Agrobiodiversity as a Critical and Emerging Issue in the 2nd note by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition

Agrobiodiversity was identified as one of the nine main critical and/or emerging issues in the second note by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) that was requested by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

The note will be released during the 44th Plenary Session of the CFS, in October 2017, and serves as a starting point for political debates within CFS and for the process of elaboration of its following multiyear program of work (MYPoW).

The note was put together after an extensive process that involved a wide range of knowledge institutions and comprised an open public enquiry, 3 conferences co-organized with specific institutions that allowed direct interaction between different knowledge holders and political decision-makers, as well as a scientific, external peer-review on the first draft.

Addressing the emerging and critical issues identified, so the note, would contribute to inform the fundamental changes in agriculture and food systems that are needed to address Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) and, more generally, sustainable development.

Conservation of agrobiodiversity and its sustainable utilization for breeding and for production, a potential priority area for FSN, raise the following set of critical questions:

  • How should diversification of crop species address food quality, in particular micronutrients and multiple nutrient densities, to ensure FSN?
  • How could indigenous peoples’ and small farmer seed supply systems be strengthened for ensuring FSN, while respecting the sovereign rights of the communities? How could participatory breeding initiatives contribute to developing plants with unique properties for quality, taste and tolerance to stresses, and to organic farming and climate change-resilient varieties?
  • How could protection of agrobiodiversity in ecosystems contribute to FSN?
  • What global regulations and intensive investments are needed for monitoring and addressing the implications of modern breeding on food diversity, food chains, pollinators, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and collective rights, indigenous seeds, ecosystems and gene-flow?
  • What are in particular the challenges in addressing the corporate concentration and the resulting control of agribusiness megamergers over plant genetic resources and the world’s agricultural seed supply?


You can read the full note here.