Celebrate International Women's Day 2013 with Bioversity International

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As we celebrate International Women's Day, it is important to recognize that there is an urgent need to better understand the role that gender plays in smallholder farming systems, and forest communities, in order to develop effective biodiversity conservation and use strategies for food security. Happy International Women's Day!

Read more about Bioversity International’s research-for-development portfolio and strategic priorities.
http://www.bioversityinternational.org/research/

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  • Hunger or undernourishment: Almost 1 billion people suffer from hunger or lack of food. Undernutrition is directly or indirectly responsible for 3.5 million young child deaths every year, and at least 35% of the disease burden in under 5 year old children. Severe acute malnutrition contributes to the deaths of 1 million children under five worldwide each year. Hidden hunger (due to micronutrient deficiencies): Micronutrient deficiencies can contribute to high rates of morbidity and mortality and even moderate levels of deficiency can have detrimental effects on human health and economic growth. Young children and women are among those most at risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies. The three most common forms of micronutrient malnutrition are iron, vitamin A and iodine deficiency. Obesity (overnutrition): More than 1 billion people are overweight globally, and this number is rising quickly and dramatically everywhere. In fact, in terms of numbers, obesity is now mainly a problem of the poor everywhere. Increasingly in low income countries, under- and overnutrition exist side-by-side along with micronutrient deficiencies (the triple burden).Citations:http://www.unscn.org/en/home/why-nutrition-is-important.php#double_burden_of_malnutrition  [1][1] Lim, SS. et al. (2012). A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990—2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet 2012;380:2224http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2961766-8/abstract Maternal and child undernutrition: global and regional exposures and health consequencesRobert E Black, Lindsay H Allen, Zulfiqar A Bhutta, Laura E Caulfield, Mercedes de Onis, MajidEzzati, Colin Mathers, Juan Rivera The Lancet  19 January 2008 (Volume 371 Issue 9608 Pages 243-260 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61690-0) http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)61690-0/abstract
  • Top left: Sales assistant in Kenya packs African leafy vegetables in the supermarket. A programme involving Bioversity International and partners demonstrated that nearly two-thirds of households growing the vegetables increased their incomes.Top right: Kenyan mother feeds child from a traditional gourd. Local diverse foods, such as gourds, are being studied in a GEF-funded project “Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition” involving four countries: Brazil, Kenya, Turkey and Sri Lanka.Bottom right: Farmers grow different varieties of quinoa across a diverse landscape in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Bioversity International research has shown that poor farmers use agricultural biodiversity to protect their crops against pests and diseases. Bottom left: A forest ranger in Mount Cameroon demonstrates sustainable harvesting of Prunusafricana. Bioversity International and partners have created sustainable growing and conservation guidelines for this tree species that has pharmaceutical properties and is a source of rural livelihood in several countries.
  • UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/special-themes/biodiversity-initiative/gender-equality-and-biodiversity-at-unesco/ Also useful facts and figures there:Women have been recognized as users and custodians of biological diversity. In countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Viet Nam, Indonesia and India they are responsible for the selection, improvement and storage of seeds and management of small livestock.Men’s and women’s knowledge of the forest is different because they use different forest resources. Women are more likely to collect berries, fruit, or twigs and small branches for fuel from a tree, while men will cut down the same tree to sell as firewood or for use in construction.In a study in Sierra Leone, women could name 31 uses of trees on fallow land and in the forest, while men named eight different uses. This shows how men and women have distinct realms of knowledge and application for natural resource management, both of which are necessary for sustainable use and conservation.Decision making is an important function in forest user groups and requires the participation of the whole community; however, forest projects have not been able to include women successfully. In Bamdibhirkhoria, Nepali women cannot participate because they are busy in their home gardens, and collecting forest products.
  • http://www.fao.org/gender/infographic/en/ See also http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2050e/i2050e.pdf - State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011
  • Minor millets are grown for food and fodder, with a protein content similar to that of wheat – rich in vitamin B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium. They grow in marginal areas and have little need for water, areas where major cereals would fail to give substantial yields. Processing millet is also a time-consuming and laborious task. Introducing a mechanical mill to remove the seed coat reduced processing times and removed drudgery. One type of millet took 1 hour to dehusk 2 kg of grain using a mortar and pestle, physically demanding work.
  • Quinoa, canihua and amaranth are nutritious, hardy, resilient Andean grains, long used for food by farming communities in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. They adapt well to drought, floods and frosts, common in the high Andes, and likely to increase in frequency and severity under climate change.
  • About 900 varieties of leafy vegetables are traditionally grown in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Click on picture to start (or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6py3bF48aU&list=UUGIRaI1_FpiN271fRnaFimA&index=25 ).
  • Celebrate International Women's Day 2013 with Bioversity International

