Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity: An essential aspect of natural resources management in agricultural ecosystems Sally Bunning Land Management Officer Land and Water Development Division FAO of the UN
What is agricultural biodiversity? It includes all components of biological diversity of relevance to food and agriculture: the variety and variability of plants, animals and micro-organisms at genetic, species and ecosystem level which are necessary to sustain key functions in the agro-ecosystem, its structures and processes. Local knowledge and cultural diversity can be considered an essential part of agrobiodiversity as it is the human activity of agriculture which conserves this biodiversity.
Importance (value) of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems In agricultural systems biodiversity is important • for the production of food, fibre, fuel, fodder...(goods) • to conserve the ecological foundations to sustain life (life support function) • to allow adaptation to changing situations • and to sustain rural peoples’ livelihoods (sustainable agriculture – food security, income, employment,...) Specificity: it has been developed through human intervention over generations and it requires human management to sustain it.
Agricultural Biodiversity is complex Human Management practices and decisions GENETIC and SPECIES DIVERSITY wild and domesticated CULTURAL DIVERSITY Crop based systems: food/fibre crops, pasture, trees (planned + harvested spp.) Mixed systemsand associated biodiversity: soil organisms, pollinators, predators Livestock based systems: pasture, rangelands, cattle, small ruminants, poultry... Case studies and experiences to be shared among countries and farming systems ECOSYSTEMS DIVERSITY varied production systems habitats and landscapes
Need to address all components of agrobiodiversity • Habitat diversity (mosaic of land uses varies with soil and terrain, hedges, borders, trees in the landscape; farm type) • Inter-species diversity (plant, animal and microbial) • Inter-species diversity (very important for agrobiodiversity) genetic resources, unique traits –resistance to drought, cold, disease, etc, rooting, aspect, taste, storage, etc. • Harvested species and Associated species (pollinators, beneficial/harmful predators, soil organisms – health/ disease,…) • as well as Cultural diversity (type of farmer and farm; regulations; common property resources/ownership) • and to understand implication of agrobiodiversity on ecosystem functions/processes and the servicesprovided (see adapted Table by J. Paruel, Environmental controls and effect of land use on ecosystem functioning in temperate Argentina)
Farmers managing … Farmers managing genes Farmers managing species Farmers managing ecosystems
COMPONENTS Predators Non-crop Soil Soil Pollinators Earthworms Herbivores and Parasites Vegetation Mesofauna Microfauna AGROECOSYSTEM BIODIVERSITY FUNCTIONS Nutrient Population Biomass Competition Pollination Soil structure Decomposition cycling regulation consumption Allelopathy Genetic Nutrient Predation Disease Biological Nutrient Sources of natural introgression cycling Nutrient cycling suppression control cycling enemies Crop wild relatives Managing Agro-ecosystem biodiversity ENHANCEMENTS Intercropping Rotations No-Tillage Green manures Windbreaks Agroforestry Cover crops Composting OM inputs From Altieri, M.A. Biodiversity and pest management Agro-ecosystems, Haworth Press, New York, 1994)
Understanding Human Pressures on and threats to agricultural biodiversity Increasing pressure on species and their environments: • Population growth and poverty (increasing demand) • Overexploitation, mismanagement • Expansion into wetlands and fragile areas • Intensification and Specialisation of agriculture – market forces • Pollution • Urbanisation, changing consumption patterns, globalisation Threats and risks • loss of plant and animal species • loss of plant varieties and animal races/breeds (loss of unique traits) • also loss of essential natural processes • pollination by insects, birds, bats etc. • regeneration of soils by micro-organisms • also reduced resilience. Need toincrease resilience of agriculture and human capacity to adapt (to harsh periods, drought, climate change, pests, diseases) by maintaining a wide array of life forms with unique traits (e.g. trees that survive drought or cattle that reproduce in harsh conditions).
