The Crawford Fund, Supporting International Agricultural Research.

Conference Summary

Conference 2010 Summary.

Full media coverage of the Conference

You can access all media coverage by clicking on the links provided in the PDF

Media Coverage Conference 2010

2010 Proceedings

Cover page

Proceedings 2010 - Biodiversity and World Food Security

Speakers' presentations are available here.

Biodiversity and world food security - nourishing the planet and its people

Conference 2010

"The topic was chosen to coincide with the UN International
Year of Biodiversity, a celebration of life on earth and of the
value of biodiversity for our livelihoods."


Image Courtesy of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.


Our conference was the key event on the topic in the Australasian region, and one of very few international events focusing on food security imperatives in relation to biodiversity conservation. It emphasised the importance of biodiversity for agriculture, food security and rural livelihoods, especially for developing nations and Australia, and the additional pressures that climate change impacts will bring to bear for both the conservation and use of biodiversity. In attendance were a group of internationally renowned speakers addressing issues related to the threats being faced to conserve biodiversity for food security in the face of climate change. What are the solutions and what does international agricultural research have to offer?

Biological diversity, in the context of the conference, is made up of the plants that feed, clothe, house, and heal people; crops, aquatic and livestock species that feed us; insects that pollinate fields; the forests that are the lungs of the planet; and microorganisms that regenerate the soils that grow our food.

Conserving and using biodiversity sustainably is key to feeding the more than one billion malnourished people in the world. The conference topic was of particular interest in Australia, as climate change, species invasions, ignorance and neglect erode the globe’s genetic resources, threaten the biodiversity of large and small organisms - in land, sea and air - on which the health and resilience of the planet depends. In the developing world, population growth and poverty exacerbate the pressures.

Australian agriculture is highly dependent on imported genes. Other than our rich forest genetic resources, we have contributed little directly to the productive global pool from our indigenous plant and animal resources although we are a major contributor in relevant research and development that benefits our own farmers and consumers and those in the developing world.

Conference Scholars

Twelve young Australian agricultural scientists with a genuine interest in international agricultural development were supported to attend the 2010 Crawford Fund conference. Over coming months, they will be making presentations at a relevant academic or research institute on what they learned from their attendance, and will be providing 500-word articles outlining how they benefited from the conference and what they considered to be the highlights, which will be posted on our website. A photo of the students, with the Crawford Fund Chairman, Neil Andrew, and Executive Director, Denis Blight, is below.

Scholars at Conference


Some more photos

Mr Jim Ingram
Mr Jim Ingram, introducing Dr Stephen Hopper;

Stephen Hopper
Stephen Hopper giving the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address


Opening by Bob McMullan
Opening address by The Hon Bob McMullan
keynote address by Dr Samper
Keynote address by Dr Samper
Breakfast Dr Frison
Dr Frison speaks at Conference Breakfast

John Kerin, Tim Fischer and Neil Andrew
John Kerin, Tim Fischer and Neil Andrew at the Breakfast

Book launch The Coming Famine

Julian Cribb at the launch of his book: "The Coming Famine"


Up Arrow Keynote Speakers

Dr Cristián
 Samper Dr Cristián Samper
Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History  
Steve Hopper Professor Steve Hopper 
Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Dr Emile 
Frison Dr Emile Frison
Director General of Bioversity International
Professor Hugh Possingham Professor Hugh Possingham
Chair of the  Australian Federal Government Biological Diversity Advisory Committee
Dr Meryl 
Williams Dr Meryl Williams
Chair of the Commission of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research
Dr Megan Clark

Dr Megan Clark
Chief Executive of the CSIRO