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The world’s food diversity is increasingly threatened by an array of factors such as climate change, industrial agriculture, public policy, and our lifestyle choices. Since the 1900s, our planet has lost 75% of its genetic diversity, and 75% of the food that we eat today is derived from only 12 plant and 5 animal species. As our food diversity dwindles, the livelihood and food security of people around the world are also further jeopardized.

The genetic diversity of plants and animals and the diverse knowledge and practices of smallholder farmers, livestock keepers, fisher people and forest dependent communities offer our best hope for reducing vulnerability and building resilience – but they can’t do it alone. Governments must act urgently to tackle the different threats to our food supply and provide immediate support for community-based adaptation of food and farming systems.

Links and Resources

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2010, October 26). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources. Retrieved from
  • Economic and Social Development Department. (2004). What is happening to agrobiodiversity. Retrieved from
  • ETC Group. (2009, November 1). Who will feed us? Retrieved from

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