Wide range of case studies illustrate Sustainable Use of agrobiodiversity • Integrated agro-ecological approaches: IPM, soil biological management • Community-based adaptive management– animal and plant genetic resources, diverse farming systems • Local knowledge systems • multiple uses of species (diet, nutrition, medicines; gender differentiated knowledge of agrobiodiversity • community perspectives/strategies in managing crop and livestock and associated biodiversity; coping strategies for HIV/AIDS, climate change) • Ecosystem approach: address all components, systems functioning and services and human management (cf. EA principles) • Strengthening viability of farm-livelihood systems with under-utilized and under-valued biodiversity (opportunities; options) • grasslands (grazing species preference, productivity; deep roots-below ground biomass) • mountains (adaptation to altitude, cold; disease resilience, etc.) • marketing (diverse products, niche markets, organic agriculture, etc. • recognition of positive externalities (valuing ecological services provided by biodiversity associated with agricultural systems)
Need to use common Agricultural Definitions Sustainable agriculture is ecologically sound, environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just and culturally appropriate … is based on a holistic scientific approach and productive over the long term. Farm System : the farm household, its resources, and the resource flows and interactions at this individual farm level Farming System: a population of individual farm systems that have broadly similar resource bases, enterprise patterns, household livelihoods and constraints Sustainable agricultural systems provide a range of goods (food, fuel, fibre, materials, etc.) and services (also considered as positive externalities) Need to select indicators for monitoring sustainability: • soil (sustained health + productivity, prevent soil erosion, minimise off-site impacts, ... ); • water (water retention, maintain water regime, flood protection, etc); • vegetation (protective land cover, structure, biomass, C sequestration) • biodiversity (resilience, adaptability, opportunities) conservation of wildlife and wild species; agricultural biodiversity: genetic resources inter- and intra- species, farmed and associated species, ecosystem functions, • air quality (minimise greenhouse gas emissions) • rural amenities (e.g. landscape, tourism).
Major Farming Systems: Sub-Saharan Africa Common classes, characterisation and terminology
Need to build on ongoing global agro-biodiversity fora/intergovernmental processes • CBD Programme of Work on Agricultural Biodiversity: 4 components on Assessment, Adaptive Management, Capacity Building, Mainstreaming) • International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity • International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators • International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and AgricultureFAO IT-PGRFA • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Sec. hosted by FAO • FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture CGRFA • FAO Committee on Agriculture COAG These have resulted in: • Assessment, Monitoring and Priority Actions: GPA-PGR, SOWAGR, Good Practices: SLM, Conservation agriculture, IPM, .... • Guidelines: PGR, AGR, Pollinators, soil biodiversity, ecosystem approach, farmer rights, • Panel of Experts… etc.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture (IT) • This legally binding instrument is crucial for sustainable agriculture. It provides a framework for national, regional and international efforts to conserve and sustainably use plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - and for sharing the benefits equitably, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity. • IT-PGRFA was adopted by the 31st session of the FAO Conference (Resolution 3/2001) • It entered into force on 29 June 2004. http://www.fao.org/ag/cgrfa/itpgr.htm
Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of PGRFA Priority Activity AreasIn Situ Conservation and DevelopmentActivity 1. Surveying and Inventorying of PGRFA 2. Supporting On-farm Management and Improvement of PGRFA 3. Assisting Farmers in Disaster Situations to Restore Agricultural Systems 4. Promoting in situ Conservation of Wild Crop Relatives and Wild Plants for Food production (Sustainable) Utilization of Plant Genetic ResourcesActivity Activity 9 Expanding characterization, evaluation and core collection 10 Increasing genetic enhancement and base broadening 11 Promoting sustainable agriculture 12Promiting under-utilized crops and species 13 Supporting seed production and distribution 14. developing new markets for local varieties an diversity rich products also Ex situ conservation..... Capacity building and Institutions.....
Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources • FAO is coordinating its development to guide international action for the sustainable use, development and conservation of domestic animal diversity • supported by the Inter-governmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources • An essential element is the first State of the world's animal genetic resources - a comprehensive overview of farm animal biodiversity; country-driven process (as agreed by CGRFA-8 in 1999). • First stage of reporting completed >170 Country Reports, reports by International organizations on relevant activities see DAD-IS. • CGRFA-10 decided that the 1st Report, including the Report on Strategic Priorities for Action should be finalized at the First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources in 2007, hosted by the Government of Switzerland in 2007 in Interlaken • Draft Report on Strategic Priorities for Action was reviewed by electronic Regional Consultations.
