BIODIVERSITY AND FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
Below are two strategies implemented in Colombia to protect biodiversity, the first are the basic guidelines for sustainable cocoa and the second is the signing of the biodiversity pact.
Basic Guidelines for Sustainable Cocoa - LBCS
The Swisscontact Colombia team has advanced the project "Promotion of the Production and Exportation of Fine Cocoa and Aroma of Colombia - Coexca", and the "Trade for Sustainable Development" program of the International Trade Center-ITC, they developed the protocol of BASIC GUIDELINES OF SUSTAINABLE COCOA - LBCS-, which offers cocoa farmers a tool that allows them to evaluate and permanently their agricultural and organizational practices, against criteria that guide their activity towards social, environmental and economic sustainability; developed with the support of the Swiss government, through the Secretariat of State for Economic Affairs - SECO.
Basic guidelines for sustainable cocoa - LBCS, is a set of evaluation criteria applicable to organizations and their associated producers, which allow to know their progress in the implementation of sustainable practices and the gaps to be resolved in a program of productive improvement and organizational maturity , before arriving at more complex certification processes or as an alternative to clients that do not request them, but want to know the dynamics of the organization.
With the participation of ITC's Trade for Sustainable Development -T4SD program, LBCS has become part of the global platform www.sustainabilitymap.org, where producers and their organizations can access their different modules, presenting their advances in the implementation of LBCS and communicate with different actors at a global level.
This initiative has been integrated into the National Cacao Association of Colombia-Red Cacaotera, which has incorporated LBCS as a strategic element for its internal development, so that the basic sustainability criteria are incorporated into the process of organizational maturity of its associations in Colombia.
Pact of Biodiversity
In Colombia, the initiative has been implemented to raise awareness among the population about how daily actions affect some of the most threatened species in the country and the measures that can be taken to contribute to the non-affectation of forests; this is why the Pact of Biodiversity was signed in 2017, an initiative that arises from the partnership between the Franco-Colombian Forest Conservation Association, National Natural Parks of Colombia, the Alexander Von Humboldt Institute and Sustainable Week.
This strategy invites people to understand the connection between their habits and species and thus they can commit themselves through the signing of the Pact to change their habits permanently. In addition, they will have the option of staying informed about good practices that will allow them to fulfill their long-term commitments.
To advance this initiative, we have the platform www.pactobiodiversidad.org, where Colombians can also learn about the habitat and customs of the condor, the Andean bear or the spectacled bear, the golden frog, the marmoset and the turtle.
In agreement, with Daisy Tarrier, promoter of the project "Colombian biodiversity is exceptional, it is essential to protect this nature, not only for its beauty but for the services it provides. With the Biodiversity Pact we want to show that we can all participate. "
The agreement will be available to the public as of May 22, 2017, the day of the World Day of Biological Diversity.
Does overexploitation of biodiversity compromise food security and nutrition?
With respect to the relationship of biodiversity with food safety and nutrition, I share some evidence from other authors and their own.
Both in the past and in the present, biodiversity is closely related to the food and survival of human beings, so it has been considered that the protection of native plants and animals against environmental and ecosystem changes ensures livelihoods of populations living in environmental conditions and in unfavorable soils for food production. (Rodríguez -Leyton, 2010).
According to Hollingsworth (2015), human beings who inhabit the Earth, use the soil to obtain food, to feed themselves and to conserve life, because there is no other option at the moment; The soils and the biodiversity associated with these are resources that today act as a buffer against climate change, both in ecosystems and in agroecosystems. However, what is taken from these resources to meet the demands of society, through agriculture, goes against the sustainability of the system.
The reasons that lead people not to have a respectful treatment with nature and with resources such as the soil, are mainly Western culture that considers nature and culture as separate.
With respect to the cultural dimension, we must introduce changes in the behavior patterns of people that lead to respect for the soil, its components and in general the life that inhabits it (Feller, 2015).
