di Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization e Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources , United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
The threats to bee colonies around the world have been well publicized. Less well-known is that with many fruit and vegetables still reliant on pollination, what happens to bees, bats or birds has a direct effect on our shopping baskets.
Without biodiversity, humanity cannot maintain the essential ecosystem services that enable food production. The damage cuts deep – and presages even worse. For some species, extinction rates are now 1,000 times their historic levels. At the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), we estimate that a quarter of livestock breeds may not be with us much longer. One-third of the world’s land is degraded by erosion, compaction, salinization or chemical pollution. Millions of hectares are lost annually to drought and desertification.
Global thinking about agriculture has only recently outgrown the orthodoxy of the Green Revolution: produce more to feed the greatest number. How we produced, and at what cost, did not much matter. The urgency of securing humanity’s right to food trumped the necessity to preserve our planet.