|Organic Agriculture for Biodiversity|
May 22, 2008
International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) May 22, 2008
About a third of the world’s
land surface is used for agriculture. However not all agriculture is
beneficial to biodiversity. Agriculture has reduced habitat for wild
species; the main threat to 85% of all species that according to the
IUCN are threatened or endangered. Conventional agriculture practices
have major environmental impacts and are therewith reducing the natural
resources on which it actually depends.
In contrast, organic practices and standards ensure that the land is adequately managed for biodiversity and that primary ecosystems are not cleared to further extend the agricultural frontier. Organic Agriculture (*) increases agricultural livelihoods as it enhances governance by putting the farmer and the farming community at the center in stead of artificial inputs. It values the practical experiences, traditional and indigenous knowledge that offer solutions for pests and diseases. Diversified production of quality products decreases the impacts of crop failures and increases marketing opportunities. Income and food security is actually achieved through diversity. Seed diversity is being maintained as organic farmers – often women - serve as custodians, maintaining genetic diversity by on-farm, in-situ conservation of indigenous and traditional varieties and species through farmers’ seed saving and seed exchange.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD - http://www.agassessment.org/) that concluded in April this year, confirmed that ' sustainable agriculture that is biodiversity based, including agro-ecology and organic farming, is beneficial to poor farmers and should be supported by the appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks.'
IFOAM, together with other organizations, celebrated and enforced through Planet Diversity (www.planet-diversity.org) the human, agricultural and thus cultural diversity, that are at the base of the very survival of this planet.
Angela B. Caudle de Freitas, IFOAM’s Executive Director states: ‘The organic movement cherishes diversity, and yes, this is complex sometimes. However, monocultures and reductionist thinking lead to reduction in biodiversity, the very base of nature’s and therewith our existence.’
The 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress will deal with diversity in all senses, look here to register: http://shop.ifoam.org/conference_3/ NB: Deadline 6 June 2008 !
Press accreditation: Ufficio Stampa Agenda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(*) Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|