Slow Food Launches Biodiversity Observatory

13 Oct 2015 | English

European Commission’s mid-term review reveals an increasingly alarming situation

In the past few days, the European Commission has published its mid-term review on biodiversity monitoring in Europe. The 18-page document concludes that in the past four years, despite the commitment made in 2011 by member states, there have not been improvements in the state of biodiversity in habitats linked to agriculture and progress has not been made towards reaching the goals set for 2020.

In particular, 77% of European habitats continue to be in a negative situation and 56% of species (plants and animals) are at risk.

This recent report from the European Commission draws attention to the fact that we are not doing enough, and blames intensive agriculture as one of the main causes behind the undermining of biodiversity.

The on-going loss of biodiversity could lead to one in ten species dying out by the end of this century. Experts say that we are seeing history’s sixth mass extinction, this one caused primarily by human activities. 

“Slow Food has been working to safeguard agricultural and food biodiversity for over 15 years,” pointed out Piero Sardo, the president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. “With its Presidia and Ark of Taste projects, it has achieved concrete results in many countries around the world, as confirmed by a study carried out by the University of Turin and the University of Palermo. But they’re a drop in the ocean.” He continued: “We have to say loud and clear that what we need is a total cultural revolution. This disastrous situation can be reversed only by changing all of our consumption styles. From today, we are entering a new phase, in reaction to a situation of extreme emergency. Slow Food is establishing an Observatory for agrobiodiversity, through which we will seek to provide information in a simple and accessible way, turning the spotlight onto problematic situations, indicating possible remedies and highlighting the good results that have already been obtained, so that positive experiences can be replicated and adapted to different local situations. The choice between the two production models must be clear. While intensive food production is the primary cause of the loss of biodiversity, the multi-functional, polyvalent and small-scale model for agriculture is able to maintain quality and renewability of natural resources over time, to preserve biodiversity and to guarantee the integrity of ecosystems.” 

The website of the Slow Food Biodiversity Observatory can be visited here

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected] 

Slow Food involves over a million of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in over 158 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and over 2,500 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

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