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The global challenge

Biodiversity loss is proceeding at an unprecedented pace, jeopardizing the stability of natural ecosystems, increasing vulnerability to climate change, limiting options for climate adaptation and threatening food security.

The world’s poorest countries are home to the greatest array of biodiversity and so bear the brunt of this trend. Invasive species are major drivers of biodiversity loss, alongside habitat loss, climate change and pollution - which includes excessive use of synthetic pesticides.

Action in all of these areas, coupled with the sustainable use of natural resources, is vital to prevent further biodiversity loss.

SDG 15: Life on land aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

CABI is a world leader in nature-based solutions, including biological control solutions for specific pests, diseases and weeds that minimize environmental harms.

Our programmes to manage invasive species help preserve and restore biodiversity across the world.

We also contribute to efforts to catalogue and conserve global biodiversity, and to finding ways of using biodiversity to benefit people and the environment.

Our work seeks to ensure agricultural systems are embedded in healthy, climate-resilient and biodiverse landscapes, with clean water and air, healthy soils, and functional ecosystem services.

Our action

To deliver change, we:
  • Support regional, national and subnational bodies to develop and implement landscape-scale invasive
    species management strategies that reduce negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystem service
    delivery, while sustaining livelihoods
  • Provide sustainable nature-based solutions to priority invasive and native pests, including tackling new invasive species by developing, gaining approval for, and releasing new biocontrol agents
  • Increase the availability and use of low-risk bioprotection products that conserve biodiversity
  • Apply CABI’s data assets, microbial collections and knowledge repositories in the cataloguing and conservation of biodiversity
  • Develop appropriate strategies for the utilization of biodiversity, such as biocontrol agents and applications of CABI’s microbial collections
  • Work with our Member Countries to support local biodiversity assessments, data repositories and collections

Examples of our work

The invasive Prosopis juliflora tree can consume over 50% of annual rainfall in the areas it invades, with serious consequences for livelihoods. So far, it has invaded several million hectares of land in eastern Africa. In Kenya, CABI conducted a participatory process with various stakeholders to develop and test management plans for prosopis that bring together cultural, biological, physical and chemical control at the landscape level, to stop its further spread and remove it from high-value areas. We will be exploring whether community-led approaches like this can be effective in other landscapes invaded by weeds. Alongside this project work, CABI has also contributed to the development of Kenya’s National Prosopis Strategy and Action Plan.

The One Health concept stresses the interconnections between humans, animals, plants, ecosystems and their shared environment. CABI has worked with leading experts to develop new resources in One Health, including an open-access journal, a database of relevant case studies, and a knowledge hub combining these and other materials. These resources are designed to support the transdisciplinary approach required to make One Health a practical reality. CABI is also applying One Health in practice through integrated livestock and plant clinics in East Africa, which can strengthen crop and animal health care systems.

Bioprotection products are made with human health and the environment in mind. These products have their origins in nature, and as such, cause less disruption to the environment compared to conventional pesticides, which can often lead to harmful runoff, killing of beneficial insects, and pesticide resistance. The bioprotection market is growing, but lack of knowledge is hindering widespread adoption. The CABI BioProtection Portal aims to bridge this gap in awareness by providing information and a direct connection to bioprotection manufacturers, putting natural solutions at the fingertips of growers and advisors.