"The aim of BioVal is to explore how negative impacts of food production and consumption on biodiversity can be reduced and have positive impacts in-stead."

BioVal develops solutions to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity from food along the life cycle. Together with companies, the project investigates how they can contribute to the promotion of biodiversity along product life cycles, integrate this into their management and communicate it. Therefore, measures will be developed and tested.

The main results of BioVal are recommendations for increasing biodiversity along food product life cycles as well as solutions for companies for integrating biodiversity into management systems and tools and into business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer communication that have been tested in living labs.

In addition, the further development of the impact assessment method for terrestrial biodiversity in life cycle assessment (LCA) and the new development of a method for impact assessment of marine biodiversity will provide input to the international discussion on methods.

What actually is biodiversity?

What actually is biodiversity?

Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is a term that became known primarily through the entomologist Edward Osborne Wilson. In his publication “Biodiversity” published in 1988, he proposes to treat biodiversity as a global resource that needs to be protected and indexed [1]. Biodiversity as a concept does not only exist in biology or ecology, but early on aimed to address in particular policy makers and the general public. From the first mention, biodiversity has been associated with the protection and conservation of nature [2, 3, 4]. The term biodiversity has a variety of definitions. Since the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Environment in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, biodiversity has been defined as the “variability among living organisms from all sources, including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part. This includes diversity within species, between species and ecosystem diversity” [5, 6]. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) defines biodiversity as the “diversity of life on Earth”, which includes the “diversity of all organisms, whether plants, animals or microorganisms, the diversity within and between species and populations, and the diversity of ecosystems” [7].

The integrity of biodiversity is a crucial factor in the functioning of any global ecosystem. A healthy state of biodiversity is not only necessary to keep nutrient cycles and abiotic fluxes running, but also to ensure the provision of ecosystem services. The loss of ecosystem services is likely to have negative impacts on human health.

[1] Wilson (1988): Wilson, E.O. 1988. Biodiversity. Washington (DC) : National Academies Press (US), 1988. ISBN: 0-309-03739-5
[2] Nentwig et al.
(2007): Nentwig, W., Bacher, S. und Brandl, R. 2007. Ökologie Kompakt. Berlin Heidelberg : Springer Verlag, 2007. ISBN: 978-3827418760
[3] Heinrichs, et al. (2014): Heinrichs, H. und Michelsen, G. 2014. Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften. Berlin Heidelberg : Springer Verlag, 2014. ISBN: 978-3642251115
[4] Härdtle (2002): Härdtle, W. 2002. Studium der Umweltwissenschaften: Naturwissenschaften. Berlin Heidelberg : Springer Verlag, 2002. ISBN: 978-3540410829
[5] CBD (2005):
CBD. 2005. Handbook of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Montreal : Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2005. ISBN: 92-9225-011-6.
[6] UNEP (1992):
UNEP. 1992. Convention on biological diversity: Text and annexes. Geneva : UNEP, 1992.
[7] MEA (2005):
MEA, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems & human well-being – synthesis. Washington : Island Press, 2005.

Social values

The aim of this research module is to collect social values on biodiversity and food production and the awareness of the connection between food production and biodiversity in Germany.

Impact assessment of biodiversity

The aim is to optimise the impact assessment of biodiversity in LCA in a practical way and to add diffuse effects and aquatic biodiversity.

Biodiversity in companies

Together with the companies FRoSTA AG, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and Seeberger GmbH, living labs are being used to work out how the effects of corporate and production processes on biodiversity along the food value chain can be better recorded and taken into account in decisions.

Transdisciplinary integration

The goal of transdisciplinary integration is to bring together the knowledge from the three research modules and to develop it further together with the living lab companies and other companies, for example in the biodiversity working group.

Formative evaluation

The BioVal research project will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that the transdisciplinary integration succeeds and has an impact.


Supplier visit with Seeberger

Dr. Ulrike Eberle visited a supplier in Spain together with Isabell Schäfer and Nadine Kellner (project partners, Seeberger GmbH). The aim of the visit was to get to know the…