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Harnessing the Power of Nature Explored at GLF Biodiversity Conference

Are we doing enough to harness the power of nature? How can we do more?

The Crop Trust convened a session called Harnessing the Power of Nature at the GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference: One World – One Health which explored the future of the UN SDGs and the role of agrobiodiversity.

In UN SDG 2.5, the world committed to securing crop and livestock diversity in an internationally-accessible conservation system by 2020. While progress has been made, the goal has yet to be achieved. The Crop Trust-led session assessed that progress and the way forward.

“As an international community, we are falling short,” said Sir Peter Crane, Chair of the Crop Trust Executive Board in one of the session’s lightning talks, highlighting the need to work together to achieve the future of food we all want and what future generations deserve.

Focusing on a post-2020 agenda for UN SDG 2.5, two lighting talks and a panel considered how to recommit the global community to the conservation of the world’s crop diversity.

Marie Haga, the Associate Vice President for External Relations and Governance at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and former Executive Director of the Crop Trust, followed with the second lightning talk. In it, she emphasized that the power of biodiversity, and especially agrobiodiversity, has not been recognized or understood enough and that there needs to be greater awareness about it.

“Agriculture is a lifeline for 2.5 billion people,” said Haga. “These smallholders, many of whom are Indigenous, are custodians of biodiversity and ecosystems.”

The session concluded with a panel moderated by Food Tank President, Danielle Nierenberg, who was joined by policy experts and activists. The participants emphasized the crucial importance of crop diversity for resilient and healthy food systems.

From youth to political leaders to financial institutions, the path towards building more resilience in our food systems begins with cooperation across borders and at considerable scale.

“I believe that we have to think seriously about succession planning,” said farmer and past president of Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers Mildred Crawford. “Our youth plays a critical role in that area because when we think about retiring, that baton has to be passed on, and we have to make sure that we pass on that information and that the history, the legacy continues.”

To feed a growing world, the panel agreed, the world’s farmers and eaters need a renewed commitment to protecting biodiversity.

Session speakers:

  • Marie Haga, Associate Vice President for External Relations and Governance, IFAD
  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank
  • Kent Nnadozie, Secretary, ITPGRFA (FAO)
  • Susan Bragdon, Policy Advisor, Oxfam Novib
  • Mildred Crawford, Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers
  • Pablo Vargas, CEO, Britt

View the session recording:

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