience of farmed systems. Our outputs will be disseminated through outreach activities in collaboration with project partners and Bayer.


Project Partners

For further information on the project please contact Jaboury Ghazoul or Anne Dray .

Blogs and News


Jaboury Ghazoul, Professor of Ecosystem Management at ETH Zurich, comments on the importance of soil health to agricultural sustainability and how agribusinesses can help feed microbes as well as people. Read blog

corn fields

Jaboury Ghazoul, Professor of Ecosystem Management at ETH Zurich, shares his thoughts on why science can play a substantial role in enabling the transformation of agriculture and in providing farmers with the security and confidence to make the transition. Read blog

COlourbox field

Today, Bayer, IFPRI and ETH announce a research collaboration to address how agriculture can develop and implement new solutions to reduce its impact on biodiversity. Over the next several months, the first phase of the partnership will begin with interactive farmer engagement aimed at understanding current challenges and risks farmers face to help inform and validate the identification of potential scalalble solutions and business models. Read full press release

Event Calendar


Bending the curve of biodiversity loss: How can agriculture become part of the solution?


This second webinar will focus on one key aspect already raised in the first one: It is imperative in business to work alongside farmers to build sustainable agricultural systems that open new opportunities for farmers to draw on their historical and current creativity in agricultural practice. Understanding and working within farmer constraints to identify pathways towards biodiversity is the only way by which realistic solutions can be implemented.

The first results of interviews with French and German farmers will be presented, regarding their perceptions and experiences in relation to biodiversity-friendly practices and habitat creation solutions, their views on farm management priorities and issues, their aspirations and innovative management strategies considering changing environmental and regulatory conditions.

In parallel, the webinar will provide a scientific perspective: A review of scientific literature on habitat creation measures and their relationship to different biodiversity dimensions conducted by ETH may provide first insights into most promising approaches.

A panel consisting of farmers, agricultural and environmental scientists as well as representatives from industry will discuss the presented first results and questions during the event.

Date: Wednesday, 04 May 2022
Time: 12:00-​13:30 CET

external pageMore information

Bending the curve of biodiversity loss: How can agriculture become part of the solution?


A panel discussion hosted by the World Food System Center focused on enhancing biodiversity and resilience in agriculture for environmental well-being. We invited questions, suggestions, and ideas on how farmers, policy makers, and corporations might develop environmentally friendly farming systems. A panel of experts from different sectors discussed the presented questions during the event.

Date: Tuesday, 29 June 2021
Time: 17:00-​18:00 CET

Event Summary

external pageVideo of Webinar

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