Agricultural Biodiversity, sometimes called 'Agrobiodiversity', encompasses the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes for, and in support of, food production and food security. Agricultural Biodiversity provides: i. Sustainable production of food and other agricultural products emphasising both strengthening sustainability in production systems at all levels of intensity and improving the conservation, sustainable use and enhancement of the diversity of all genetic resources for food and agriculture, especially plant and animal genetic resources, in all types of production systems. ii. Biological or life support to production emphasising conservation, sustainable use and enhancement of the biological resources that support sustainable production systems, particularly soil biota, pollinators and predators. iii. Ecological and social services provided by agro-ecosystems such as landscape and wildlife protection, soil protection and health (fertility, structure and function), water cycle and water quality, air quality, CO2 sequestration, etc.

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Related categories 4

Agricultural Biodiversity for Food Sovereignty and Food Security
UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition (UKabc) website. Comprehensive coverage of many issues concerning agricultural biodiversity's sustainable and equitable use, conservation, development, intellectual property, genetic engineering and governance. CSO resource on the International Seed Treaty (IT PGRFA).
Agricultural Biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Background, links and documentation on Agricultural Biodiversity with links to relevant CBD Decisions III/11, IV/6, V/5, VI/5 + VI/6 (on the International Seed Treaty), VII/3, VIII/23, IX/1, X/34.
Agricultural Biodiversity under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Provides full access to all relevant FAO documents on the conservation and sustainable use of Biological Diversity for Food and Agriculture - genetic, species and ecosystems: programmes, plans, treaties, conventions.
Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog
Collection of information collected from the internet that relates to agricultural biodiversity of crops, animals, wild relatives.
Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition
Comprehensive web resources on the central importance of agricultural biodiversity to food and nutrition, with links to many relevant books, papers, videos, slides and images and websites. This is part of a UNEP/FAO/GEF project operating in four countries: Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey and managed by Bioversity International.
CBD Alliance briefing: Agricultural biodiversity feeds the world!
CBD Alliance briefing on key issues concerning the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity. Prepared for the 10th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Nagoya, October 2010. More briefings at
CBDC International Farmers Technical Conference
Report of 2004 CBDC conference in Malaysia that provided a venue for farmers from Africa, Asia and Latin America to share and discuss their experiences on agricultural biodiversity conservation, technology transfer and protection of farmer innovations. Case Studies; techniques; fully illustrated. [PDF]
CGIAR Agricultural Biodiversity Centre
Bioversity International, formerly IPGRI, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, is the CGIAR international agricultural research centre mandated to work on the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity. Website covers all practical and policy aspects - many downloadable publications.
Chennai Platform for Action:
The Role of Agricultural Biodiversity in Achieving the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of Freedom from Hunger and Poverty. Results of a meeting held at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India (April 2005). Also relevant to achieving MDG 7 on the Environment. [PDF]
International program bringing together biological, ecological and social scientists to consider how biodiversity evolved in space and time, how much diversity exists and how scientific investigation can support policy and decision making.
ETC Group (formerly RAFI)
Action group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration. Very relevant site of influential CSO, which contains full texts of key papers, commentaries, cartoons on issues of governance and use of agricultural biodiversity, biotechnology, genomics, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, geoengineering and other emerging technologies.
FAO Soil Biodiversity Portal
Includes a framework under which soil biodiversity can be assessed, managed and conserved with pointers to research, capacity building and policy and programme development needs. Case studies and full information.
Find Your Feet (FYF) Agricultural Innovation Project
Report describes how small-scale farmers in Malawi are developing sustainable farming methods that maintain agricultural biodiversity and improve rural families' long-term access to sufficient, nutritious food. [PDF]
Gender, Biodiversity and Local Knowledge Systems
The LinKS (Local indigenous Knowledge Systems) a regional effort in southern and East Africa aimed at valuing men and women's local knowledge on the use and management of agricultural biodiversity. Presentation of the LinKS strategy. [PDF]
German Government Activities on Agricultural Biodiversity
Provides an overview of German organisations' know-how and projects on the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural and biological diversity. Links to related biodiversity activities, policy processes and projects.
Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative
Provides links to expert knowledge, science and events on soil biodiversity and its relation to environmental policy and sustainable land management for the protection and enhancement of ecosystems.
An international non-governmental organisation, which promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity based on people's control over genetic resources and local knowledge. Relevant, current information includes Seedling magazine, BIO-IPR listserve and regular Briefings on key issues; links to Growing Diversity project. [English, French and Spanish]
Human Nature: Agricultural Biodiversity and Farm-Based Food Security
This 1996 book provides a comprehensive introduction to agricultural biodiversity, with chapters on each major sector: crop genetic resources, farm animal diversity, fish and aquatic life, forests, soil biodiversity and microbial genetic resources. Concludes with discussion of policy issues. [pdf]
Improving nutrition with agricultural biodiversity
This guide provides a toolkit for assessing local farming systems, agricultural biodiversity and household food and nutrition for which it applies a food systems approach to intervention strategies.
