Agricultural Biodiversity in the CBD

Looking at the agenda of COP/MOP7 and COP12, one wonders if the CBD is losing the plot… and the field, the farm, the pastures, the forests, the fisheries... The lack of explicit focus on actions to sustain biodiversity in the human managed environment – the agricultural biodiversity that dominates terrestrial biomes and is vital in coastal waters – is an indictment of the governance of the Convention and its Protocols.
It could be otherwise if the agenda were to be set by the small-scale food providers who feed more than 70% of the world’s population using their innovative, ecological and biodiverse production systems. They have been responsible since the dawn of agriculture, producing the myriad crops, fruits and vegetables we eat, and the diversity of the forage and feeds consumed by our livestock. They have provided us with a nutritious cornucopia of foods, underpinning our culture. For this, we thank them - mainly women who selected and nurtured this agricultural biodiversity over millennia and who - still today - are conserving and developing agricultural biodiversity worldwide. They provide the bedrock of our food system and should be at the centre of its governance.
Sustaining agricultural biodiversity contributes to many thematic areas of the Convention and to achieving a majority of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Implementing CBD decisions which can help sustain agricultural biodiversity and related ecosystem functions is vital not only to underpin food provision but also to improve human and planetary health.
As the COP/MOP wrestles to contain the avarice of global biotech corporations that would contaminate the biodiverse food production systems of the world; COP12 struggles to develop and enforce moratoriums on new technologies that would undermine agricultural biodiversity; and the Convention strives to realise the Aichi targets; bear in mind that if it does not agree to give precedence to the issues and concerns of those who manage most of the planet's biodiversity, and especially the agricultural biodiversity that feeds us, it will truly have lost the plot. COP/MOP7 and COP12 must integrate the concerns of agricultural biodiversity into their present agendas, to the fullest extent possible, and put agricultural biodiversity amongst the top issues of their future agendas.

Is the CBD losing the plot..?
Patrick Mulvany (2014): ECO 49 Issue 1 at COP/MOP7