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Bala Ravi S., Hoeschle-Zeledon I., Swaminathan M.S., Frison E. (Ed.). Hunger and poverty: the role of biodiversity

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Bala Ravi S., Hoeschle-Zeledon I., Swaminathan M.S., Frison E. (Ed.). Hunger and poverty: the role of biodiversity
Report of an International Consultation on The Role of Biodiversity in Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goal of Freedom from Hunger and Poverty. — 2006. — 242 p.
Agricultural biodiversity plays a central role in household food security and income generation, and thus in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of halving the proportion of hungry and extremely poor people by 2015. However, its wider use to address nutritional deficiencies and other aspects of poverty, all of paramount importance, is yet to be fully realized.
With this in mind, an International Consultation was held in Chennai, India, in April 2005, gathering together policy-makers and experts with diverse backgrounds from 25 countries. The aim of the Chennai consultation was to emphasize the unique contribution that agricultural biodiversity makes to improved livelihoods, through providing a foundation for household food and nutrition security and offering opportunities for income generation. Agriculture is what feeds us but agricultural biodiversity is what sustains us. The consultation also looked at policies, institutional constraints and other issues that are impeding the full deployment of these natural resources and hence limiting the achievement of the MDGs. Concern was registered at the rapid loss of these resources, which seriously threatens the food and nutrition security of future generations.
This report documents the presentations made at the consultation and the papers contributed, the discussions conducted thereon, the outputs of the working groups and the final recommendations.
The principal outcome of the consultation was the adoption of the Chennai Platform for Action, which was drawn up with serious commitment on the part of all present to address the value of agricultural biodiversity in meeting the MDGs. This is a 10-point strategy, designed to assist national governments and international agencies to achieve, as soon as possible, the UN MDG of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. This can be done through the promotion of local, community-centered systems that will deliver improved food security and health, based on the cultivation of a wide range of food crops, vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants. The Chennai Platform for Action is available as a separate publication in seven languages to facilitate action and awareness generation by different stakeholders.
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