Biodiversity in food and agriculture, agrobiodiversity in short, defines all components of biodiversity which are of relevance for food and nutrition and where the functioning of agri-ecosystems is concerned. Plants and animals in the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries are an integral part of global biodiversity. For decades now, biodiversity has been decreasing globally. This tendency is to be stopped.
The German government intends to better adapt agricultural production to the economic, social and ecological principals of sustainability. Accordingly, the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries shall contribute, more than before, to the preservation of the cultural landscape and to biodiversity and its natural resources.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) promotes improved measures for the preservation of biodiversity and structural diversity in agriculture in rural areas as well as in forests. In addition to promoting organic agriculture, preserving the diversity in crop rotation, the sustainable development of the regionally adapted diversity of varieties of cultivated plants and races of livestock animals, and the sustainable use of wild plants and wild animals are of central importance for food and nutrition.
The BLE supports the BMEL in achieving these aims by means of the Information and Coordination Centre for Biodiversity (IBV). The Centre’s tasks focus on biodiversity, and on genetic resources in particular, which are of relevance for food, nutrition, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. They include, among other things:
- Providing technical assistance and expertise to national and international programmes;
- Collecting, documenting and centrally providing user-oriented data on the availability, characteristics and performance properties of genetic resources for food, nutrition, the agricultural, forest and fishery industries;
- Cooperating in the analysis and evaluation of developments in connection with agricultural biodiversity in Germany;
- Coordinating preservation activities and supporting preservation networks;
- Assuming of functions within both national and international committees on behalf of the BMEL;
Public relations and information dissemination.