Carlo Fadda

Carlo Fadda guides the research area in Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture. He oversees a research area with over 100 people, including consultants, support staff and over 45 scientists. His team focuses on four major research areas: agrobiodiversity in production systems, conservation, characterization, and genomics of bananas, forest genetic diversity, and biodiversity-related policy.

Carlo is also leading the global initiative called Nature Positive Solutions, which is part of CGIAR. This trans-disciplinary project promotes sustainable agriculture and nature-positive solutions in five countries: Kenya, Burkina Faso, India, Vietnam, and Colombia. It aims at ensuring food and nutrition security, improved livelihood within planetary boundaries by promoting biodiversity.

With a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Carlo has always had a deep interest in biodiversity. Initially, his research focused on wild species and understanding the evolutionary processes behind current species distribution. He later expanded his work to include ecological projects, particularly studying outbreaks of rodents' populations to prevent damage to crops during his post-doc in Tanzania, at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (1998-2001).

Recognizing the need for research that combines natural and human dimensions, Carlo joined an Italian NGO (Centro Internazionale Crocevia, 2001-2004), to coordinate a natural resources management project in Tanzania and Vietnam. It was during a conference organized by Bioversity International, then known as IPGRI, that he decided to join the organization. He spent several years in Vietnam working on managing agrobiodiversity, followed by leading (beginning in 2008) a UNEP-GEF project in Morocco, China, Uganda, and Ecuador, which aimed to reduce pressure from pests and diseases using genetic diversity.

In 2011, Carlo relocated to Nairobi, Kenya, as a senior scientist in genetic diversity. He managed projects in various countries, always emphasizing the significance of agrobiodiversity in production systems. He also played a key role in establishing Bioversity's office in Ethiopia and leading it between 2015 and 2018. He also represented all country offices in the Senior Management Team.

Carlo's flagship program, 'Seeds for Needs,' focuses on matching genetic diversity to farmers' requirements and reintegrating material from gene banks into production systems. He strongly believes that the conservation and utilization of genetic resources are intertwined with rural development, livelihoods, and economics.

Throughout his career, Carlo has published over 40 scientific papers, presented at numerous conferences, and contributed to book chapters. He is also an adjunct researcher at Scuola S. Anna Pisa in Italy. Based in Kenya since 2018, Carlo continues to make significant contributions to the field of biodiversity for sustainable agriculture.