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The world needs to live up to promises made on biodiversity. Here’s how

March 5th, 2018 / World Economc Forum, Switzerland

Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity writes:
The signs that we are damaging the planet are everywhere. Denuded forests empty of animals, plastic pollution clogging the oceans, and fewer bees to pollinate our crops, are all testament to the failure of our model of production and consumption to …

Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food

February 16th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Potatoes are native to the Andes, and over 4,000 varieties are grown there now. They come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors – red, yellow, purple, striped and spotted. A colorful mound of them resembles the bold, burnished colors of locally woven shawls.
This wide array of types is an example …

Centre aims to bridge gaps in climate-smart agriculture

February 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (Climate SABC) hosted by Haromaya University is aiming to train efficient agricultural and climate change experts in Africa.
The Center financed by the World Bank came to be operational in 2017 and is currently teaching 51 students drawn from Ethiopia, …

Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

September 26th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

A “sixth mass extinction” is already under way, scientists are now warning us. Species such as the Bengal tiger and blue whale are vanishing at an alarming rate, and mournful eulogies are being written on how those born in 20 years’ time may never see an African elephant. But who …

Capitalize on African biodiversity

August 4th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Artemisinin, ginkgolides, quinine, reserpine, scopolamine, paclitaxel. What do these molecules have in common? They are all extracted from plants and transformed into useful drugs, treating conditions including malaria, nausea, cancer and high blood pressure. None of the plants is from Africa.
Almost 60% of commercially available drugs are based on molecules …

We need to talk about nutritious, valuable “forgotten” fruit

July 6th, 2017 / GFAR

African pears, bush mangoes, tree tomatoes and other “forgotten fruits” are neglected and underutilized species that originate from tropical regions of the world. These species have been cultivated by indigenous peoples for millennia, and are very high in minerals, nutrients and vitamins. They can not only provide famine and malnutrition …

We should care about food diversity

June 6th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale writes: Modern farming systems like the use of heavy machines and herbicides offer less chance for the survival of many traditional vegetables, creeping food crops, mushrooms, root food crops, fruits, and legumes which our forefathers grew… Dependence on a handful of varieties or species increases vulnerability …

Crop biodiversity: the key to ending hunger

May 25th, 2017 / Aljazeera

As people in four countries – Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria – teeter on the brink of famine, it seems our progress towards ending hunger is sadly inadequate. We are once again confronted with the question: how can we do more for vulnerable communities?
We have, in fact, made major …

Earthworms are more if you want to save the planet

April 5th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Not all wildlife is created equal in our eyes. Take the earthworm, which doesn’t have the widespread appeal of larger, more charismatic animals such as gorillas, tigers or pandas. Worms are never going to get a strong “cute response”, and they won’t ever be the face of a conservation campaign.
But …

Genetic diversity-the pillar to food security and agricultural productivity

January 23rd, 2017 / Ghana Web

Population expansion coupled with urbanisation of fertile agricultural lands together with modernisation in every aspect of human daily activities which create biodiversity are getting eroded in direct and indirect ways. Deforestation, land degradation, coastal development as well as environmental stress collectively lead to large scale extinction of plant species, more …