Organic is Part of the Solution in Ensuring Biodiversity
This article was first published by IFOAM Organics International on their blog ‘Organic without boundaries‘.
Each and every animal, microorganism and plant species has a vital role to play in preserving the general health of our planet and the ecosystem that keeps it alive. From the earth worm to the rain forests, such biodiversity, is important in ensuring food variety, strengthening resilience and maintaining ecosystem balance.
Since the health and life of our planet depends on biodiversity, the U.N designated 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity so as to promote dialogue and awareness on the topic. This year’s theme is “We’re part of the solution” and we collected a few stories to highlight how organic agriculture is part of the solution!
Growing food, community and biodiversity
“Supporting and promoting organic methods of agriculture contributes to healthy and vibrant ecosystems that in turn, nurture us all.”
As we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, this should remind us that no matter what technological advances we have, we are completely dependent on nature, healthy and vibrant ecosystems and our diverse fauna and flora for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter, and energy.
How Organic Agriculture Supports Biodiversity
“In contrast to conventional agriculture, organic agriculture sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. Because organic food is grown in harmony with nature, organic farmers are custodians of biodiversity at all levels – from seeds and worms to birds and bees.”
The current rate of global diversity loss is estimated to be 1000 times higher than the extinction that would occur naturally. For instance, a recent study shows that many bird species in France have seen their numbers decline by two-thirds. If we continue to lose this amount of plants and animals it will have a severe impact on our ability to grow food, find fresh drinking water and adapt to a changing climate.
The Disappearance of Biodiversity Crucial for Food & Agriculture
“Once lost, FAO warns that all species that support our food systems and sustain the people who grow and/or provide our food cannot be recovered. On a positive note, biodiversity-friendly farming practices such as organic are helping to counter this scenario.”
FAO recently launched the first-ever global report on “The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture” presenting mounting and worrying evidence that the biodiversity sustaining our food systems is disappearing. This puts the future of our food, livelihoods, health, and environment under severe threat.
Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health
“Globally, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are disappearing. This loss of diversity, including genetic diversity, poses a serious risk to global food security by undermining the resilience of many agricultural systems to threats such as pests, pathogens, and climate change.”
Transformative change also takes a fundamental system-wide reorganization across political, technological and economic factors including the elimination of perverse incentives, that don’t just harm biodiversity but don’t deliver any public goods, either. Policies across all sectors need to be reformed in order to be able to support this new model of food systems based on the principles of agroecology.
As part of the ecosystem, we all have a role to play in promoting biodiversity.
You can participate by sharing what the theme “We’re part of the solution”, means to you by using the hashtags #BiodiversityDay and #ForNature #LuvOrganic. There are various resources available for you to download, adapt and share, for example, the logo, virtual backgrounds and a factsheet on the difference between biodiversity and nature.
Find out more on IFOAM Organics International work on biodiversity. To learn more about IFOAM Organics Europe’s work on the topic, check out our ‘Biodiversity, soil and water’ page.