Minimum dictionary: biodiversity, agrobiodiversity, biological

Biodiversity. Agrobiodiversity. Biological. These are words that we often read in these years of increased awareness of the environment and what we bring to the table. But do we really know their meaning? Perhaps not entirely, since they are sometimes used synonymously, or with inappropriate meanings.

To clarify, we want to go into the merits of each of these concepts and explain their meaning. To allow everyone to have the indispensable tools to make their own choices.

In the fields of the Vestri Farm, Shumei’s natural agriculture has always been practiced, which places respect for Nature and biodiversity at the center of its philosophy. Let’s explore this concept below.

What is biodiversity?

To explain what biodiversity is, let’s start with the definition of the Convention on Biological Diversity, drawn up in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development. Biodiversity is:

“all kinds of variability among living organisms, including, among others, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; it includes diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems”.

The fundamental concept that emerges from this definition is how important the variability of living organisms on Earth is. The greater the variety of living species, the greater the equilibrium that will be established in nature. It will be natural selection to decide which species can continue its evolution and not man, on the basis of interests linked solely to profit.

An example of biodiversity

The best example to help us better understand the concept of biodiversity is that of wheat. To meet the needs of an expanding society and the growing demands of the market, some grains have undergone genetic transformations that have made it possible to have a product that is much more resistant and suitable for new purposes. And this with a strong impact on biodiversity, because ancient grains that were less productive were no longer sown and ended up disappearing completely. This not only led to the homologation of the wheat species used to make pasta and bread but also meant the impoverishment of the varieties of wheat existing in nature.

Closely connected with this concept is that of agrobiodiversity which indicates the variety of living species in the agricultural sector, both plants and animals.

We also speak more and more often of organic farming, a form of agriculture that is not practiced in our company. However, we want to inform about what it represents and its principles.

What does organic mean?

The term organic indicates those products obtained from organic farming, an expression that is used in contrast to industrial agriculture. Organic farming is a technique that began to spread in Europe before the Second World War, thanks to the work of two agronomists: the German Pfeiffer and the English Howard.

What are the principles of organic farming?

At the base of organic farming there is the desire to produce foods with higher nutritional qualities than the foods on the market. To do this it is necessary to improve the fertility of the earth with a series of measures. The rotation of crops, minimally invasive interventions that do not involve the use of chemical fertilizers or industrial pesticides, are just a few examples. In general, the goal is to ensure that a sort of balance is created, to naturally counteract the pests and diseases that can affect crops. This means greater respect for the environment and for animals, which are not intensively reared.

At EU level, organic farming is governed by EEC Regulation 2092/91. There are therefore very specific rules to be respected and as many checks to have the European brand on the label certifying organic cultivation.

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