Conference: 3rd African Organic Conference, 5-9 October 2015 in Nigeria. Theme: "Achieving Social and Economic Development through Ecological and Organic Agriculture Alternatives". Submission deadline for papers is end of March 2015, via organic eprints.
A ½ day seminar: Agro-biodiversity and Ecosystem services
Presentation by Ivette Perfecto, Professor in Ecology and Natural Resources, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, USA
Summary: The impact of agro-biodiversity and eco-system services in development or A new vision for a just, sustainable and productive agriculture
In this presentation I challenge the assumption that increasing yields should be a priority under all circumstances.
Today we produce enough food to feed the world but still there are 1 billion people that are hungry. The problem is not that there isn’t enough food but the poor people don’t have access to that food.
Then I examine the relationship between biodiversity and agriculture and the idea that biodiversity provides ecosystem services. I describe an example showing that complex ecological interaction result in the control of insect pests. Then I discuss the debate between two paradigms regarding agriculture and conservation of biodiverisy: separation (land sparing) versus integration (land sharing), and argue that the separation paradigm is flawed.
I finish with a discussion of what I perceived is needed to solve the biodiversity and food crises in the world: a focus on small-scale agroecological farms with strong social and ecological relationships.