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Information for G04255

Nourishing diversity: A five-point plan to enrich our food systems

Seth Cook


Maintaining agricultural biodiversity is vital for food security and nutrition, and to cope with the challenge of climate change. Improving and diversifying diets is essential to human health and to curbing the growth in noncommunicable diseases. Both are key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 2 ('zero hunger'). Reviving and maintaining diversity on the farm and on the plate requires action on multiple fronts and at multiple scales.

This policy briefing provides an overview of why agricultural biodiversity and dietary diversity are important, the reasons why they are at risk, and what can be done to foster them. Recommendations include reorienting food and agricultural policies; using markets to support diversity in production and consumption; promoting local crop varieties, animal breeds and under-utilised crops; nurturing biocultural heritage and traditional knowledge; and increasing awareness and catalysing change through innovative multi-stakeholder platforms like food labs.

Publication information

  • IIED code: G04255
  • Published: Oct 2017 - Hivos International, The Netherlands; and IIED, UK
  • Theme: Food and agriculture
  • Language: English

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Through citizen action, IIED and Hivos are promoting diets that are diverse, greener, healthier, fairer and more sustainable.

More at www.iied.org:
Sustainable diets for all

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