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5 February 2024

New Publication: Eight arguments why biodiversity is important to safeguard food security

By “Sharing a Planet in Peril” (SAPP) members Peter Dannenberg, Clemens Greiner, Michaela Haug, Pujo Semedi Hargo Yuwono and Thomas Widlok in collaboration with Boris Braun, Alexander Follmann,  Markus Stetter and Stanislav Kopriva.

Abstract

Societal Impact Statement

In the context of multiple crises, policymakers and practitioners prioritize the solving of certain challenges above others. In this context, supposedly purely environmental challenges like biodiversity loss have often been deprioritized and solutions to tackle them are publicly or quietly postponed (again and again). An example is the postponement of the EU “nature conservation package” in view of the threat of food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. The following arguments outline why biodiversity loss is not only an environmental challenge but also a global societal challenge to safeguard global food security and why postponing biodiversity measures is not only bad for biodiversity but can also endanger food security itself.

dannenberg et al CoE Pub biodiversity

Summary

Food security and biodiversity are often counterbalanced. However, we argue that preserving global biodiversity is crucial to safeguarding food security. We first generally outline that biodiversity can (1) support agricultural production, (2) mitigate negative effects of pollution, and (3) provide livelihood outcomes. We then, in particular, argue that biodiversity (4) provides diverse diets to fight hidden hunger, (5) is crucial for resilience against future food security risks, (6) is a precondition for future genetic modifications, (7) addresses the diversity of cultures, income and diets, and (8) is important for place-sensitive food production. We conclude that “stop hunger first, then worry about diversity afterward” is not a sustainable option.


Reference

Dannenberg, P., Braun, B., Greiner, C., Follmann, A., Haug, M., Semedi. P., Stetter, M., Widlok, T., Kopriva, S., 2024: Eight arguments why biodiversity is important to safeguard food security, Plants People Planet, 31 Januar 2024, DOI

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Noah Kahindi

Global South Studies Center (GSSC)
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