FSN Forum

DISCUSSION No. 149   •   FSN Forum digest No. 1346

Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for improved Food Security and better Nutrition

until 27 May 2018

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Dear Members,

We are happy to share with you the latest comments received for the online consultation Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for improved Food Security and better Nutrition.

Please read the summaries of the contributions below. You can access the full versions together with all background information and the questions on the FSN Forum's website, which is available also in French and Spanish.

We thank all contributors so far for their valuable input and invite you all to keep sharing your experience in this important aspect of development work.

Please send us examples of cases where biodiversity is contributing to achieving food security and improved nutrition, and where sustainable production systems have helped preserve biodiversity. We would also like to hear your views on the enabling environments that prompt farmers and institutions to adopt practices that take advantage of biodiversity while at the same time protecting it.

To take part, post your comment online on the FSN Forum or send it to FSN-moderator@fao.org.

We look forward to your comments.

Your FSN Forum team


iconAdele Muscolo, Mediterranea University, Reggio Calabria, Italy

Adele shares information on a study in which she evaluated how different forest management practices influenced the quality of soil in terms of ecosystem functioning.

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iconRajasekaran Murugan, University of Kassel, Germany

Rajasekaran introduces his studies on the response of soil biodiversity and their ecosystem services to climate change across temperate, Andean and tropical mountain soils.

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iconLal Manavado, University of Oslo, Norway

Lal stresses the importance of coordinated action as it is uncertain whether enhanced biodiversity of an area could remain sustainable when surrounded by places where it remains threatened. 

He therefore urges to increase efforts to improve policy coherence and to meticulously assess the local contexts through research and surveys.

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iconGalfato Gabiso Gada, Hawassa University, Ethiopia

Galfato shares a paper he co-authored, examining agro-biodiversity conservation at farm level in Boricha and Wondo Genet, Ethiopia.

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iconNoel Templer, Go Organic East Africa, Kenya

Noel introduces "Go Organic East Africa", an organization training both farmers and students on sustainable organic production.

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iconSamuel James, Maharishi University, United States of America

Samuel argues that there is a fundamental conflict between maintaining soil macrofaunal biodiversity normally existing in naturally-functioning ecosystems, and implementing any type of agriculture requiring a wholesale replacement of the vegetation. In doing so, he stresses the importance of earthworms for healthy ecosystems.

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iconKanna Siripurapu, Watershed Support Services and Activity Network (WASSAN), India

Kanna shares examples of agro-ecological practices in India, such as backyard poultry rearing, the promotion of millet farming in tribal areas, community-managed tank-based fisheries, etc.

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iconAklilu Nigussie, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia

Aklilu focuses on his native Ethiopia warning about the dangers posed by increasing use of chemical fertilizers and by demographic pressure to the diversified production systems traditionally used by smallholder farmers.

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iconMichael Commons, Earth Net Foundation/ Agricultural Biodiversity Community, Thailand

Michael shares first-hand experience of how agroecological methods have helped spur the return of the diverse flora and fauna that live in healthy rice ecosystems.

He also mentions what is known as "Forest Gardening" or "Organic Agroforestry" , which has substantial impact on the conservation of biodiversity of land-based systems in Sri Lanka.

As limiting factor to the success of ecological methods, he lists the lack of availability of appropriate technology for working in biodiverse farming systems, which affects many small-scale farmers.

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iconJoseph Ahenda, FAO, Somalia

Joseph highlights the importance of below-ground biodiversity for maintaining the resilience of the soil ecosystem and to sustain above-ground biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystems.

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iconLaura Aldrich-Wolfe, North Dakota State University, United States of America

Laura shares information about an experiment comparing fungal community composition and diversity in root systems of coffee grown along the continuum from conventional to organic management at 25 sites in Costa Rica. 

Preliminary results indicate that coffee farmed under shade and without large inputs of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer hosts a more diverse fungal community with more fungi that have the potential to serve as biological controls for diseases of the coffee plant.

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