We won’t stop biodiversity loss without transforming food systems

(Context, 5 Dec 2022) Moving away from industrial agriculture must be at the heart of a COP15 biodiversity protection agreement.

Oliver Oliveros is interim director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Alison Blay-Palmer is director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies.

In the pursuit of ever-cheaper food and higher yields, agribusiness has concentrated and industrialised the farming of crops and animals, without regard for the negative impacts on ecosystems and human health.

The intensive use of fertilisers and pesticides has degraded soils, depleted insect and other animal populations, and polluted streams and rivers.

Farms have expanded further and further into wild areas, driving devastating deforestation in critically important areas like the Amazon. Agricultural expansion is responsible for 80% of deforestation globally, and unsustainable practices like monocropping and heavy tilling are also contributing to the rampant destruction of biodiversity.

Half the world’s habitable land is now used for agriculture.

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Context, 5 Dec 2022: We won’t stop biodiversity loss without transforming food systems