CBD-SBSTTA 14 Side Event: Grains of Wisdom….
May 14th, 2010
Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers have been developing varieties of crops through selection to adapt to changing conditions. However, climate change, and the risk of extreme events and abrupt conditions that attends it, is posing increasing challenges to farmers’ food security and livelihood. Fortunately, farmers are adapting. They are building resilient communities, innovating, and heading off climate change in ways that enhance, rather than reduce agricultural biodiversity. These participatory, community-based, indigenous innovations are essentially ecologically sound and rights based solutions, and therefore must be recognized by the Conference of Parties of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). What is more, the Conference of Parties must make an attempt to mainstream these farmer innovations in place of technological short cuts that are scientifically uncertain and poses unknown health risks.
Besides the viability of farmer innovations, the fact that over half of the population of developing countries in Asia and Africa depends on farming for their livelihood and sustenance, morally obligates the global community to recognize innovations that are developed by, and benefit, farmers.
The Development Fund, USC Canada and SEARICE are working to ensure that farmers play a central role in ensuring food security. They are sponsoring a SIDE EVENT that seeks to showcase local wisdom and innovations as the farmers’ main tool to respond to climate change and other threats.