International Day for Biological Diversity 2019

Theme: “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”

Health is the epicenter of man’s existence. The quest for improving health through exotic and local food has been going on for hundreds of years. A balanced healthy diet is a foundation for human health. The balanced diet includes a meticulous equilibrium between vegetables, pulses, meat, fruits, and grains. To achieve this, biological biodiversity has to be maintained.

On the contrary, biodiversity is threatened. It is disheartening to notice that almost 90% of crop varieties have disappeared, more than half of the breeds of domestic animals have been lost. In addition, we are tapping at the ocean resources at or above their sustainable limits. Indigenous agricultural practices, medicines, traditional and locally sourced foods are disappearing at a high-speed. This has had a severe impact on the agrobiodiversity. This loss comes at the cost of acquiring numerous health risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, malnutrition. It is the need of the hour to conserve our biodiversity to preserve our future generations.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have published a report on the biodiversity and its impact on our food and health. Quotes by FAO’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

“Biodiversity is critical for safeguarding global food security, underpinning healthy and nutritious diets, improving rural livelihoods, and enhancing the resilience of people and communities. We need to use biodiversity sustainably so that we can better respond to rising climate change challenges and produce food in a way that does not harm our environment,”

“Less biodiversity means that plants and animals are more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Compounded by our reliance on fewer and fewer species to feed ourselves, the increasing loss of biodiversity for food and agriculture puts food security and nutrition at risk,” added Graziano da Silva.

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