A non-governmental organisation based in Zurich, Switzerland

Since 1998, we have promoted and supported the use of sustainable, agroecological solutions to alleviate poverty and improve food security in Africa. Our projects focus on developing regions in East and West Africa. In addition, we are actively engaged in advocacy and policy dialogues to strengthen the global policy framework for sustainable development and particularly sustainable food systems. Biovision is an official partner organisation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. Biovision’s international projects are supported by the SDC.

The project “A4A – Advocacy for Agroecology” is implemented by Biovision in collaboration with renowned experts in field of agroecology and research investments such as IPES-Food and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS). The project aims to upscale scientific and applied research about the potential of agroecology by analyzing current lock-ins and leverages. The evidence created is subsequently used for consulting with key decision makers from the donor and research communities. In a second workstream the A4A project is adressing the role of agroecology as a solution to adapt and mitigate climate change.

The policy and advocacy team of Biovision combines thematic expertise about agroecology with relevant professional experience in advocacy and policy dialogue. Our team manages an in-depth knowledge pool about agroecology and uses it for targeted outreach and advocacy work. In past projects, we have successfully influenced decision makers on national and international levels and have driven them to change their priorities and strategies. The team at Biovision consists of professionals with background and experience in Environmental Policy, Agronomy, Biology, Geography and Environmental Sciences. The team builds on several years of experience in development cooperation work.

Stefanie Pondini
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Before joining Biovision Foundation, Stefanie studied Human and Economic Geography, Political and Environmental Science at the University of Zurich. After her studies, she worked for GIZ in India with the aim of strengthening the participation and awareness of slum dwellers in the area of water and sanitation.

For the past 8 years, Stefanie has been working for Biovision, and as a result has a large network and good contacts with the various partner organizations as well as renowned experts in the field of sustainable agriculture. Together with the Policy and Advocacy Team, Stefanie has implemented the "Changing Course in Global Agriculture" program, which was co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) from 2012-2018. The overall goal of the program was to initiate a global shift from conventional agriculture to globally more sustainable food systems by influencing policy process and political frameworks worldwide and in two African countries. At the international level, many activities were implemented in the context of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome and in New York in the context of the SDGs. In the "Beacons of Hope" project, Stefanie, together with an international team of experts, has analyzed the impact and transformation pathways of 21 "lighthouse projects" that represent inspiring initiatives around the globe and promote a shift to sustainable food systems.

Martin Herren
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Martin joined the Policy & Advocacy Team at Biovision in 2015 and co-implemented the "Changing Course in Global Agriculture" program, by promoting evidence based policy planning, agroecology and multi-stakeholder platforms at the CFS in Rome as well as on ministerial level in Kenya. In the “A4A” Project, Martin is assessing the potential of agroecology to hedge against climate change impacts. He is furthermore involved in the promotion and dissemination of agroecology policies and strategies at national and county levels in Kenya.

Before joining Biovision, Martin has worked as senior project leader in consulting the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment among other actors on climate policies and mechanisms. Before this, he was acting as sustainability analyst in the financial sector, research assistant at ETH Zurich and worked for Greenpeace Switzerland, amongst others. Following a first degree in Geography, Environmental Systems and Political Sciences (University of Zurich; ETH Zurich), Martin chose to specialize with a MSc. in Environmental Policy focusing on climate change and environmental governance (Oxford University).

Fabio Leippert
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Fabio works in Biovision’s Policy & Advocacy Team on issues relating to agroecology and climate change on international level as well as in partner countries (A4A-climate). In the "Beacons of Hope" project, Fabio together with an international team of experts, has analyzed the impact and transformation pathways of 21 "lighthouse projects" that represent inspiring initiatives promoting a shift to sustainable food systems around the globe.

Fabio holds a Master in Conservation Biology (University of Bern) and an MSC in development cooperation (ETH Zurich). As a qualified biologist, he is particularly interested in the dynamics between biodiversity, climate change and agriculture and a systemic approach to sustainable agriculture. His work experience spans from climate change, air pollution and agriculture topics at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, broader sustainability issues as a sustainability advisor for INFRAS AG, fostering climate resilience in ASEAN’s agriculture and forestry sectors through GIZ Indonesia  and lastly working as policy advisor for a Swiss development organization.

Charlotte Pavageau
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Charlotte  has a background in environmental resource management, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, forest management, ecosystem services and global changes in tropical regions. Before joining Biovision, Charlotte completed a PhD in Environmental Sciences from ETH Zurich and the French International Centre of Research and Agronomy for Development (CIRAD) on landscape management and agroforestry systems in India. She also implemented a project for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) on the links between forest and climate change in the Congo Basin based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Her work was focused on analyzing climate change policies in different countries of Central Africa, as well assessing the potential for local solutions with forest-dependent communities.

She holds an executive master in Natural Resources Management and Public Policy from Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences (Agroparistech), and a master in Science and Technology from the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France.

Charlotte is co-managing the project Advocacy for Agroecology (A4A) to promote research and evidence as part of the Policy & Advocacy Team at Biovision.

Matthias Geck
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

As a program manager in the policy and advocacy team, Matthias focuses on strengthening the enabling environment for an agroecological transformation of the food system. The aim is to change policies and funding flows away from a system that destroys our natural resources to one that allows nature to flourish and give people the opportunities to enjoy a good life.

