Biovision championing Agenda 2030

There are almost 800 million hungry people in a world that actually produces enough food for all. Degraded soils, polluted water and poisoned fields and meadows are just a few of the facts that demonstrate that changes are needed to our current agricultural strategy.

In recent years, Biovision has advocated Changing Course in Global Agriculture – with success. In September 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, these new goals apply for the first time to industrialised as well as developing and emerging countries. Agenda 2030 also aims to fight root causes rather than just symptoms. It is an agenda that forces us to break out of our silo mentality.


  • Biovision also campaigns in Switzerland for implementation of the SDGs, e.g. in bilateral discussions with the Swiss Federal Council and Minister of Agriculture Johann Schneider-Ammann.
  • In the run-up to the Rio+20 conference, Biovision and partners organised a High Level Roundtable in New York so that they could submit their recommendations to the conference.
  • A delegation from Biovision attended Rio+20 in order to promote a change in the course of global agriculture (from l to r. Michael Brander, Sonja Tschirren, Hans R. Herren, Benjamin Gräub and Stefanie Keller). A decision was taken at Rio+20 to produce a set of Sustainable Development Goals by 2015.
  • Work on the SDGs started in spring 2013. Biovision was involved in all sessions of the Open Working Group, including Hans Herren who acted as an expert in sustainable agriculture.
  • In order to influence the negotiations, draft proposals for an SDG in sustainable agriculture were drafted as part of a high-level meeting in spring 2014 attended by ministers, diplomats, UN representatives and delegates from the private sector and civil society. Photo shows Leslie Ramsammy, the Guyanese Minister of Agriculture.
  • Negotiations continued well into 2015. Here, Mayumi Sakoh from the Millennium Institute, Michael Bergöö from Biovision and Mariann Kovacs from the FAO discuss the current state of the negotiations.
  • Funding for implementing the SDGs was discussed primarily at the Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Abeba, where Biovision played an active role.
  • On 2 August 2015, the three-year negotiating period came to a successful conclusion: The group photo captures the moment for posterity and shows the Chief Negotiator Macharia Kamau from Kenya, Amina Mohammed, Ban Ki-Moon’s adviser on SDGs plus many other delegates.
  • Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development was formally approved in the presence of more than 150 Heads of States and Governments in September 2015. Photo shows the UN Headquarters lit up in celebration.
  • Since 2012, Biovision has played an active role at other important events showcasing international agricultural policy, including high-profile meetings at CFS in Rome. Photo shows the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Pepe Vargas, Olivier de Schutter (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food), Gerda Verburg (CFS Chair) and others.
  • Biovision and the Millennium Institute are supporting governments in the pilot countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal through a series of Multi-Stakeholder Workshops as well as the T-21 tool for the integrated planning of sustainable agricultural strategies.
  • In 2008, a group of more than 400 scientists published IAASTD, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology for Development. Its content forms the basis of the advocacy work of Biovision. It was co-chaired by Hans Herren and Judy Wakhungu, the current Minister of the Environment in Kenya.

Biovision was involved in all the main milestones, such as the Addis Abeba Action Agenda to agree the funding and implementation issues associated with the Agenda 2030 as well as the climate change negotiations in Paris. Biovision was similarly present at the negotiations for Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development where it campaigned in particular for SDG 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.

Biovision has used strategic alliances and platforms, e.g. CFS, the Committee on World Food Security in Rome and its position as a stakeholder in 10YFP, the UN Programme for Sustainable Food Systems, to strengthen its position as a “pioneer for change” and so contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030 internationally.

At the national level, Biovision and the Millennium Institute are supporting the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal with the planning of sustainable agricultural strategies, including in the context of SDG2 implementation.

Focus on 5 Goals

The Biovision project work focusses primarily on the implementation of the following 5 goals.