Agricultural biodiversity and climate change

Science on the Land

Smallholders around the world favour diversity as they face changing, unpredictable climates.

Bioversity International tells us how smallholders use biodiversity to adapt. ‘Given the prevalence and effectiveness of planting new crops and varieties as a coping mechanism, ensuring access to a diversity of climate-hardy seed will be important to build resilience.’ That might include conventionally bred crops and also genetically modified crops. ‘An added challenge is that agricultural biodiversity is threatened by increasing homogenisation and industrialisation of production systems worldwide, urbanisation of populations, and shifts in cultural eating habits. Building climate change resilience will therefore also require supporting the conservation of crop diversity through an integrated approach from farmers’ fields to the market and then to the table.’

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