biodiversity in the shopping basket: policies to sustain a biodiverse diet

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  • Biodiversity in the shopping basket:

    policies to sustain a biodiverse diet Danny Hunter, Senior Scientist, Bioversity International 6th May 2015

  • Global malnutrition

  • Shrinking diversity

    Source: FAO 1997

  • Feeding the world with biodiversity

    Bioversity International is a

    global research-for-

    development organization.

    We have a vision that agricultural biodiversity

    nourishes people and sustains the planet.

  • Putting diverse nutritious foods back in the

    shopping basket


    More understanding and

    knowledge of biodiversitys benefits

    Consumer demand

    Enabling policies

    Diverse production, sustainable

    food systems, value-chains and


  • Biodiversity for food and nutrition initiative


    1 in 3 children

    aged between 5 &

    9 are overweight

    70 species of leafy vegetables

    Sri Lanka

    1 in 3 children aged between 5

    & 9 are overweight

    20 Native root & tuber crops,

    bananas, rice varieties, leafy vegetables & fruits


    31% population


    43 species of local

    wild edible plant species


    1/3 of population food


    20 Native leafy

    vegetables, sorghum,

    millets, nuts, fruits, livestock

  • Biodiversity for food and nutrition initiative

    Inform public policies on

    food & nutrition

    Food composition data

    for >150 species of

    nutritional importance

    Raising awareness &

    consumer demand for

    traditional varieties

    Food fairs, gastronomy

    workshops, school


    Food markets

  • Minor millets in India

    Nutritious & drought resistant millets once

    part of traditional diets

    Working with partners for 15 years to

    promote millet use resulting in:

    2013 Indias food security act adds millets into public distribution system

    Millets on menu in restaurants, sold on


    Inclusion of millets in school lunches in

    12 districts in Central & Southern India

  • African leafy vegetables in Kenya

    Nutritious traditional African leafy

    vegetables disappearing from farmers field and peoples menus

    8 year initiative in Kenya with partners:

    12 nutritious species introduced into formal market

    450 farmers (mainly women) trained on cultivation

    Increased income, increased dietary diversity & economic empowerment of women

  • Rediscovering rucola in Italy

    Nutritious green leafy vegetable growing wild in southern


    Fallen off menus as diets and tastes move towards modern

    processed grains and cereals - considered a weed

    Yet high in essential vitamins & minerals, low in calories

    Promotion of its health benefits and rich cultural history, and

    improvements to cultivation, brought this forgotten crop back to the table (and pizza!)

  • Italy and its sustainable food culture

    Local, daily markets provide access to fresh,

    seasonal and local food

    Tradition of fresh and seasonal recipes

    Mediterranean diet, whole of diet


    Slow Food

  • Urban Food Policy Pact - Milan

    Milan Municipal Initiative government as part of

    EXPO 2015 activities

    Bring together mayors and heads of local

    governments from around the world to commit to

    improve food governance within their cities and

    the surrounding rural areas

    Ensure new approaches to food system planning

    and governance recognize vital role of biodiversity

    in the food system

    36 cities around the world signed and many more

    joining every day

  • Concluding remarks

    Biodiversity is essential for sustainable food systems and

    healthy, nutrient rich diets

    Biodiversity is key to achievement of the SDGs and reshaping

    our global food system - Business as usual no longer an option

    Biodiversity is a win-win scenario improves resilience, adaptation, livelihoods (women), reduces food loss and


    Biodiversity stewardship and sustainable use requires that

    Governments create an enabling environment

  • Thank you