Natural Resources
     and Environment

News, Publications & Announcements - Genetic Resources & Biodiversity

June 2007
Farm animal diversity under threat
One breed lost a month – industrial livestock production biggest factor

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June 2007
The next frontier in genetic research: under water
Countries to discuss managing the world's aquatic genetic resources

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May 2007
Meeting the food security challenge through organic agriculture
States should integrate organic agriculture objectives within national priorities, FAO says

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January 2003
Organic agricultural environment and food security

The term "organic agriculture" refers to a process that uses methods respectful of the environment from the production stages through handling and processing. Organic production is not merely concerned with the final product which reaches the consumer. One of the main sources of general principles and requirements applied to organic agriculture at the international level is the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods. According to Codex: "Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances ecosystem health, including biological cycles and soil biological activity. Organic agriculture is based on minimising the use of external inputs, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture practices cannot insure that products are completely free of residues, due to general environmental pollution. However, methods are used to minimize pollution of air, soil and water. Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards to maintain the integrity of organic agriculture products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

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August 2001
Organic Agriculture in Senegal

Senegal is a country in the Sahel of 219.253 km², with a population nearing 9,240,000 inhabitants (1999). The agricultural sector is comprised of 6,990,000 inhabitants (1999), almost 75% of the population. The annual growth rate is 2.6% (1998). Agriculture plays a predominant role in the socioeconomic life of Senegal. The rural population active in agriculture represents 73.7% of the total Senegalese population active in the agricultural sector (2000). From 1990-95, agriculture contributed 20.8% to the gross domestic product (GDP): 10.6% for agriculture, 7.6% for animal breeding, 2.1% for fishing and 0.5% for forestry. Agriculture faces a number of ecological constraints, which vary from region to region. Some of these constraints include: salinity, acidity, erosion, wind erosion of the soil, unavailability of land for grazing, overgrazing, deforestation (resulting from population growth and from the destruction of land cover), desertification and the risk of a loss of equilibrium between freshwater and salt water. These problems, many of which are the result of poor agricultural management, are compounded by the precarious nature of the climate (weak and irregular rains) and threatened by agricultural exploitation. Furthermore, land degradation and a general threat to natural resources pose additional problems. At the social level, the policies ...

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