How does it work?

The Agrobiodiversity Index measures agrobiodiversity across three ‘pillars’: 1) consumption and markets, where agrobiodiversity contributes to healthy diets; 2) agricultural production, where agrobiodiversity contributes to sustainable production; and 3) genetic resource management, where agrobiodiversity secures current and future use options. Across the three pillars, the Agrobiodiversity Index measures:

    1. Status – tthe current state of agrobiodiversity in markets and consumption, in agricultural production, and in genetic resource management.

    2. Actions – what countries, companies, or projects are concretely doing to increase agrobiodiversity across the food system.

    3. Commitments – to what extent country, company or project strategies, policies and codes of conduct are contributing to sustainable use and conservation of agrobiodiversity for healthy diets, sustainable agriculture and future use options.
Commitment indicators measure the country, company or project strategies and policies for improving use and management of agrobiodiversity for healthy diets, sustainable agriculture and for future use options.+
Action indicators focus on what countries, companies or projects are actually doing to increase agrobiodiversity across the food system, showing the extent to which policies are put into action to achieve what they committed to.+
Status indicators measure the actual status of agrobiodiversity in terms of species, varieties, landscape complexity and functional diversity at relevant scales for each of the pillar. +


The Agrobiodiversity Index has been designed in three forms, to represent the demand from countries, companies and projects (private, public or mixed). The country, company and project indices share the same architecture, but allow varied input data and different final products. Four specific  applications were designed to support different food system actors in making informed decisions in food and agriculture:

      • Risk and resilience assessment: the Agrobiodiversity Index provides food system actors with insights on their exposure to different risk areas (malnutrition, poverty trap, climate change, land degradation, pests and diseases, and biodiversity loss) when agrobiodiversity is low.

      • Intervention planning: the Agrobiodiversity Index can be used to plan interventions and formulate evidence-based strategies by comparing the outcomes of different interventions in food markets, supply chains, production or agricultural genetic resource management on agrobiodiversity.

      • Global policy alignment: Indicators in the Index are  aligned with one or more of the SDG and Aichi targets. Users interested in monitoring progress towards these global targets can use performance on the Index indicators. This also helps identifying if agrobiodiversity is effectively integrated into global policy interventions.

      • Ranking and benchmarking: the Agrobiodiversity Index scores can be used to compare performance on use and conservation of agrobiodiversity among countries, within a company or among projects. This can stimulate positive behaviour change as part of the ‘race to the top’ to improve sustainable use and conservation of agrobiodiversity, as well as foster exchange of knowledge and best practices.

      • Leveraging investment in sustainable food systems: The Agrobiodiversity Index team is also exploring how the different applications of the tool can be used in the financial sector to leverage investments for sustainable and resilient food systems based on agrobiodiversity. For example, the Index could help corporate or government agrobiodiversity-themed bonds issuers to demonstrate that use of bond proceeds will result in positive improvement in agrobiodiversity status or reduction in agrobiodiversity-related risks. The Index can also be used to produce a baseline assessment of the status of agrobiodiversity in specific areas where they plan to implement interventions financed through the bonds and monitor progress after implementation.

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