Urgent changes to farming practices are needed to rescue biodiversity, scientists say

The farming industry occupies a third of the world's landmass, and poses a threat to 62 percent of species considered endangered.

FP Trending July 21, 2020 11:36:11 IST
Urgent changes to farming practices are needed to rescue biodiversity, scientists say

A team of hundreds of researchers has come to the conclusion that some immediate changes need to be adopted to support biodiversity. The new study, which combines the work of 360 researchers from 42 different nations, "agroecological principles" should be integrated into modern farming methods if we want to preserve biodiversity.

The farming industry, as a whole, takes up nearly a third of global landmass and poses a threat to 62 percent of species considered endangered. The team of scientists, led by the University of Gottingen and Westlake University in China, has proposed a system in which farmers, indigenous communities, and local residents work alongside scientists in a move towards sustainable farming.

The study's authors argue that reversing the trend of species decline is of utmost importance in keeping the earth's biosphere working properly. For this to happen, some of the biggest sectors of the economy need to work in coordination. Data from the study suggest we need to do away with "intensive farming", which makes us of a lot of pesticides and fertiliser, which have known negative effects on biodiversity.

Urgent changes to farming practices are needed to rescue biodiversity scientists say

Paddy farming in India. Image courtesy: RubieVerse/YouTube

The scientists plan to include these recommendations in the post-2020 'Global Biodiversity Framework' – a set of guidelines to help reduce loss of biodiversity, which will be reviewed during the UN Biodiversity Conference at the 15th Convention of the Parties (COP15) meeting in China, according to a press release published by the University of Gottingen.

The researchers are hoping their findings, which have been acknowledged by the UN COP15, stimulates a dialogue in the policy arena around making necessary, positive changes to modern agriculture and production.

"The importance of agroecology to change agriculture and protect biodiversity has been recognized by many top-level organizations, in the scientific community and by practitioners," Dr Thomas Cherico Wanger, the lead author of the reports, was quoted to have said in the release. "[This] is also reflected in the number and affiliations of signatories of our Correspondence."

The correspondence research article was published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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