Conservation of Gramineae and Associated Arthropods for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Africa

Project Summary

Grasses comprise a large and diverse plant group that is probably the most important to mankind, yet has rarely been the focus of biodiversity projects. Another largely neglected group in biodiversity studies is insects and other arthropods, which represent about 70% of the world’s biodiversity. Both figure strongly in agrobiodiversity, as beneficial species (crops and enemies of pests) and as noxious species (weeds and crop pests) that nevertheless may act as reservoirs of beneficial species. Yet species and races of grasses and insects are under threat due to increasing human pressure. The project proposed herein aims first to understand how diversity of Gramineae and associated insects in and around various agro-ecosystems and socio-economic surroundings contributes to ecosystem stability in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Mali, and how indigenous and novel agricultural practices using native biodiversity can contribute to stability and conservation, and finally to adapt and promote the practical application of this knowledge in self-regulatory pest control and sustainable agriculture, while building national capacity and public awareness to effect lasting changes. The overall objective thus will be the development and application of best practices for sustainable use of African grasses and their associated insect resources for agricultural development and grassland conservation.

Project Details

GEF Project ID
Project Type
Medium-size Project
Focal Areas
Funding Source
GEF Trust Fund
Implementing Agencies
United Nations Environment Programme
Executing Agencies
International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and International Plant Genetic Resource Institute (IPGRI),
GEF Period:
GEF - 2
Approval Fiscal Year:


Project Preparation Grant Amount
25,000 USD
GEF Project Grant
947,000 USD
Co-financing Total
1,564,250 USD
GEF Agency Fees
146,000 USD
Total Cost 2,536,250.00 USD

Project Timeline

Received by GEF
02 Jul 2001
Preparation Grant Approved
21 Oct 1998
Project Approved for Implementation
30 Jul 2001
Project closed
30 Sep 2005