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Monday, December 23, 2019

BIODIVERSITY: Why Its loss, Is Your Loss [VIDEO]


Bees, soils, trees – even the tiny organisms we can’t even see – all play a vital role in producing the world’s food. Yet, this biodiversity that supports our food and agriculture is in serious decline. So what does that mean for our future food? Dan Leskien from the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture explains. Interview: Charlotta Lomas, United Nations - FAO
@Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 

The State of the World’s
Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

What is biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA)?
Biodiversity is the variety of life at genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA) is, in turn, the subset of biodiversity that contributes in one way or another to agriculture and food production. It includes the domesticated plants and animals that are part of crop, livestock, forest or aquaculture systems, harvested forest and aquatic species, the wild relatives of domesticated species, and other wild species harvested for food and other products. It also encompasses what is known as “associated biodiversity”, the vast range of organisms that live in and around food and agricultural production systems1, sustaining them and contributing to their output.

Biodiversity is essential to food and agriculture


Biodiversity for food and agriculture is indispensable to food security and sustainable development. It supplies many vital ecosystem services, such as creating and maintaining healthy soils, pollinating plants, controlling pests and providing habitat for wildlife, including for fish and other species that are vital to food production and agricultural livelihoods.

Biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including those caused by climate change. It is a key resource in efforts to increase food production while limiting negative impacts on the environment. It makes a variety of contributions to the livelihoods of many people, often reducing the need for food and agricultural producers to rely on costly or environmentally harmful external inputs.

Biodiversity at genetic, species and ecosystem levels helps address the challenges posed by diverse and changing environmental conditions and socio-economic circumstances. Diversifying production systems, for example by using multiple species, breeds or varieties, integrating the use of crop, livestock, forest and aquatic biodiversity, or promoting habitat diversity in the local landscape or seascape, helps to promote resilience, improve livelihoods and support food security and nutrition.

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is declining

Many key components of biodiversity for food and agriculture at genetic, species and ecosystem levels are in decline. The proportion of livestock breeds at risk of extinction is increasing. Overall, the diversity of crops present in farmers’ fields has declined and threats to crop diversity are increasing.

Many species, including pollinators, soil organisms and the natural enemies of pests, that contribute to vital ecosystem services are in decline as a consequence of the destruction and degradation of habitats, overexploitation, pollution and other threats. There is also a rapid decline in key ecosystems that deliver numerous services essential to food and agriculture, including supply of freshwater, protection against storms, floods and other hazards, and habitats for species such as fish and pollinators.

More knowledge needed on associated biodiversity
More knowledge is needed on associated biodiversity and on its role in supplying ecosystem services. In particular, more information is need about micro-organisms and invertebrates. Many associated biodiversity species have never been identified and described, particularly in the case of invertebrates and micro-organisms. Even when they have, their functions within the ecosystem often remain poorly understood. Over 99 percent of bacteria and protist species remain unknown. For several types of associated biodiversity, including soil micro-organisms and those used for food processing, advances in molecular techniques and sequencing technologies are facilitating characterization. Several countries have active programmes for characterizing soil micro-organisms using molecular methods. In many countries, however, gaps in terms of skills, facilities and equipment constrain opportunities to benefit from these developments.


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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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