Conservation Seminar: Unifying the conservation of wild and agrobiodiversity

14th July 2021

This week’s Cambridge Conservation Initiative Seminar will be presented by Dr James Borrell from Kew

“Efficient and sustainable agriculture is crucial for human wellbeing, but agrobiodiversity is declining in unison with wild biodiversity. Of more than 30,000 plants with documented human uses, over 50% of plant derived calories now come from just three species. Homogeneous and less resilient agricultural systems, particularly in developing countries and under climate change, risk undermining our best conservation efforts. Here I analyse the drivers of wild and agrobiodiversity patterns in the Ethiopian highlands, one of the world’s largest historic recipients of food aid, and a global hotspot for both wild and cultivated plants. Rather than seeing agriculture as the predominant threat to wild ecosystems, I discuss how existing conservation frameworks could be adapted to work with farmers for the benefit of both wild plants and the crops upon which we rely. ”


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