- The long-standing significance of genetic diversity in conservation. I suppose it does need to be repeated.
- Germplasm exchange is critical to conservation of biodiversity and global food security. Yes, indeed it does look like it needs to be repeated.
- From gene banks to farmer’s fields: using genomic selection to identify donors for a breeding program in rice to close the yield gap on smallholder farms. A prime example of why it should not need to be repeated.
- Large potential for crop production adaptation depends on available future varieties. 39% of global cropland could require new crop varieties to avoid yield loss from climate change by the end of the century? You don’t say. Bears repeating.
- More than Maize, Bananas, and Coffee: The Inter– and Intraspecific Diversity of Edible Plants of the Huastec Mayan Landscape Mosaics in Mexico. Looks like we don’t need to repeat it to the Maya.
- Monitoring and Progress in the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Animal Genetic Resources. Significant progress, but correlated with per capita GDP. So some people are listening to the endless repetition; but not enough.
- For the sake of resilience and multifunctionality, let’s diversify planted forests! Yes, it needs to be repeated for forests too.
- Motivations for maintaining crop diversity: Evidence from Vermont’s seed systems. Yes, repeat by all means, but with variation.
- How big is the “lemons” problem? Historical evidence from French wines. Quality certification schemes can support the market value of products. And of course they can be good for genetic diversity too.
- Crop resistance and household resilience – The case of cassava and sweetpotato during super-typhoon Ompong in the Philippines. Root and tuber crops are good for household resilience in typhoon-affected areas. Not exactly genetic diversity, but still bears repeating.
- Global historic pandemics caused by the FAM-1 genotype of Phytophthora infestans on six continents. Why genetic diversity is necessary for root and tuber crops too. As if it needed repeating.
- Genetic Diversity in 19th Century Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Reflects Differing Agricultural Practices and Seed Trade in Jämtland, Sweden. What causes all that genetic diversity we’ve been repeating endlessly about.
The perspective of Seed Commons challenges the dominant narrative that the best pathway towards food and nutrition security for the world’s growing population is to foster privately-owned biotechnical innovations, supported by corresponding policy measures (see, for example, OECD 2018). It addresses major political impasses in the present international and national governance of varieties, seed and PGRFA that are based on such narratives and tend to be tailored towards the needs of private sector R&D, large-scale farms and ‘industrial’ food systems, hampering the necessary transition of farming and food systems towards more sustainable outcomes (IPES-Food 2016). By exploring innovative governance models for seed, varieties and PGRFA, Seed Commons could thus provide opportunities to reconsider how innovation could be fostered in a way to better serve current and future needs of farmers and society.
Well that’s exciting. Though I’m a slightly miffed that there was a whole symposium about Seed Commons and nobody told me.
Anyway, check out in particular the paper by Halewood and co-authors, which tries to answer the question: What institutional innovations can enhance farmers’ agency in the evolving global crop commons through use of their specialized knowledge and experience?
Spoiler alert: it’s made-to-measure biocultural community protocols designed to promote farming communities’ access to crop genetic resources from elsewhere1 for experimentation, improvement and management as part of their local production systems. But not only, so read the whole thing. And the other papers too.
- How trees can alleviate poverty.
- How trees can help fight climate change. And how they cannot.
- How trees can contribute to diverse sustainable landscapes.
- How wild fruit trees (among other things) helped in the Covid-19 crisis.
- Not entirely sure if there are any trees among the burgeoning community seedbanks of China.