Biological diversity is the term used to denote the earth’s vast number of different plants, animals, micro organisms and the ecosystems they are part of.
Man-made climate change and a decline in biological diversity is two of the greatest environmental issues we are faced with today. As much as 75% of the genetic plant diversity in agriculture is thought to have disappeared during the last 50 years of the 20th century. If plant varieties disappear, they are gone forever. This means less plant diversity in the fields which makes farmers more vulnerable to the elements. In the long term there will also be a decline in productivity. The Development Fund works actively both in the field and through political advocacy to change this course. We work together with local organizations to ensure the preservation and further cultivation of local plant and animal species.
LI-BIRD is one of the organizations we work with in Nepal. They are pioneers in their efforts to successfully get the farmers to join forces with them in preserving plants and developing new types of rice, for instance. The results of the participation methods utilized have been implemented on a national level in Nepal. This means that many more farmers can make use of the methods and knowledge gained in the fields where the project has been operating, and they can also participate in the further development of plants according to their own needs.
Teff is the most important variety of grain in Ethiopia, and it is very nutritious and versatile. Establishing local seed banks to store the best strains of seed is an important strategy towards preserving biological diversity and securing farmers access to good quality seeds. In our program Community Based Biodiversity Management in South Asia we provided access to seedbanks for 3760 small scale farmers in 2011. The goal for 2016 is 10000 farmers.
248 households in the Humla-district in Nepal have integrated vegetable gardens in 2012. The goal for 2016 is 600 households.
Variety on the farm
57% of the households in the target group in Nicaragua and 11,3 % of the target group households in Honduras grew 4 different food crops on their farm in 2012. The goal for 2016 is 90% in both countries.