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Beyond Ecosystem Services: Brokering Agrobiodiversity Management Enterprises in Europe and Internationally (ECO-BROKER)

Project description

Exploring ways to support agricultural biodiversity

Agricultural biodiversity provides everything humans need to survive – food, shelter, clothing, fuel and medicines, as well as vital ecosystem services. Its sustainable management is therefore crucial, not only for providing for people’s basic needs but also as a means of adapting to climate change. Small farmers play an important role in maintaining agricultural biodiversity but don’t get remunerated for this service. To tackle this problem, the EU-funded ECO-BROKER project aims to reconnect food chain players and civil society with conservation values. It will do this by exploring innovative business models that generate economic benefits through participatory agro-biodiversity management.


Improving the sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity is a key objective in regional and international natural resource policy, and is also critical for safeguarding food production and adapting to climate change. Within Europe, small farmers are custodians of the region's greatest agro-biodiversity assets, yet without remuneration for this stewardship activity. As public sector budgets struggle to provide compensation, the case for exploring the potential support from the agro-biodiversity based food chain is the driver of this Fellowship which aims to explore innovative business models and learning approaches not only to support sustainable management but also to reconnect food chain players and civil society with conservation values. The prospective Fellow, Dr Humberto Rios Labrada, is an experienced plant breeder and winner of national and international awards for innovating with participatory and action research methodologies for rural innovation. He will be hosted at Coventry University, UK, in its multidisciplinary Centre for Agroecology. Field research, and industry secondments and visits, will involve institutions in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Cuba, to explore initiatives that have been generating economic benefits through participatory agro-biodiversity management (termed Agro-biodiversity Management Enterprises) and identify opportunities for their scaling up. The Fellow will receive training in social enterprise development and entrepreneurship which will diversity his skillset to become a lead player in sustainable rural innovation. He will also develop transferable leadership skills in academia and rural development. Key outputs include two peer-reviewed articles, a Policy Brief, an arts-meets-science Performance, and training curricula for the continued development of AMEs.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
CV1 5FB Coventry
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Coventry
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76