IPBES recognizes why agrobiodiversity matters
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report, approved by more than 130 countries, recognizes the fundamental importance of conserving agricultural diversity for human and environmental well-being, the focus of Bioversity International’s work.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) delivered the summary of its Global Assessment to a meeting of the IPBES Plenary in Paris last week, where it was duly approved. Press coverage of the report has concentrated on doom and gloom; ecosystems around the planet are deteriorating at an unprecedented rate, largely as a result of human activity and inactivity. Land use change, climate change, direct exploitation of organisms, pollution, and invasive species are flagged as the principle drivers of this loss, with agriculture accounting for many of these drivers.
For agricultural biodiversity, however, the report is both welcome and, perhaps, even somewhat optimistic. That is because it recognizes the fundamental importance of food systems and agriculture, which so many previous global reports have seen as the enemy of conservation. It also, for the first time in a global report of this nature, draws on indigenous and local knowledge, which is often especially relevant to the conservation of agricultural biodiversity.