Monique Hunziker

Core area: Project Leader Infonet

«Ever since my time journeying through Africa I have felt bound to the people and nature of this continent. With BioVision my wish to do something to conserve the magnificent and diverse nature of Africa and at the same time work together with people in Africa is granted. Through my work scientists and farmers are productively brought together and information on sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry and food security are generated and made accessible to the people .»

In the 90s Monique Hunziker crossed the continent from the Northern deserts to central Africa and then to the East, and was fascinated by the unending breadth of nature, its freedom, strength and unspoiled beauty, and by the people.

The former WWF product manager completed her university degree at top speed and finished her studies in biology and environmental sciences at the University of Zürich. After that the way forward was clear: «My goal was not to go into research, but improve the link between science and practice. I was interested in the network of knowledge on different levels. I wanted to contribute to that, so that the people in Africa could tackle the problems in their gardens and fields and in so doing, improve their lives themselves. Through a feedback loup the scientists also understand the problems of the farmers.»

In 2000 Monique Hunziker completed a field course in tropical ecology in Kenya (Tropical Biology Association) and developed a study on the use of local medicinal plants with the Maasai people in Hell’s Gate National Park. She completed her studies in biology with a thesis on biodiversity and agriculture at the Federal Research Institute for Agroecology and Agriculture. She then undertook research for a year at FAL. In 2002 she provided scientific input to an art and recycling project on the Cape Verde Islands. At the end of 2002 she took on a position at BioVision. At this time everything was still under development and Monique Hunziker took charge of the website and project administration and management.

Monique Hunziker later completed postgraduate courses in International Agriculture (SHL, Oberzollikofen), Health in the Tropics (STI, Basel), and in Development and Co-operation (NADEL, Zürich) and in 2017 on Animal welfare, Animal health and nutrition (ETH).

In autumn of 2005 she was able to generate funds and initiate the Project Infonet-Biovision the which she has built up since then: an internet information platform for East Africa containing locally relevant information on sustainable agriculture, human and animal welfare and health to improve regional and local food security and at the same time conserve the environment and biodiversity. «With this, an important gap in information in Africa is filled. There is still much work to be done, and we are looking forward to it.»

 

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