Living Farms - Food Sovereignty through Sustainable Agriculture
Reports about efforts to re-establish local control over food and farming systems through the conservation, renewal and rejuvenation of biodiversity by means of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Website contains papers, case studies, links
Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems
Book that describes how farmers manage agricultural biodiversity to enhance the stability, resilience, and productivity of their farms: important for food production, global biodiversity and impacts of climate change.
Monitoring Institute for Rare Breeds and Seeds in Europe
Research into agricultural biodiversity of extinct and live populations of rare breeds and cultivated plants. Find descriptions of projects, publications, contacts and links. In English and German.
MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
Indian programme on community based agricultural biodiversity conservation and management in Wayanad, in Kerala, the Kolli Hills and Namakkal in Tamil Nadu and the Jeypore Tract of Orissa. Also development of a community gene bank.
Navdanya: Research Foundation for Science,Technology and Ecology, India
Site provides information on agricultural biodiversity conservation and protection of people's rights, livelihoods and environment from centralised systems of monoculture in forestry, agriculture and fisheries. Links to many Indian and global movements. Navdanya is a program of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) set up by Vandana Shiva.
People, Land Management and Environmental Change (PLEC)
Valuable archive of resources concerning models of locally developed management practices that combine traditional knowledge and approaches with new knowledge and technologies; and embrace ecosystem functions and processes for enhancing livelihoods, principally through optimal degree of structural, spatial, temporal, trophic, species and genetic diversity.
Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR)
As an outcome of an International Workshop "Managing Agricultural Biodiversity for Sustainable Development" held in Nairobi, Kenya, an agricultural biodiversity research platform was set up, with secretariat supplied by Bioversity International, Rome. Site provides current links, relevant papers and proposed programme of work including agricultural biodiversity and climate change.
Raita Teerpu
Website provides full documentation and reports on Raita Teerpu, a locally driven process for sustaining agricultural biodiversity, especially the dryland biodiversity and its associated knowledge in Deccan farming in India. The process is modelled on citizen juries – an example of Deliberative and Inclusive Processes [DIP] – important for farmer inclusion in agricultural research
Safeguard for Agricultural Varieties in Europe
SAVE is a European umbrella organization for the promotion and coordination of activities for the conservation of endangered breeds of domestic animals and cultivated plant varieties in the form of live populations. Background to organisation, project reports and links to many European NGOs.
Seed Map
This is an online portal on seeds, agricultural biodiversity and food. Through an interactive map it links to hundreds of case studies about agricultural biodiversity, its origins, threats, and development.
Supporting On-Farm Conservation in Eastern & Southern Africa
Includes information and case studies on the institutional conditions for 'successful' interventions, defined in terms of biological as well as economic parameters, derived from this GTZ / ODI / Darwin initiative project with African partners.
Sustaining Agricultural Biodiversity
Paper prepared for 2002 Forum for Food Sovereignty. Illustrates how food sovereignty and security, livelihoods, landscapes and environmental integrity are underpinned by agricultural biodiversity and its component genetic resources for food and agriculture. Summarises an Action Agenda to confront threats.
Sustaining Local Food Systems, Agricultural Biodiversity and Local Livelihoods
An IIED programme identifying how decentralised governance, farmer participation and capacity building promote the adaptive management of agricultural biodiversity in the context of local food systems and livelihoods. Case studies in India, Indonesia, Iran, Peru. Packed with relevant publications and multimedia presentations.
Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems
This is an online book with linked video and audio files by farmers, indigenous peoples and consumers highlighting the importance of locally controlled food systems to sustain both people and nature. Describes the ecological basis of food and agriculture, the social and environmental costs of modern food systems, and the policy reversals needed to democratize food systems. [PDF]
Understanding Agricultural Biodiversity
This first volume of the UPWARD three-volume publication is a global compilation by scientists, development specialists, academics, policy-makers and donors. Other volumes available from same site: Vol. 2: strengthening local management of agricultural biodiversity, and Vol. 3: ensuring an enabling environment for agricultural biodiversity. [PDF]
Who Owns Nature?
This 100th issue of the ETC Communiqué updates Oligopoly, Inc. – the ongoing series tracking corporate concentration in the life industry. It analyses the past three decades of agribusiness efforts to monopolize the 24% of living nature that has been commodified, and exposes a new strategy to capture the remaining three-quarters that has, until now, remained beyond the market economy.
[Farmer Mozilla]
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