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Cultivated biodiversity as a support to food system resilience

6 years ago108 views

Ancient orchards in the Pyrenean foothills have come back to life with the help of Renova, an association that revitalises plantations and helps people learn to prune trees, harvest and process their produce. Renova director Francis Michaux explains the vital role of cultivated biodiversity, not just of fruit trees but also in traditional animal breeds, cereals and vegetables, for healthy agricultural landscapes. Such variety is under threat from national and European legislators and regulators intent on homogeneity for largely commercial reasons, posing big dangers to the environment and to the resilience of food systems. He suggests that the work of those who husband biodiversity should benefit from consumer labels on their produce acknowledging their effort, on top of existing designations such as organic or regional.
Margus Vain, a board member for the Estonian Village Association Kodukant explains how sharp declines in farmer numbers have required people to find alternative activities in order to survive economically in the countryside. He said young people were finding alternatives to farming, a process helped in the past by EU funds allocated under the current round of CAP spending. He said money was necessary in the next CAP round to support the work of largely volunteer-run rural networks.

(Interviewee: Francis Michaux, Interviewer: Patrick Chalmers, Camera operator: Natacha Yellachich)

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