Protecting biodiversity for food systems in the face of climate change 

IMG_4888Biodiversity, food systems and climate change are inextricably linked. The recent COP26 on climate change in Glasgow got worldwide coverage but it was sandwiched between the two-part COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming China – which has had far less attention. Farmers play a key role in mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss but also have to adapt to a changing environment. Dr Yiching Song* works with small farmers in south west China to help in dealing with these challenges as I saw first hand during my visits to China in the mid-2020s (see here). She was at both events last year and will be taking part in the second part of COP15 in April/May 2022. I asked her about the links she sees between the two and the role of community-based biodiversity conservation and utilisation.

*Yiching Song is a Senior Researcher and Program Leader in the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) (since 2000) and currently serves as a Senior Researcher for the UNEP-IEMP program in the CAS. She also serves as a Lecture Professor for China Agricultural University, Guangxi University and Southwest China University. Her research focuses on biodiversity, ecosystem-based adaptation, and sustainable rural livelihoods in the context of socio-economic and climatic change and related policies in China. In 2013, she founded a social organization, Farmer Seeds Network in China, aiming to enhancing collaboration between formal (research and private companies) and farmer seed systems for healthy and sustainable food systems. She holds a PhD in rural sociology and rural development from Wageningen University.

You can see a video about some of this work called ‘Root for Adaptation Stone Village China-Farmers’ Seed Network’ here (sub-titled in English)

About Geoff Tansey

I curate the Food Systems Academy, a free, on-line, open education resource to transform our food systems. I was also a member of the Food Ethics Council from 2000-2021 and chaired the independent Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, which reported in 2015.
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