Domestic Animal Genetic Resources at Risk • Exotic genetic resources not sustainable • Indiscriminate crossbreeding • Genetic resources for future needs Desirable commitments by governments • Include stakeholders in decision-making • Identification of sources of funding • Support breeder associations • Strengthen extension services
FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) • The CGRFA deals with policy, sectorial and cross sectorial matters related to the conservation and utilization of genetic resources for food and agriculture. • It develops and monitors • the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources and • the Global System for Plant Genetic Resources – for food and agriculture. • It has been addressing genetic resources in a stepwise manner (plant genetic resources animal …..) but has agreed on the need for an ecosystem approach • Hence the side event on its 20th anniversary (CGRFA 10): Mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity for food security (8-10 November 2004) and resulting in the publication on Biodiversity and the Ecosystem Approach (See website)
Options for technical support to countries in enhancing sustainable use of AGBIO • Enhance biodiversity through • Sustainable agriculture • Sustainable pastoralism • Sustainable intensification (enhance productivity and function) • livelihoods’ diversification • Managing seed systems to promote the sustainable utilization of crop genetic resources • Economic analysis: marketing, addressing and valuing the multiple roles of agriculture (See www.fao.org/es/esa/roa) and externalities • Integrate into poverty alleviation strategies
Case studies of Sustainable agriculture - enhancing agricultural biodiversity • Increased use of mixtures(intercropping, multistorey, agro-forestry, crop-livestock systems) • Access to a wide range of good quality genetic material(plant and animal) • Promote production of local germplasm and commercialization • Promote decentralized and participatory breeding • Improve use of genetic diversity as part of IPM strategies • Monitor and identify underutilized species, support needs • Develop sustainable management practices and post-harvest and marketing methods; • Stimulate demand for diverse local products (niche markets, labelling, registration) • Review and promote policies for development and use e.g. biodiversity conseravtion and coping with climate change
Soil biodiversity and its management Managing termites and organic mulch for soil productivity by researchers in Burkina Faso: Surface mulch applied to crusted soils was used to stimulate termite feeding and burrowing. This lead to improved soil structures, better aggregate formation, and enhanced soil function.Mixing and burrowing of termites can be stimulated by applying organic mulch and their feeding can promote soil regenerative activities
Soil Biodiversity From Micro-organisms e.g. bacteria + fungi Micro & meso-fauna protozoa, nematodes to acari & springtails ...Roots in the soil and their interactions with species above & below ground Macro-fauna e.g. ants, termites, earthworms
Managing Pollinators Management practice: In Himachal Pradesh in Northwest Indian Himalayas farmers are using colonies of honeybees – Apis cerana and Apismellifera for pollination of apple crop. An organized system of hiring and renting bee colonies for pollination exists
Crop Increase in fruit set (%) Increase in fruit weight (%) Increase in fruit size (length/ diameter) (%) Reference Apple 10 33 15/10 Dulta and Verma, 1987 Peach 22 44 29/23 Partap et al, 2000 Plum 13 39 11/14 Partap et al, 2000 Citrus 24 35 9/35 Partap, 2000a Strawberry 112 48 Misshapen fruit decreased by 50% Partap 2000b Also reduced premature fruit drop in apple, peach, plum, and citrus. Results: Impact of Apis cerana pollination on fruit productivity
Targeting farmers: Increasing Farmer Access to Germplasm and Information • Information, and seed exchange between farmers slow • Access to research generated germplasm poor • Participatory breeding with farmers’ organizations • Joint activities for improved information sharing • Test new options for seed dissemination
Case studies/opportunities for Sustainable pastoralism • Controlled burning by pastoralists can improve forage quality and diversification of vegetation structure and species composition (trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals) • Livestock grazingand crop-livestock integration can improve nutrient cycling and make better use of fragile resources/ ecosystems • Livestock wildlife interaction: management of animal movements, stocking rates, control of incompatible cultivation by farmers; herders protect grazing wildlife from predators • Settled herders creates long-lasting nutrient hotspots (kraals; fields) • Intensification and fragmentation of rangelands seems to cause a LOSS in livestock production (may need to rethink ranching, sedentarisation) Challenges - control of livestock numbers: use of common property resources; prestige, savings, security, culture Improvement of pasture and rangelands
