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Sources – Cultivating farm biodiversity

Custodian farmers of agricultural biodiversity: Selected profiles from South and South East Asia

Proceedings of the workshop on custodian farmers of agricultural biodiversity, 11-12 February 2013, New Delhi, India

Sthapit, B.; Lamers, H.; Rao, R. (eds.), 2013, Bioversity International, Rome (Italy), ISBN-13: 978-92-9043-933-2

The publication presents the proceedings of the Workshop on Custodian Farmers of Agricultural Biodiversity, 11-12 February 2013, New Delhi, India. About 20 farmers from five countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand) participated in the workshop and shared their experience and motivations. The workshop also debated on the challenges faced by such farmers and discussed the ways to strengthen and/or support them so that they continue to use, conserve and promote agricultural biodiversity. The meeting also produced recommendations to policy makers to support on-farm conservation efforts.

The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Driving Sustainable Development. United Nations Development Programme Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework 2012-2020.

UNDP, 2012, Roots Advertising Services Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, India

Human survival and wellbeing depend upon biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide. Yet, in recent decades, the world has experienced unprecedented biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, undermining the very foundations of life on Earth.

The loss of ecosystems and biodiversity is a challenge for us all, but it is a particular challenge for the world’s poor. Many of the 1.2 billion people living in severe poverty, on less than US$ 1 a day, depend directly on nature for food, clean water, fuel, medicine, shelter, and reduced vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. Dependent on ecosystem goods and services for their livelihoods and subsistence, the poor stand to suffer disproportionately from potentially catastrophic changes to fragile ecosystems in coming decades. Ultimately, however, all societies stand to lose.

Despite concerted efforts by the international community and by national governments, biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystems continue. To reverse this trend, there is a need to intensify efforts and find new ways of financing biodiversity and ecosystem management. This UNDP Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework is a response to the need to scale up action and make it more effective. In addition, the framework represents a shift in focus towards the positive opportunities provided by biodiversity and natural ecosystems, in terms of harnessing their potential for sustainable development.

Agrobiodiversity and the Law: Regulating Genetic Resources, Food Security and Cultural Diversity

Juliana Santilli, 2011, Routledge, 348 p., £65.00, ISBN: 978-1-84971-372-6

This book analyzes the impact of the legal system on agrobiodiversity (or agricultural biodiversity) – the diversity of agricultural species, varieties, and ecosystems. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it takes up the emerging concept of agrobiodiversity and its relationship with food security, nutrition, health, environmental sustainability, and climate change. It assesses the impacts on agrobiodiversity of key legal instruments, including seeds laws, the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, plant breeders’ rights, the Convention on Biological Diversity (regarding specifically its impact on agrobiodiversity), and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It also reviews the options for the implementation of these instruments at the national level in several countries. It discusses the interfaces between the free software movement, the ‘commons’ movement, and seeds, as well as the legal instruments to protect cultural heritage and their application to safeguard agrobiodiversity-rich systems. Finally, it analyzes the role of protected areas and the possibility of using geographical indications to enhance the value of agrobiodiversity products and processes.