Report evaluates meals variety in 10 Mediterranean international locations

by The Alliance of Bioversity Worldwide and the Worldwide Heart for Tropical Agriculture

The report discovered excessive consumption of agrobiodiversity within the Mediterranean, reminiscent of at this market in Italy. Credit score: Alliance of Bioversity Worldwide and CIAT/E.Gee

The Mediterranean eating regimen is underpinned by various meals. Nonetheless, after assessing agrobiodiversity consumption, manufacturing and conservation within the area, researchers say that additional actions are wanted—notably on farms—to make sure meals system resilience.

Why measure Mediterranean agrobiodiversity?

What meals involves your thoughts when you concentrate on the Mediterranean eating regimen? For most individuals, the time period evokes sturdy associations with contemporary, minimally processed substances—olive oil, contemporary fruits, greens, legumes, and complete grains, adopted by fish and animal merchandise—collectively making up a type of native meals manufacturing and consumption that holds societal, financial, and cultural advantages. Encompassing international locations from Italy to Lebanon and Morocco to Greece, can this eating regimen act as a mannequin for extra nourishing and environmentally pleasant meals methods?

In a brand new report, researchers have examined 10 Mediterranean international locations to make clear one vital, however typically unknown, issue: the standing of agrobiodiversity (crops, animals, and microorganisms) in farms, markets, and on plates. Utilizing the Agrobiodiversity Index, a software developed by the Alliance of Bioversity Worldwide and CIAT, the report has recognized dangers (reminiscent of endangered species), but in addition alternatives (various sources of earnings, climate-smart crops, and nutritious meals choices).

Assessing 10 international locations throughout the Mediterranean starting from Morocco (pictured) to Lebanon and France, the Agrobiodiversity report urges for additional commitments and actions. Credit score: S. Orlando

The report’s implications: Diets are only one a part of our meals system

The excellent news is that every one the Mediterranean international locations assessed present above common conservation of agrobiodiversity, reflecting each the area’s pure wealth of crops and wild crops, in addition to efforts to guard them. Nonetheless, regardless of some international locations (Lebanon, Italy, France and Spain) exhibiting notably excessive ranges of variety in consumption, the general Mediterranean score is not any increased than the worldwide common. Manufacturing scores have been even decrease, considerably beneath the worldwide common.

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What does this hole counsel? Botanical gardens, genebanks, and nature reserves could also be safeguarding agrobiodiversity and diets might embody assorted meals (together with imported objects); however, at current, Mediterranean manufacturing landscapes are largely dominated by just one or a handful of crops, with solely a really small share of pure vegetation (

Because the report’s authors level out, a give attention to eating regimen alone won’t seize all elements of the meals system. As a substitute, actions and commitments should be made to mainstream agrobiodiversity—in different phrases, guarantee that various species are built-in throughout the production-consumption spectrum.

Measuring diversity from farm to fork: A new report evaluates 10 Mediterranean countries
The report measures agrobiodiversity throughout 10 international locations, as proven on this determine. Credit score: Alliance of Bioversity Worldwide and CIAT

Filling the gaps: International locations should enhance biodiversity commitments

International locations with the very best agrobiodiversity scores recorded by the report have already taken actions to mainstream agrobiodiversity into their meals methods—by insurance policies, dietary pointers, funding in natural agriculture, and extra. Which additional actions are wanted will depend on present agrobiodiversity statuses: international locations with decrease scores have to prioritize speedy conservation efforts to halt ongoing variety loss, whereas international locations with increased scores can give attention to growing panorama complexity (planting extra sorts of crops, or embedding pure habitat inside farmland, for instance with hedgerows and woodlots). Different actions embody higher monitoring of farming practices reminiscent of intercropping and agroforestry, and growing farmer entry to various seeds.

For these actions to succeed, stronger nationwide commitments to agrobiodiversity are wanted. At the moment, nation efforts to fulfill the worldwide targets set by the UN Conference on Organic Variety fall brief, lacking the hyperlinks between safeguarding genetic variety and assembly human wants reminiscent of vitamin and livelihoods. International locations presently have a possibility to enhance this as they revise nationwide motion plans throughout the Put up-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

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How would possibly this translate to the farm, market, and plate? One instance: commitments for sustainable meals sourcing in markets (reminiscent of procurement insurance policies or incentives to promote various, regionally produced meals) would make it extra worthwhile to develop totally different crops. By spurring on-farm diversification, this might yield advantages reminiscent of wholesome soils, elevated micronutrients in diets, extra pollinators, and further earnings for farmers.

The underside line is that, like many different areas around the globe, the Mediterranean nonetheless has progress to make in guaranteeing the standing of its pure wealth of agrobiodiversity. Larger consciousness of biodiversity’s advantages, mixed with ongoing efforts to diversify landscapes, might make sure the area’s meals methods develop into extra resilient in years to return.


International diets are harming human and planetary well being


Extra info:
Report: cgspace.cgiar.org/deal with/10568/118471

Offered by
The Alliance of Bioversity Worldwide and the Worldwide Heart for Tropical Agriculture

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Report evaluates meals variety in 10 Mediterranean international locations (2022, Might 18)
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