    1. 1. Biodiversity for wellbeing: The role ofwomen as custodians of biodiversityEmile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International8 March 2013
    2. 2. Agricultural and ForestBiodiversityIncludes both:• Species used for production (crops, trees, livestock)• Species that support the production in the agro ecosystem (soil microbes, pollinators, wind breaks...) 2
    3. 3. Increasing reliance on few plants 300,000 •Known plant species 100,000 •Used by humankind 30,000 •Edible 7,000 •Used as food at local level 120 •Important at national scale 30 •Provide 90% of plant calories 3 •Provide 60% (rice, wheat, maize) 3
    4. 4. Challenges for foodsecurity• 75% of the 1.5 billion people living in poverty live in rural areas• Malnutrition is increasing• Ecosystems pushed to their boundaries• Pollution linked to over use of fertilizers and pesticides• Significant reduction in useful diversity in agriculture• Crop yields affected by erratic weather and new pest and disease outbreaks related to climate change 4
    5. 5. Triple burden ofmalnutrition• Hunger or Undernutrition : Almost 1 billion people suffer from hunger and 3.5 million young children die of undernutrition every year.• Hidden hunger: Young children and women are among those most at risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies.• Overnutrition and obesity: More than 1.2 billion people are overweight globally. This number is rising quickly and dramatically everywhere.• Increasingly in low income countries, under- and overnutrition exist side-by- side along with micronutrient deficiencies (the triple burden). 5
    6. 6. Increasing contribution of NCDs to cause of death, inrural Bangladesh (Matlab area, 1986–2006)(Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, obesity)Source: http://www.globalhealthaction.net/index.php/gha/article/view/1904/2301 6
    7. 7. Poor smallholderfarmers are on thefrontline• Smallholder farmers produce 60% of the world’s food yet many live in poverty• Most depend on agriculture and forests for their livelihood• Women make up a substantial part of the rural workforce. They produce 80% of the food in Africa and 60% in Asia, yet are often the last to benefit from economic development. 7
    8. 8. How canagricultural andforest biodiversityhelp?
    9. 9. Livelihoods NutritionSustainability Resilient & Productive Ecosystems 9
    10. 10. There is increasingevidence thatagricultural and forestbiodiversity is part ofthe solution.Women farmers have aparticular role inprotecting andmanaging thisbiodiversity. 10
    11. 11. Women as custodians ofbiodiversity“It is essential to recognizethat women and men havespecificneeds, interests, perspectivesand aspirations, and that theymake different but equallyvaluable contributions to theconservation and sustainablemanagement of biodiversity”.(Source: UNESCO) 11
    12. 12. Yet …Women farmers typicallyachieve yields that are 20-30%lower than men, however, thevast majority of studiessuggest that given equalaccess to resources as men,women would achieve thesame or better yields, boostingtotal agricultural output indeveloping countries by 2.5 to4%.(Source: FAOSTAT) 12
    13. 13. India: Minor MilletsWork to recapture traditional knowledge of cultivating minor millets and toimprove planting techniques, resulted in Indian minor millet growers increasingyields by 70% and income by 30%.Reduced processing times for minor millets encouraged women to reintroducethese nutritious crops to family diets. They also received training to help themmarket innovative ‘millet snack foods’ at urban markets and schools.
    14. 14. Bolivia: QuinoaWomen in Bolivia were spending several hours a day removing thesaponin layer from traditional quinoa grains before it could be eaten —laborious work usually carried out in the bitter cold of winter just afterharvest.A Bolivia: Quinoa processing machine reduced the time for the women to process 12kgof quinoa from around 6 hours to about 7 minutes.
    15. 15. Kenya: African Leafy VegetablesWork to revive interest in traditional vegetables that were disappearing from thefield and table resulted in: • increased dietary diversity and quality • economic empowerment of women • more effective management of agricultural pests and diseases.On average, each farmer in the study area increased their income by US$200/year.
    16. 16. The vital contribution of women• As farmers, producers of food• As food processors and marketers• As custodians of agricultural biodiversity• As responsible for family nutrition• As innovators in food systems But often unrecognized and overlooked• A gender strategy that addresses issues faced by women farmers• Tool and technologies accessible and adapted to women 16
    17. 17. Womhttp://www.promusa.org/tiki-index.php?page=Banana- producing+countries+portalenVideo:Using local agricultural biodiversity in Kenya 17
    18. 18. Thank you and happy International Women’s Day!www.bioversityinternational.org
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