Agriculture / Biodiversity / CGIAR / Food Security

A voice for agriculture in the International Year of Biodiversity

Now that agriculture is regaining its rightful place on the international development agenda, it’s time for agricultural biodiversity to become the center of attention as well, particularly in view of its vital importance for coping with the intricately linked issues of global food security and climate change.

The United Nations has designated 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The CGIAR and agriculturalists worldwide now have an unprecedented opportunity to speak out on the urgent need to conserve, research and use the vast genetic diversity of crops and other species on which rural people depend.

In commenting recently about the Year, Emile Frison, director general of Bioversity International, stressed the importance of a deeper international discourse on biodiversity. It must go beyond the popular preoccupation with a few charismatic mega-fauna, like whales and panda bears, he insisted.

“Any serious discussion of biodiversity conservation must include the diversity of crops and livestock that are absolutely fundamental to human survival and well-being,” Frison said. “Agricultural biodiversity is not only vital for human and animal nutrition, it is also indispensable for meeting the challenge of climate change and for lifting people out of poverty.”

Read more (CGIAR)

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