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RESOURCES:

Protecting crop genetic diversity for food security: political, ethical and technical challenges

Esquinas-Alcázar, José (2005):
Protecting crop genetic diversity for food security: political, ethical and technical challenges
Nature, December 2005, Volume 6

Summary

This article is about crop genetic diversity, its importance for feeding humanity, for the environment and for sustainable development, and how it is being lost at an alarming rate. Given the enormous interdependence of countries and generations on this genetic diversity, this loss raises critical socio-economic, ethical and political questions, and in this article these questions are discussed. The recent ratification of a binding international treaty, the Plant Treaty, and the development of powerful new technologies to conserve and use resources more effectively, have raised expectations that must now be fulfilled. The article argues that never before have humanity had such powerful tools to control its future, and yet never has so much been at risk. For agricultural development to be sustainable, and for some harmful processes to be reversible, it is necessary to preserve the natural resources on which development is based. The author argues that the achievement of a world without hunger or poverty is the responsibility of all of us, and must not be avoided or left to chance.

This article can be downloaded here.
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Nepal. Photo: Regine Andersen, FNI

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