Biodiverse agriculture for a changing climate
A recent paper by Practical Action focuses on the advantages of biodiverse agriculture – as practiced by 1.4 billion small-scale farmers, livestock keepers and fisherfolk across the world - for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
It reviews the evidence from field-scale trials and farming practice worldwide and demonstrates that techniques common to biodiverse agroecological approaches bring multiple benefits, simultaneously building resilience in ecosystems and farming communities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food production and drawing carbon from the atmosphere.
The paper recommends that policy, research and investment efforts in support of biodiverse agroecology and climate change mitigation and adaptation therefore should involve:
* Implementing laws, policies and practices to promote food sovereignty and support small-scale producers and localised biodiverse, agroecological food production
* Investing in infrastructure, creating equitable market opportunities and ensuring security of tenure and rights of access in poor and marginal areas
* Changing priorities in research and development towards practices and technologies that promote biodiverse agroecology and farmer to farmer information sharing
* Promoting participatory technology development, farmer-centred research and extension workers linking policy makers, research and small-scale producers
* Changing attitudes and philosophies of decision makers, scientists and others to support biodiverse agroecology
* Removing subsidies for and regulating the influence of corporations that dominate the agricultural input sector
* Challenging existing laws and regulatory frameworks that prevent small-scale farmers and communities from developing, saving, exchanging and selling seeds, livestock breeds and fish species
* Empowering local institutions to manage agricultural biodiversity, strengthen community capacity to access genetic resources, monitor threats to genetic diversity and promote in situ and on-farm genetic resources to guarantee the dynamic evolution of genetic diversity to changing climatic conditions.
The full paper and a summary are available at http://practicalaction.org/advocacy/biodiverse_agriculture_paper
With best wishes,