Keeping a close eye on biodiversity in agriculture, including crops, livestock and wild relatives, for food security and sustainability. Our aim is to collect in one place anything we find on the internet that relates somehow to the notion of agricultural biodiversity.
The ‘World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future’ is out and the news is that “there is no silver bullet.” Rather, there’s a whole list of things that need to be done. For example, we need “Genetic tools allowing farmers to select for size, flavor, and temperament of vegetables.”
A Mars subsidiary called BioN2 had signed an agreement with a village to share financial benefits from the maize’s commercialization. That village turned out to be Totontepec, a Mixe indigenous community in the mountains of eastern Oaxaca… The UC Davis/Mars researchers received a certificate of compliance with the Nagoya Protocol, an international agreement aimed at compensating indigenous communities for their biological resources and traditional knowledge.
Sounds good, right? But questions remain.
Still, the situation surrounding Totontepec’s maize raises complex questions about how indigenous communities equitably benefit when research scientists and multinational corporations commercialize local crops and plants. Should Totontepec’s maize turn out to be a miracle, self-fertilizing crop whose genetic traits can be replicated worldwide, will the community’s Mixe people receive a significant long-term share of profits, which could potentially number in the millions of dollars? How does Nagoya ensure that the rights and interests of small indigenous communities are safeguarded when their leaders negotiate complex deals with international lawyers and executives? And, not least, when a valuable plant is found throughout a region, is it fair for a single village such as Totontepec to reap financial benefits from its maize while neighboring communities with identical or similar maize receive nothing?
These questions, and others, are discussed in the article, which is really a model of its kind, courtesy of Martha Pskowski.
There’s been a spate of papers on reforestation just lately and I was despairing of being able to keep track of them, let alone read them. But along comes Jonah Busch, Chief Economist at Earth Innovation, to make sense of all the maps in a couple of tweets:
We will need many new ideas like these to help farmers be prepared to meet the challenges of our changing climate. If they are, we will all have an answer to the question “What’s for dinner?” for years to come.
That’s His Billness on the importance of CGIAR and its scientists. Would have been nice to have a shoutout for the genebanks too, but I know he appreciates them just as much as the breeding work.
Can we feed 10 billion people? I’m optimistic that we can if we invest in research that will help poor farmers adapt to climate change. https://t.co/KjKNQRMBJy