Minimizing impacts of farming practices on wild biodiversity- making best use of resources Thatching, Busia District • Gramminae Conservation through Sustainable management and Use • Practices are part of the wider agricultural system. This takes two main forms: • on-farm • -strips of uncultivated land, ‘hedgerows’ of grass and bush, fallow land, fenced graminae-rich plots… • off-farm • - management of community grazing lands, seasonal wetlands, rocky outcrops and hillsides, sacred sites… • - controlled burning • traditional uses and skills Grass-strips between crops-Machakos District Kenya
Case studies/Opportunities for Sustainable intensification Sustainable management practices:controlled burning and grazing, woodlots for energy and timber, field borders/hedges, crop-livestock-forestry interactions are key to maintaining diverse habitats and landscapes that support biodiversity Human management of ecosystems may increase species diversity • semiarid savannas: managed pasture, control invasive forest and shrub species, harvesting, gathering and planting • diversified agro-silvo-pastoral systems • multi-layer farming systems: trees, perennials- banana, coffee, annuals) Planned settlements/roads: reduces lands with potential, avoid biodiversity hotspots, environmentally-friendly (green belt, trees, etc.) Protected areas, buffer zones, specific action to safeguard those groups and species that are more sensitive to human use than others, to allow hunting and gathering and in situ conservation of landraces/farmers varieties/breeds Land use planningby communities and sub-catchments to promote biodiversity. Vary land use type with soil type, terrain, microclimate, access to water. Patchwork of settlements, cropland, pasture, forestland, and protected areas. Regulations : stocking density, seasonality, quotas, user groups, etc.
Sustainability - adaptation to change and enhancing systems’ resilience • Supporting the ability of farmers to remain agile in responding to new challenges, by adapting their production system • Resilience or adaptive capacity are properties of the actors and the system in which they function • Resilience may indicate a return to the status quo. Agility/adaptability refers to continuously moving targets/changing situations • Need to sustain use and sustain adaptive capacity to increase probability of meeting future needs
FAO: Roles of Agriculture Project Premise 1: Agriculture provides multiple non-commodity outputs that are not valued by market transactions may be under-produced relative to what society desires. Premise 2: As income rises (socio-economic/agricultural development), the economic importance of the commodity outputs of agriculture decreases in relative terms, and willingness to pay for its other roles increases Policy challenge to Address Externalities (costs or benefits not valued in the market and not adequately taken into account by actor/decision maker) to Safeguard Common Resources/Public Goods(rules of access and use; mechanisms for collective action to prevent degradation, under / over use) to Integrate natural resources management/ecosystem approach (resources, and their products, are interlinked, management /policy measures for one resource/sector affects the others to Create resource/ecosystem friendly markets that generate growth and promote sustainable use/management of resources and ecosystems. Studies conducted in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, South Africa, Morocco
Roles of Agriculture ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERNALITIES SOCIAL VIABILITY Equity; Stability FOOD SECURITY POVERTY ALLEVIATION CULTURAL ROLE Gender; Heritage; IK • Global: • Ecosystem resilience • Climate change mitigation (C, land cover) • Biodiversity • Regional/National: • Ecosystem resilience • Watershed mgmt (prevent soil erosion & off-site impacts) • Water (stable regime;flood prevention) • Biodiversity • plant + animal genetic resources; services • wild spp.+wildlife conservation • Air quality (reduce GHG) Local: • Ecosystem resilience • Biodiversity • farmed spp., associated spp., ecosystem functions • NRM- soil+ water conservation • Pollution control • Global: • Social stability • Poverty Alleviation Regional/National: • Rural-urban migration (social implications) • Welfare systems substitute • Social capital formation • Biodiversity: diverse livelihoods • Local: • Social stability of rural community • Rural employment • Family values, gender impact. • Bodiversity-coping strategies; risk mgmt • Global: • Economic Growth • Poverty alleviation • World Food Security • Regional/National: • Access to food • National security • Food safety • support in times of crises (remittances, migration, fiscal support, food aid) • Local: • Local / household food security • Biodiversity: nutrition; pest + disease control, options • Sustainability • Employment • Income services • Global: • Cultural Diversity • Indigenous Knowledge • Regional/ National: • Cultural heritage • Cultural identity • Perception of roles of agriculture • Local: • Landscape, recreation, tourism • Indigenous knowledge (disaster prevention, biodiversity, medicinal applications) • Traditional technology.
