• 2020
  • Fact sheet
  • KFPE
  • Swiss Biodiversity Forum

Variety is the source of life

Agrobiodiversity benefits, challenges, and needs

Variety is the source of life: Agrobiodiversity benefits, challenges, and needs
Image: KFPE
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Variety is the source of life: Agrobiodiversity benefits, challenges, and needs
Variety is the source of life: Agrobiodiversity benefits, challenges, and needs (Image: KFPE)

For millennia, humankind’s food security and resilience were ensured by thousands of cultivated plant species, dozens of domesticated animal species, and the wider biodiversity from which they derive. But with the expansion of industrial agriculture and globalized standardized food systems, this long-running agricultural biodiversity has fallen steeply. Today, just three plant species account for half of all plant-based food calories, and only four animal species account for the vast majority of meat supplies. Looking ahead, restoring agrobiodiversity – the richness of what we cultivate, breed, consume, and conserve in the wild – is crucial to ensure resilient food systems against the backdrop of climate change. In particular, we must safeguard the livelihoods of the “guardians of agrobiodiversity”: approximately 500 million small farms across the world – particularly those in the global South. This factsheet outlines causes and consequences of agrobiodiversity loss, areas of promise, and options for policy and research.

  • Associations

Offering thanks to Pachamama: harvest festival in Colcha “K” community, Nor Lípez, Bolivia
  • 20.02.2020
  • KFPE
  • Swiss Biodiversity Forum
  • Press release

Schwindende Agrobiodiversität gefährdet sichere Ernährung

Die Agrobiodiversität ging in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten dramatisch zurück. Wurden früher rund 7000 Pflanzenarten angebaut, tragen heute nur noch etwa 80 Sorten massgeblich zur globalen Nahrungsversorgung bei. Als Pfeiler der Ernährungssicherheit muss die Agrobiodiversität deshalb dringend wiederhergestellt werden. Ein neues Faktenblatt der Akademie der Naturwissenschaften (SCNAT), gemeinsam erstellt mit Forscherinnen und Forschern des Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) der Universität Bern, fasst den Rückgang und seine Folgen zusammen und zeigt mögliche Massnahmen in Politik und Wissenschaft auf.
Publisher

KFPE

Publisher

Swiss Biodiversity Forum

Contact

Dr. Jon-Andri Lys
SCNAT
KFPE
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern
Switzerland


+41 31 306 93 49
E-mail

Languages

English, German, French