DIVERSITATIS Foundation – Promoting seed diversity for organic agriculture.

In brief

Diversitatis is Latin and means Foundation of Diversity.

The DIVERSITATIS Foundation promotes biological diversity in agriculture and horticulture. We do this by:

  • running a seed bank in Switzerland
  • supporting seed saving projects all over the world
  • working for the creation of a global market of freely and fairly traded seeds.

The DIVERSITATIS Foundation was founded in 2017 by the Austrian seed savers association “Arche Noah“. It is a non-profit foundation under Swiss law based in Zurich and Vienna.


The foundation’s purpose is to preserve and develop biological diversity and to promote its sustainable use, in particular with regard to crop plants, wild plants and livestock.

We put the focus of sustainable agriculture on an abundance of varieties of vegetables, fruits, beans, oilseeds, roots, tubers, nuts, herbs, medicinal plants, as well as the great number of local livestock breeds. We support people who collect, preserve, make available, and refine this wealth of varieties. We advocate that access to biological diversity must remain free of patents and thus open to everyone.

Our philosophy

Preserving by using.


The founder of DIVERSITATIS is the Austrian association “Arche Noah – a society for preserving and developing the diversity of cultivated plants”.

Representing around 17,000 members and employing a staff of more than 30 persons, Arche Noah is one of Europe’s largest seed savers organizations. At its base in Schiltern in Lower Austria, it runs a visitors’ garden and a seed bank. Seeds and seedlings are marketed in an online shop and at seasonal fairs. Many of the members plant rare locally adapted species in their own gardens and are thus engaged in their preservation and dissemination. In addition, Arche Noah offers a range of workshops for professional and hobby gardeners. It is involved in European research projects, and it advocates agro-biodiversity on the political level in Austria and Brussels.

It was the intention to enhance the international cooperation in relation to preserving and developing agro-biodiversity that made Arche Noah found DIVERSITATIS. Three missions have been assigned to the foundation. First it will take custody of a full copy of the Arche Noah seed bank and keep it for conservation in a location in Switzerland. Second it will become sponsor of seed saving initiatives. Third it will run a trust fund for benefit sharing in the sense of the international Nagoya Protocol on the access to genetic resources.

„DIVERSITATIS and ARCHE NOAH will work hand in hand to tackle future challenges.“

Klaus Rapf
Treasurer of ARCHE NOAH

Christian Schrefel

President of the board of trustees, Vienna
+43 699 10107493

Iris Strutzmann

Vice president of the board of trustees, Vienna

Dr. Kathrin Arioli

Member of the board of trustees, Zurich

Dr. Nikolaus Ludwiczek

Assistant of the board of trustees, Vienna nikolaus.ludwiczek_at_diversitatis.org
+43 660 1133150