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Cary Fowler Quotes
To many people, 'biodiversity' is almost synonymous with the word 'nature,' and 'nature' brings to mind steamy forests and the big creatures that dwell there. Fair enough. But biodiversity is much more than that, for it encompasses not only the diversity of species, but also the diversity within species.
In the game of life, less diversity means fewer options for change. Wild or domesticated, panda or pea, adaptation is the requirement for survival.
It is impossible to talk about slowing climate change without talking about reducing CO2 emissions. Equally, it is impossible to talk about adapting to climate change without considering how we will feed ourselves. And it is out of the question that we can adapt agriculture without conserving crop diversity.
We now know that we cannot continue to put ever-increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Actions have consequences. In fact, the consequences of past actions are already in the pipeline. Global temperatures are rising. Glaciers are melting. Sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events are multiplying.
Whether we consciously realize it or not, the biodiversity with which we are most familiar, and the biodiversity with which we have most intimate historical, cultural and biological connections, is that associated with food plants.
To begin with, I've always known that I was a little bit different. And, I have a lot of relatives who own farms. I grew up in the American South where political issues and issues of justice were at the forefront. What I do now is a combination of all these factors.
At the Global Crop Diversity Trust, we work to conserve the diversity that will allow the adaptation and evolution of our agricultural crops in the context of climate change and other challenges.
The drive behind what I do is really to make sure that people don't go to bed hungry. It's not just that I have a love of diversity, it's the importance of the uses of that diversity.
I first went into social services, and when I did my Ph.D. I looked at intellectual diversity rights as they apply to biological material. At the time, I never thought of what I'm doing now as a career. I thought I wouldn't find employment doing this.
Perhaps it matters little whether the international community chooses to celebrate crop diversity, but it profoundly matters that the international community takes action to conserve it.
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