Red Lists for Cultivated Species: why we need it and suggestions for the way forward
Padulosi S., P. Bala Ravi, W. Rojas, S. Sthapit, A. Subedi, E. Dulloo, K. Hammer, R. Vögel, M.M. Antofie, V. Negri, N. Bergamini, G. Galluzzi, M. Jäger, B. Sthapit, R. Rana, I. Oliver King and N. Warthmann.
The world´s food basket is today shrinking at an alarming rate and most concerning is the reduction of species and varieties used by humankind in food and nutrition security which raises serious concerns about the sustainability of feeding the world today and in the future. Yet, whereas we deploy consistent efforts in monitoring the status of wild biodiversity, very limited is the research in monitoring diversity of plants used by farmers, assess threats of genetic erosion, understand how diversity is helping farmers in coping with climate change, etc. Documenting and monitoring agrobiodiversity on farm is fundamental for enhancing its sustainable use and prevent losses of both genetic diversity and indigenous knowledge to happen before it is too late. These actions are also consistent with the predicaments of the CBD (Art. 7) and the FAO Global Plan of Action for PGRFA (Activity 18). However, except a few recent attempts of limited application, research on monitoring and Red Listing of cultivated species is still very poor. Reasons for that include the sheer number of crop species and varieties on-farm, the difficulty in assessing their distribution, the dynamic nature of cultivation deploying diversity in different ways, the absence of farmer-based mechanisms to which anchor a monitoring system, and the lack of supportive policies such as those related to access and use of information generated from these efforts. This contribution will address these issues. Currently, an international UN Project supported by IFAD and the CCAFS Programme of the CGIAR is being implemented in Nepal, India and Bolivia.