Indigenous knowledge and biodiversity

TitleIndigenous knowledge and biodiversity
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsOffice of Director-General, FAO [Edouard Saouma, Director General]
Book TitleHarvesting nature's diversity
Date PublishedOctober 1993
PublisherFood and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Keywordsbiodiversity; genetic diversity

For centuries rural peoples have encouraged and relied upon biodiversity for their livelihoods. Farmers have managed genetic resources for as long as they have cultivated crops. For some 12,000 years, they have selected varieties of crops and livestock breeds to meet environmental conditions and diverse nutritional and social needs. The immense genetic diversity of traditional farming systems is the product of human innovation and experimentation -- both historic and ongoing. This has been recognized in FAO by the resolution on farmers' rights that acknowledges the past, present and future contributions of farmers in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources, and that they should be rewarded for their contributions.


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