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What we do

The Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity - Committed to Agrobiodiversity

The Information and Coordination Center for Biological Diversity (IBV) is located in Bonn and part of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).  IBV is active in the field of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agriculture and food, especially the genetic resources.

Our Tasks

The tasks of the IBV relate to agrobiodiversity and here in particular to genetic resources for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, inter alia:

  • Support of the development and implementation of the National Programmes for plant, animal, forestry and aquatic genetic resources.
  • Secretariats for the expert committees of the Federal Ministry for Agriculture (BMEL) for plant, animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources, as well as for the Scientific Advisory Board for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources.
  • Data collection and documentation as well as user-oriented central dissemination of information on occurrences, characteristics and performance of genetic resources for food, agriculture, for-estry and fisheries
  • Monitoring and assessment of agrobiodiversity trends in Germany
  • Coordination of conservation activities and assistance to conservation networks
  • Facilitation of national and international support measures and programmes
  • Knowledge transfer and advisory services for political decision makers and other stakeholders
  • Biopatent monitoring and ABS issues
  • Awareness raising


Selected activities

National programmes, advisory services and coordination

We advise and support the Federal Ministry for Agriculture (BMEL) within the framework of the National Programmes on Genetic Resources through coordination tasks.

We are the secretariats for the expert committees for the plant, animal, forest, and aquatic genetic resources. We publish the progress reports on genetic resources.

National Inventories and Databases

In cooperation with other partners, the IBV establishes the National Inventories for Genetic Resources in Germany and provides them as online searchable databases. The National Inventoriesinclude information on agricultural and horticulture crops, on genebank collections, in situ conservation, Red Lists of crops and farm animal breeds, as well as information on indigenous forest plants and fish species.

The data of the national inventories are provided to international organisations like FAO, thus fulfilling national reporting duties.

International Cooperation

  • In the field of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) we participate in international and European processes, representing the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture.  We are involved in the national implementation of the EU-ABS regulation in cases where genetic resources for food and agriculture are concerned.
  • We are active in the European Cooperation Programmes on plant, animal and forest genetic resources.
  • For the Federal Ministry of Agriculture we take over tasks in international organisations like FAO, and CGRFA.
  • On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture we take over the management of international projects.

Public Relations/Awareness

  • We organise conferences and symposia on varying topics.
  • We publish information materials, e.g. a serial on agrobiodiversity or the Red Lists on endangered breeds and varieties.
  • We publish a quarterly newsletter on biodiversity for food and agriculture.
  • We present agrobiodiversity to the public in exhibitions and fairs.
  • We provide GENRES, an internet-based information platform on agricultural biological diversity. Genres is the hub for information on the implementation of the National Programmes for Genetic Resources, it offers comprehensive information and services around agrobiodiversity like databases, publications and news-service. Thus Genres is a monitoring tool for national activities on agrobiodiversity.

Our tasks in detail

The tasks of the IBV concern biological diversity and in particular genetic resourcese for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. We

  • participate in the development and implementation of National Programmes for genetic resources.
  • are the secretariats for the National Expert Commitees on plant, animal, forest, and aquatic genetic resources
  • collect, document, and provide user-oriented data on genetic resources for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • participate in the analysis and evaluation of the development of agrobiodiversity in Germany
  • coordinate conservation activities and establish and support conservation networks
  • represent the Minsitry of Agriculture in national and international organisations
  • give technical support to national and international programmes
  • publish information in the field of zootechnical legislation
  • do patent searches
  • authorise import for seed and planting stock
  • take over project management of projects in cooperation with the FAO, the International Treaty and the Global Crop Diversity Trust
  • advise the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation on the implementation of the EU ABS Regulation in all sectors of food and agriculture