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Cultivating Biodiversity

Harold Brookfield Christine Padoch Helen Parsons Michael A. Stocking
Price: $ 22.5

Smallholder farmers throughout the tropics are traditionally skilled in using the natural diversity of the environment. For cultivating their crops, for managing the soil, water and vegetation and for maintaining their livelihoods in difficult circumstances, they have a wealth of knowledge and practices. Arguably, they have conserved and even created more biological diversity and more economically important species than all protected areas combined. They have systems of land use and practices that are highly dynamic, drawing on local knowledge, extensive experience and experimentation. The United Nations University project on People, Land Management and Environmental Change (PLEC) calls this ¿agrodiversity¿ the successful and sustainable conjunction of crop and animal biodiversity with natural biodiversity, all in the context of diverse biophysical conditions and diversity in farm organization and arrangements. Cultivating Biodiversity is written by members of PLEC who draw on the experience of demonstration sites that are the farmers¿ own enterprises, combining superior production along with enhancement of biological diversity. It is based on work in 12 countries with more than 200 collaborating scientists and about 2500 collaborating farmers. Among them are key ¿expert farmers¿ who demonstrate their practices to others. They, and their achievements, feature strongly in the pages of this book. The book shows how its authors perceive and quantitatively analyze agrodiversity, and how they work together with farmers. Published in collaboration with the United Nations University

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