Poor nations could be future guardians of agrobiodiversity

Developing countries are better than richer nations at promising to protect important agricultural species in the future, but do less well in safeguarding existing biodiversity.

These were among the findings of the Agrobiodiversity Index, launched today, which assessed ten pilot countries on how well they care for animals and plants of importance to farming. Agrobiodiversity refers to both domesticated and wild species which contribute to agriculture and food production.

With global hunger rising and at least a third of the world’s population suffering from poor nutrition, diversity in agriculture is essential to improve food security, according to Biodiversity International which compiled the index. It says the tool will help decision-makers in government and industry ensure that food systems are more sustainable.

“The best in terms of status are the lowest in terms of progress. If rich countries don’t improve, they will lose the status they currently hold,”

Juan Lucas Restrepo, director general, Biodiversity International

“Rising global food demand and limited arable land are pushing us to expand agricultural frontiers and increase production. This often happens without regard to the environment, causing biodiversity loss, and land and water degradation,” the report states.

Researchers from the organisation looked at existing species, their use and protection, as well as plans to nurture these species in the future.

The ten countries studied were Australia, China, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa and the United States.

Read More At The SciDevNet

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