What is the end of this suicidal war? (I) The destruction of the web of life – a global issue

More than 6,000 plant species have been cultivated for food. Now, less than 200 make major contributions to food production worldwide, regionally or nationally. On the right bank of the Tocantins River in Brazil, near the town of Porto Nacional, is the Soya Sea. Credit: Mario Osava / IPS
  • Bahr Kamal (Madrid)
  • Inter Press Service

In terms of business-based practice, the answer seems to be a bold “no”, which depletes biodiversity, pollutes the oceans, raises sea levels, raises record temperatures, provokes severe droughts and floods, and causes millions to flee their homes due to climate change. Forced to go. In addition to refugees, conflict and poverty displaced people.

The summit is scheduled to take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) organized by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy.

While the premise sounds good because the conference presidency has proposed a delivery plan led by Germany and Canada to raise 100 100 billion a year for climate financing, past experience shows that one thing is promised and a completely different thing is fulfilled. Promise.

However, and whatever comes out – and will be implemented – the scenario looks bleak.

Consider the loss of biodiversity in life systems – biodiversity as an example.

The food system is responsible for 80% of the loss of biodiversity

“Our war with nature”, UN Secretary General? Antonio Guterres says it includes a food system that generates one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for up to 80 percent of biodiversity loss.

In this regard, the Genetic Resources Commission for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) explains that thousands of species and their genetic variability create a web of life and are essential for adapting to new conditions, including climate change.

It further explains that biodiversity for food and agriculture is the diversity of plants, animals and microorganisms at the genetic, species and ecological levels, present in the vicinity of crops, livestock, forests and aquatic production systems.

What is biodiversity?

This year’s State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture assesses biodiversity for food and agriculture worldwide and its management.

It says that biodiversity includes domesticated plants and animals that are part of crops, livestock, forests or aquatic systems, harvested forest and aquatic species, wild relatives of domesticated species and other wild species that are collected for food and other products.

Biodiversity includes what is known as “related biodiversity”, the vast range of organisms that live in and around food and agricultural production systems, sustaining them and contributing to their production.

And it provides many vital ecosystem services, such as creating and maintaining healthy soil, pollinating plants, controlling pests and providing habitat for wildlife, for fish and other species that are vital for food production and agricultural livelihoods.

Despite their vital importance for the survival of mankind, many key elements of biodiversity for food and agriculture are declining at the genetic, species and ecological levels, warns the world’s biodiversity state for food and agriculture.

The state of the world’s biodiversity for food and agriculture highlights a set of key information:

More than 6,000 plant species have been cultivated for food. Now, less than 200 make major contributions to food production worldwide, regionally or nationally. Of these, only 9 per cent of the total crop production.

Overall, the diversity of crops present in farmers ’fields has declined and the threat to crop diversity is increasing.

About one-third of fish stocks are overfished and one-third of the assessed freshwater fish species are considered endangered.

The proportion of endangered livestock species is increasing.

7,745 endemic species of cattle still exist, but 26 percent of them are at risk of extinction.

Although the dominant industry has a high percentage of severe loss of biodiversity due to a single culture, agriculture and food system, there is a frequently under-reported link between it and the continued looting of genetic resources.

In addition to state-owned genetic banks aimed at conserving genetic resources, the process is practiced by giant corporations that collect seeds and genes of plants, animals, forests and aquatic species in most poor countries to patent and store them as their own property. In their so-called genetic resource bank.

What is the diversity of genetic resources?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the diversity of genetic resources for food and agriculture (such as plants / grains, animals, aquatic resources, forests, microorganisms and invertebrates) play an important role in meeting basic human food and nutrition needs. )

Plant genetic resources There are varieties of seeds for food and agriculture and traditional varieties and modern farming elements, wild relatives of the crop and other wild plant species. These resources are used as food, livestock feed, fiber, clothing, shelter and energy.

Forests are genetic resources Traditional materials maintained in and between trees and other woody plant species of real or potential economic, environmental, scientific or social value.

Trees are the foundation species of the forest ecosystem and many of the world’s 60,000 tree species are also an important component of other ecosystems, such as savannas and agricultural landscapes.

Genetic resources of animals For food and agriculture there are genes, traits and variability of different animal species that play a role in food and agriculture.

Aquatic genetic resources DNA for food and agriculture includes genes, chromosomes, tissues, gametes, embryos and other early life history stages, individuals, strains, stocks, and communities of real or potential value organisms for food and agriculture.

This diversity allows organisms to reproduce and grow, adapt to natural and human-induced effects such as climate change, prevent disease and parasites, and thrive.

Mother Earth is self-organized

But perhaps a correct way to summarize the alarming loss of biodiversity, well-known Professor Bandana Shiva wrote in her recent Revealing Food, Revealing Our Mind and Revealing the Earth.

According to these physicists, ecofeminists, philosophers, activists, and authors of more than 20 books and 500 research papers, Mother Earth is self-organized. Mother Earth has created and sustained diversity.

“Colonialism has transformed into Mother Earth, Bashundhara, Pachmama, Tera Madre, Tera Nulias, Empty Earth. Our living, abundant world, rich in biodiversity and cultural diversity, is reduced to an empty world. ”

“Earth’s biodiversity has disappeared from the minds of people who have turned the world into private property …”

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedSource: Inter Press Service

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