A study by the Conservation Monitoring Center of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative found that the rapid expansion of cropland is the main cause of biodiversity loss in tropical countries , corn and soybeans stand out as the most expansive crops and as the main causes of the loss of biodiversity in tropical regions. Other crops that pose a significant threat to habitats and wildlife are beans, cassava, cowpeas, peanuts, millet, palm oil, rice, sorghum, sugar cane and wheat, the study says.
Another aspect analyzed by several authors is the scarce biodiversity of concern in the last decades of the last century for FAO, because "only between 150 and 200 plant species and 40 domesticated species of mammals and birds, constitute the supply of food in the last century.
It was estimated that 60% of the calories and proteins consumed by the population come from rice, corn and wheat and that 35 food crops and 29 forages guarantee 80% of the caloric supply in the world's population. "
It was evident that many traditional species of plants and animals are displaced by other improved varieties or have been replaced by more productive crops, with which not only the variety but also the traditional knowledge associated with their production is lost. There are forgotten species used in their centers of rural origin and others that have fallen into underutilization or have stopped being used for cultural, economic or agronomic reasons. In view of this concern, from 1992 onwards, the need to conserve biodiversity was raised, promoting "the protection of traditional knowledge, participation in policy decisions and fair and equitable participation in the distribution of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources for agriculture and food "De Loma E (2008).
Until a few years ago, it was stated that world food production was sufficient to meet the needs of the population, as Reichmann puts it, there are plenty of food to meet the food needs of the world population, for which it is essential to generate changes in food production. the basic political-economic structures. However, the rapid growth of the population, calls into question not only the possibility of satisfying the food needs of the population, but also increases the concern for the loss of biodiversity.
The decrease in biodiversity leads to risks in food production by reducing future options, due to the loss of genetic information and genetic material; "An increasing susceptibility to diseases and parasites because few varieties and species grow over extensive areas, which can lead to dependence on pesticides, fertilizers and destabilization of ecosystem processes, with interruptions in soil formation and in their cycles "
In 1989 the World Wildlife Fund defined biodiversity as: "the richness of life on Earth". With this wealth, it refers to the millions of species of animals, plants and microorganisms, as well as the genes of all of them and the ecosystems in which they live, and which therefore make up the natural environment.
To date, an enormous amount of species has been described, around 1,750,000, but it is estimated that there are still many millions more to be cataloged.
Biodiversity contemplates the biological richness of all the ecosystems, species and genes that surround us, and represents a crucial factor in the natural heritage whose ecosystem services guarantee our well-being. Thus, the various ecosystem components, their interactions and functions favor an optimum quality of life, both individually and collectively, ensuring basic services of first necessity (drinking water, natural foods, ...). Therefore, ecosystem goods and services are a fundamental pillar of local economies, since they have a high potential for generating employment and social welfare. Consequently, biodiversity protection and management policies must be approached from an integrated management perspective, focused on the biophysical processes that determine the ecological integrity of ecosystems, both inside and outside the protected areas, and in the enhancement of value. of biodiversity as a key element for the promotion of models of sustainable development.
Biodiversity is one of the fundamental bases of human nutrition. The genetic resources of animals and plants are the basis for the development and improvement of cultivated plants and animal breeds, to cope with new pests and diseases, and to safeguard their potential for adaptation to changes in the environment and in the ecosystems The biodiversity of native plant varieties and animal breeds adapted to local conditions ensures the livelihoods of populations in unfavorable environmental and soil conditions.
The different forums held since 1992 to promote conservation and use of biodiversity, have faced the problem of erosion of these resources in the framework of respect and protection of the rights of farmers and fishermen. This right implies the protection of traditional knowledge, participation in policy decisions and fair and equitable participation in the distribution of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources for agriculture and food.
The following are the main agreements for the protection of biodiversity:
The Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD), which enters into force in 1993, is the broadest international instrument for all matters related to biological diversity and establishes a binding legal framework for its conservation and sustainable use.
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was adopted in Montreal in the year 2000; The purpose of this Protocol is to help ensure an adequate level of protection in the area of safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of diversity biological, also taking into account the risks to human health, and focusing specifically on transboundary movements.