Targeting Communities livelihoods and nutrition through local agrobiodiversity Market opportunities • Premium price for local products • Increased productivity of landraces (improved seed quality; crop rotations; water harvesting • Add-value products (fruit and milk processing) • Production of herbs, medicinal plants, honey (bee keeping) • Handicrafts and Ecotourism Nutrition /dietary diversity and opportunities • Dietary energy supply can be satisfied without diversity but micro-nutrient supply cannot (e.g. essential fatty acids; amino acids) • Wild and domesticated species and intra-species diversity play key roles in global food security • Different species/varieties have very different nutrient contents
Understanding impacts/implications of HIV/AIDS on agro-biodiversity HIV/AIDS impact on PGR? Less labour Loss of knowledge Reduction in land cultivated Less labour intensive crops Reduction in crop range and variety Loss of genetic diversity
Catchments: strengthen relation between ‘upland land users (as providers’ of ES) and lowland land + water users (beneficiaries)
Mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable agriculture and food security Programmes, Institutions and Capacity Building • Multi-sectoral approaches: agricultural, environmental, land, water, community development, planning and finance (coordination; committees). • Mainstreaming in national programmes (poverty alleviation, gender) • Land use planning at community and watershed levels (landscape; habitat dimensions) • Supporting on farm management • Networks : e.g. plant genetic resources, research + development • Participatory assessment, monitoring and early warning systems • Information systems (threatened resources, threats etc) • Training and education: curricula, adult education, extension, gender • Raising awareness of importance (value) - public, private sector decision makers (local media, schools, etc)
Agriculture-environment collaboration – identify synergy, mutual benefits BiodiversityAgriculture Productivity Adaptation Maintenance of ecosystem functions Agriculture Biodiversity Delivery of ecosystem services Incentives Ecological knowledge
The National Agricultural Biodiversity Programme in Lao NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY PROGRAMME CROP AND CROP ASSOCIATED BIODIVERSITY LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS AND OTHER TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY SUSTAINABLE USE AND CONSERVATION OF AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY HOUSEHOLD-BASED INTEGRATED AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS INTEGRATED PARTICIPATORY PLANNING APPROACHES MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS
FAO Agro-biodiversity Publications You are invited to look at display copies of • Biodiversity Awareness Folder(series of flyers/fact sheets e.g. Why is Biodiversity Important for the Maintenance of Agro-ecosystem Functions? • Publication Biodiversity and the Ecosystem Approach in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 2003, case studies developed with partners htttp://www.fao.org/biodiversity_en.asp • Powerpoint presentations prepared forCGRFA-10 Side event Case studies of Mainstreaming agrobiodiversity for food security (November 2004) • distributed Publications: Valuing crop biodiversity and Beyond the Gene Horizon (prepoared with IPGRI, now Bioversity)
Overview of the FAO - Government of Kenya Agrobiodiversity ProgrammeFAO–Netherlands Partnership Programme(FNPP II - 2005 – 2007) Collaboration for policy and strategic support for sustainable ecosystems, rural livelihoods and food security Food Security Agrobiodiversity Forestry
Guiding principlesof Kenya strategic integrated programme • People centred (gender equity) • Inter-sectoral approach/ process • Strengthening existing programme activities • Policy impact in short/ medium term • Ecosystem approach • Opportunity for establishing synergies • Integrating water
AGBD Programme framework and linkages Policy dialogue- mainstreaming AGBD, enabling environment Harmonisation AGBD, FS, FO Integrated land use, resources and agrobiodiversity assessment Specific studies Specific databases Training institutes - information and communication Local community action in Dryland district -agropastoral communities Case studies and policy briefs Local community action in Lake Zone district - fishing communities
