Biodiversity, the combination of the ecosystems and living beings-animals and vegetables-that populate our planet,

  • is vital for the survival of the human race and the attainment of food security;
  • is one of the foundations of human existence, to which it supplies essentials such as food, fibres, air, water and so on;
  • allows agriculture and agricultural techniques, harvesting and processing methods, cooking, food consumption and convivial rites to develop and evolve;
  • is closely bound up with community identity;
  • allows nature to survive by adapting to environmental and climate change.

Slow Food has always promoted the defence of biodiversity, focusing its attention not only on wild species, but also on domestic species (the fruit of thousands of years of selection by peasant and pastoral communities) and traditional processed products (the fruit of knowledge handed down from generation to generation).

Today biodiversity, without which nature would be bound for extinction, is seriously threatened by intensive and industrialised agricultural systems, pollution, overbuilding and the workings of the global market. Not to mention by the spread of genetically modified organisms.

For millennia, about 10,000 species were used for human nutrition and agriculture. Today just 90 percent of human food comes from 120 species and only 12 plant species and five animal breeds provide more than 70% of all human food.
It is estimated that, in the last century, three quarters of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops disappeared.

A third of native cattle, sheep and pig breeds are now extinct or on the verge of extinction and many traditional processed foods-breads, cured meats, cheeses and so on-run the same risk.

From the environmental, economic, social and cultural points of view, these are colossal losses.

Slow Food helps protect biodiversity by promoting knowledge (mapping of traditional products, native breeds and local vegetable varieties and ecotypes) and supporting supply chains (cultivation, breeding, processing).

Check out the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity!

Position Document

On Biodiversity

 

Italian

English

 

Statement

On the regulatory framework on food hygiene and safety

 

Italian

English

French

 

Study

Artisan Cheese Production – does hygiene policy help or hinder?

 

English

Do the Slow Food Presidia Represent an Opportunity for the Future of the Mountains? 

 

Italian

English

Slow Food Presidia in Europe:
A Model of Sustainability

 

Italian

English

Inventory and assessment of good practices on the role of small-scale farmers in the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems 

 

Italian

English

An analysis

Of five best practices in Europe, starting with the experience of the network of Slow Food Presidia

 

Italian

English

Document

On Agriculture and Biodiversity in Protected Areas

 

Italian

English