The interface between culture and nature is the red thread in Matthias career. He studied biology at ETH and University of Zurich, specializing in ethnobotany. In both his MSc and PhD he focussed on harnessing traditional knowledge of indigenous people for sustainable, ecological and culturally appropriate development. During a Master of Advanced Studies in development studies at ETH, he worked on permaculture, community forest management and climate change adaptation. His professional focus related to agroecology is on agrobiodiversity, traditional ecological knowledge and climate change. He is an experienced proponent of multidisciplinary systems thinking and transdisciplinary, participatory approaches in research for development.

John Garcia Ulloa
Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

John joined the Policy and Advocacy team in Summer 2020. His background is highly interdisciplinary, including a PhD in Science and Policy, and a MSc in Environmental Sciences. With more than 8 years of experience, he has focused his efforts on improving the sustainability of tropical agriculture and forestry with an emphasis in the oil palm sector. His work has sought solutions to the environmental and social challenges of producers in the tropics, which are tuned to their local realities and aspirations within a local and global food systems. Though his work at Biovision, John champions the advancement and upscaling of transformative systems such as organic farming, agroforestry and other agro-ecological practices that will play an important role for sustainable solutions in our food systems.

He completed his PhD in 2016 at ETH Zürich, which focused on improving the conservation outcomes of land use policies in the tropics. He has experience working with the agricultural sectors in the Latin America, African and East Asian contexts. John was one of the leading authors of the most up to date synthesis on the topic of oil palm expansion and biodiversity. He has worked closely with international institutions such as IUCN, CIFOR, WWF and Biodiversity International.

Within Biovision, John coordinates the initiative “Coherent policies for transforming food and agricultural systems – A peer-to-peer exchange among policy makers”, which include the Food Policy Forum for Change.

Nancy Phoebe
Policy Advisor, Policy & Advocacy

Nancy Phoebe has a background in Agriculture Extension, ecological agriculture, and climate change, with a focus on the intersection of agriculture, nature, and society working to influence knowledge and policy processes. Nancy serves as a long-term advisor and liaison person to Biovision in East Africa. As an advisor, Nancy acts as a think tank on supporting Biovisions' work in facilitating the transition towards a sustainable agriculture pathway that is climate responsive and ecologically friendly. On country level liaison, Nancy works at regional, national, and sub-national levels to facilitate state and non-state actors’ stakeholder engagements, scoping of partnerships, and resource management (both human and finance).

Nancy holds a Masters in Agriculture focusing on Ecological Agriculture and is undertaking a PHD in Climate Change Adaptation. Nancy has worked on diverse projects on climate smart agriculture, sustainable landscape management, food security, and natural resource management in East and Central Africa.

In her role as an advisor to Biovision, Nancy supported the CCGA program whose lessons led to the set-up of 2 platforms, one on Agroecology and one on Climate Smart Agriculture, now actively working to facilitate integration of Agroecology and climate change response in agriculture at the national and sub-national level. Nancy has supported a number of policy and knowledge integration research projects on climate change and agroecology in Kenya at the national and sub-national levels. Her role in supporting partnerships has yielded both academic, government, and CSO partnerships now connected to Biovision's goal of integrating agroecology in policy and knowledge processes.

Tanja Carrillo
Junior Program Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Tanja holds a BA in Communications and Political Sciences of the University of Zurich and a MSc in Global Studies of the University of Gothenburg. During her studies, she completed an internship in the Office of International Cooperation at the local government of Nariño, Colombia, and volunteered for the civil society organization Collective Aid, providing food aid to refugees in the Balkan region.

Before joining Biovision Foundation early 2021, Tanja worked for the UN Environment Programme, supporting the implementation of the Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities (GI-REC) and the One Planet Network Sustainable Food System Programme (OPN SFSP). In 2020, she acted as research assistant at the Environmental Sciences and Humanities Institutes of the University of Fribourg (UniFR_ESH), where she focused on questions of climate justice and food sovereignty.

As Junior Program Manager, Tanja is involved in all work streams and coordinates the outreach activities of the team. It is therefore her aim to develop innovative ways to comprehensively communicate the manifold potential of agroecology for sustainable food system transformation across all levels and scales.



Stiftung Mercator Schweiz

Mercator Foundation is supporting the Project “A4A – Advocacy for Agroecology” until the end of 2021. The Mercator Foundation Switzerland is committed to building a dedicated and open-minded society, which treats the environment with respect and provides children and youth with equal opportunities. For this purpose, the foundation initiates and funds projects in four focus areas: education, international exchange, participation and environmental responsibility.

Millennium Institute

The Millennium Institute (MI) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization passionate about improving the welfare of individuals on every continent by working with stakeholders to meet the challenges of sustainable development. MI’s mission is to support countries to develop effective strategies that will lead to measurable advances in the welfare of society in the context of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Biovision and MI have jointly implemented the project “Changing Course in Global Agriculture” from 2012-2017 with the overall goal to initiate a global shift from conventional agriculture to globally more sustainable food systems by influencing policy process and political frameworks worldwide and in two African countries. Within the context of the A4A project, MI is conducting the modeling analysis to assess the impact of a set of agroecological interventions for a typical semi-arid African country on the achievement of all SDGs.


The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) brings together expert voices from different disciplines and different types of knowledge to inform the policy debate on how to reform food systems across the world. The Panel is looking at issues such as health and nutrition, rural livelihood insecurity, and environmental degradation through an integrated food systems lens, bringing to light the interconnections, power imbalances, political lock-ins and potential levers for change at the systems level. To do so, IPES-Food will engage systematically with actors and ideas from outside the traditional bounds of the scientific community. IPES-Food is extremely well positioned to support the A4A project with its panel of experts specialized in various disciplines and aspects of sustainable food systems. IPES-Food will also participate in the advocacy component of the project through its extensive network of contacts with key stakeholders in the donors and research communities.