‘Biodiversity is integral to maintaining food security’
The chairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority, a statutory autonomous body under the Indian government, has emphasised that all food crops must be given equal importance to maintain food security in India.
“Biodiversity is integral to maintaining food security. It is very important to protect indigenous wild plants and crops which form an integral part of biodiversity. Unfortunately, today we are concentrating on cultivating select crops which have high demand. This is wrong. Both, in-demand and indigenous crops should be equally supported in terms of cultivation. This is where finance comes in handy. It can help communities cultivate both types of crops in a sustainable manner, so that neither is biodiversity lost to future generations, nor is food safety threatened,” B Meenakumari told the audience at the third global conference on biodiversity finance in Chennai.
The conference is centered on the BIOFIN (Biodiversity Finance Initiative), a programme started by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its main agenda is to bring together various stakeholders and share their experiences in various countries that are signatories to BIOFIN.
Meenakumari informed that India had signed BIOFIN in 2015. The first phase of the programme’s implementation (from 2015-2018) had been successfully completed and India had started moving towards the next.
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