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.

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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.

 

Conference registration is open!

We are delighted to open our conference for registration. There is a diverse and inspiring programme including some high-profile presenters.

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These include Professor Barbara Burlingame from Massey University (left) and Anne Palmer from Johns Hopkins University.

Our conference pages provide information about the programme and has links for registration.

Please pass this on to your networks.

Dr Barbara Burlingame presenting at the Local Food Northland conference

Dr Barbara Burlingame will be presenting at the Local Food Northland conference on 13 and 14 February at NorthTec next year.

Dr Burlingame achieved her undergraduate degree at the University of California and then was awarded a PhD from Massey University. She is returning to New Zealand to take up a new role at Massey.

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Dr Barbara Burlingame speaking during an FAO seminar on nutrition and environmental sustainability, as part of the preparations for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), in November 2014. Photo credit: ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto

We are fortunate to have a presenter of such calibre here. She has spent the past 16 years based in Rome, working for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, including the last four as Deputy Director of the Nutrition Division.

The following video reveals her knowledge on nutrition, diet and sustainability – a great fit with our aspirations. You can read more about her here.