In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘Biodiversity and Rural development in ACP countries’, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
This report explores the potential for a shift to occur from current food systems, characterized by industrial modes of agriculture, to systems based around diversified agroecological farming. Based on a review of the latest evidence, the report identifies the major potential for diversified agroecological systems to succeed where current systems are failing, namely in reconciling concerns such as food security, environmental protection, nutritional adequacy and social equity. This report also asks what is keeping industrial agriculture in place, and what would be required in order to spark a shift towards diversified agroecological systems.
Kenya has a high prevalence of underweight and stunting in children. It is believed that both agricultural biodiversity and seasonal rainfall influences household food security and dietary intake. In the present study we aimed to study the effects of agricultural biodiversity and seasonal rains on dietary adequacy and household food security of preschool Kenyan children, and to identify significant relationships between these variables.
– The benefits of diversifying food and diets
Biodiversity for Food Project, 2014
The publication Diversifying Food and Diets revisits the role agricultural biodiversity can play in improving dietary diversity and health outcomes in a world where 868 million people are undernourished, 195 million children under the age of five are stunted and over 1 billion people are overweight and obese. Using examples and case studies from around the globe, the book explores current strategies for improving nutrition and diets and identifies key research and implementation gaps that need to be addressed to successfully promote the better use of agricultural biodiversity to improve nutrition and food security. Food system-based approaches that use local agricultural biodiversity to address diet-related health problems (such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) by enhancing food availability and diet quality often fall outside the traditional scope of nutrition, and have been under-researched. As a consequence, there remains insufficient evidence to support well-defined, scalable agricultural biodiversity interventions that can be linked to improvements in nutrition outcomes. The book provides a set of lessons learned and a basis to help practitioners carry out similar efforts in other regional contexts.
– Biodiversity Conservation Through Farming: A Landscape Assessment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The integration of agriculture and biodiversity has become an acknowledged solution to concurrently address the development of sustainable food production systems and the preservation of natural resources. However, there are few alternative farming systems combining agricultural commodities with ecosystem services. We examined the farm and landscape dynamics of an area in South Africa which has been isolated from mainstream agriculture for several decades. We used a time series of aerial photographs as well as farm surveys and interviews to analyze how historical and present trends can explain land use features. Results show that today’s landscape is the consequence of dramatic socioeconomic transformations that have turned original transhumant livestock keepers into sedentary farmers. Although poverty is widespread, we found a well-balanced landscape with a regularly increasing tree cover and a high biodiversity potential. Beyond farm and household size, the main landscape impact factors are herd size and management as well as soil fertility management practices, including fallowing. We show that these conditions represent a good potential toward a multifunctional landscape, provided the relationships between farmers’ practices and biodiversity are better formalized and there are tangible benefits for farmers to opt for this approach.