CBD’S Djoghlaf Highlights Risks of Agricultural Biodiversity Loss


2 July 2008: On the occasion of the Fourth International

Conference on Sustainable Agriculture for Food, Energy and Industry, held from

2-5 July 2008, in Sapporo, Japan, the Convention on Biological Diversity's

(CBD) Executive Secretary, Ahmed Djoghlaf, highlighted that around 20% of

domestic animal breeds are at risk of extinction, with an average of one breed

lost each month.

Adding that, of the 7,000 species of plants that have been

domesticated over the history of agriculture, a mere 30 account for 90 % of all

the food that we eat every day, he stressed that reliance on so few plants

makes human populations vulnerable to climatic change, and current extinction

rates makes our position particularly perilous. He said that, “while not caused

solely by the decreases in the number of cultivated species, the current food

crisis is an example of what lays ahead if we continue to allow the loss of

agricultural biodiversity, despite predicted global changes in growing conditions.

Dramatic rises in crop prices could well become a symptom of the unprecedented

loss of agricultural biodiversity and certainly a reflection of its

far-reaching impacts on mankind.” [The message]