Managing agrobiodiversity and our conference

Professor Barbara Burlingame, professor of Public Health (Nutrition) is a keynote speaker at our conference. She has recently contributed to a chapter in Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems published by Bioversity International.

managing-agrobiodiversity

Cover of Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems executive summary. Photo credit: Planting rice in Nepal. Bioversity International/Sriram Subedi, LI-BIRD, Lamjung.

The executive summary of the 2017 publication is available now.

Ann Tutwiler, the Director General of Bioversity International prefaces the document by stressing the importance of linking up and learning from diverse dimensions of biodiversity.

The book is the first step in the process of creating such an index, which can measure agricultural biodiversity across different dimensions. The concept grew from the observation that juxtaposing data from very different fields connected with agricultural biodiversity can yield novel and practical insights. There is a need to measure and understand biodiversity in rapid, cost-efficient ways, going beyond just numbers, to connect also with policy decisions by countries and companies on best practices to foster diversity. Expected benefits are to be able to identify and steer opportunities for change towards sustainable food systems, and to be able to better measure and manage progress towards global targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Private companies and finance institutions are also interested in its applicability to measure the sustainability of investments, green bonds and company purchasing policies, while farmer organizations and consumer associations can use it to in influence programmes and policies. (page 5)

The dimensions referred to here are:

  • Diverse, healthy diets
  • Multiple benefits in sustainable farming systems
  • Seed systems delivering crop diversity for sustainable food systems
  • Conserving agricultural biodiversity for use in sustainable food systems.

Professor Burlingame contributed to chapter two, Agricultural biodiversity for healthy diverse diets. This chapter focuses on the desirability of diverse sustainable food systems delivering nutritious food to people.

bioversity

This image from chapter two shows a scene repeated around the world as communities come together to improve access and knowledge of healthy nutritious food. Its gratifying to know that in pursuing local food we are part of a global movement.

I am looking forward to learning about this from the professor.

 

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