AGBD Issues respond to needs identified Habitat management (beaches, user rights, pollination) Integrated resources management (agro-ecological approaches; river basin management, soil, water, biological resources) Alternative livelihoods (fishing communities) Invasiveness (e.g. Prosopis – other woody species. learning from fisheries) Responding to HIV/AIDS (labour saving CA approaches, nutrition, fisher-trader links) Drought resilience (local varieties/species, runoof management Markets - Seeds Networks (prices, organisation, farming as a business)
Agrobiodiversity Programme: Local level –FFS in diverse farming systems/AEZ Identifying and adapting agro-biodiversity management options + opportunities 1) Mwingi district, semi-arid agro-pastoral drought resilient, mixed systems 2. Bondo district, Sub-humid Lake Zone sustainable, productive aquatic and terrestrial systems 3. Coastal zone: INRA pilot Link with drylands Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia 1 2 Link across Lake Victoria basin
1a)Targets farmer groups, extension/facilitators PRA and AGBD study Identify issues for FFS Curriculum development FFS Conduct and evaluation Documenting process and lessons FFS Resource management systems, land & water, Diversification- species, habitat management Soil health, pollination, aquaculture + fishery LInKS
Identified General topics for FFS process • Community resources management + impacts (species, habitats, etc.) • Changing customs and innovations (practices, by-laws, diet, recipes..) • Local conservation strategies; individual and communal • Effects of markets and market development • Ecological services e.g. pollination, beekeeping; soil health, water • Impact of cash crops (on systems, income, environment, security..) • IPM, safe use and beneficial insect species • Links with other actors (nutrition, health, business management etc.) • Farming, fish farming and fisheries in Lake Victoria basin • Local vegetables (income, nutrition, ..) • Alien species • 2 fisheries scenarios: river (aquaculture) and lake (catch) • Upstream agric. and non-agricultural practices affecting aquatic area • Changes in aquatic area (not only fish) • Conservation and use – e.g. products of wild harvested spp.such as Papyrus • Drought resilient agropastoral systems • Genebank of local varieties • Communal seed systems (storage) • Effects of commercialised crops • Drought resistant crops: sorghum varieties; green gram; pigeon pea • Resilient, productive systems (water harvesting etc.)
seed fair Kenya 1.b) Targets extension and technical staff • Curriculum development – integrate AGBD in training • Training materials/ short courses • Livelihood approaches- HIV/AIDS, gender, nutrition • Exchange between extension and training • Workshops with colleges • Development of Case studies and Policy briefs FFS in Kenya
AGBD 2: Improving access to information & knowledge 2.a Integrated natural resources assessment INRA (builds on forest resources assessment) Assess available information and needs (status and trends - land use, habitat/species) Develop and pilot inter-sectoral methodology (AGBD, land use, land, water, other natural resources, ecosystem) Identify indicator and tools (field survey, transects, RRA-questionnaire) Capacity building (Participatory mapping and assessment; RS, sampling, Compatible data, database development and analysis) Targets technical capacity & informed decision making by policy makers/resource manager
Improving access to information & knowledge (cont.) 2.b) Information systems on alien species in fisheries and forestry 2c) Information on plant genetic resources for food an agriculture • Assess status of genetic resources with FFS • Train people to collect and analyse data • Improve the quality of information about PGRFA status and dynamics • Contribute to reporting commitment to State of World report on PGRFA • link with over 26 key PGR institutions Targets: technical + extension level (Partners: Genebank, IPGRI..)