You can access all media coverage by clicking on the links provided in the PDF
Speakers' presentations are available here.
Our conference was the key event on the topic in the Australasian region, and one of very few international events focusing on food security imperatives in relation to biodiversity conservation. It emphasised the importance of biodiversity for agriculture, food security and rural livelihoods, especially for developing nations and Australia, and the additional pressures that climate change impacts will bring to bear for both the conservation and use of biodiversity. In attendance were a group of internationally renowned speakers addressing issues related to the threats being faced to conserve biodiversity for food security in the face of climate change. What are the solutions and what does international agricultural research have to offer?
Biological diversity, in the context of the conference, is made up of the plants that feed, clothe, house, and heal people; crops, aquatic and livestock species that feed us; insects that pollinate fields; the forests that are the lungs of the planet; and microorganisms that regenerate the soils that grow our food.
Conserving and using biodiversity sustainably is key to feeding the more than one billion malnourished people in the world. The conference topic was of particular interest in Australia, as climate change, species invasions, ignorance and neglect erode the globe’s genetic resources, threaten the biodiversity of large and small organisms - in land, sea and air - on which the health and resilience of the planet depends. In the developing world, population growth and poverty exacerbate the pressures.
Australian agriculture is highly dependent on imported genes. Other than our rich forest genetic resources, we have contributed little directly to the productive global pool from our indigenous plant and animal resources although we are a major contributor in relevant research and development that benefits our own farmers and consumers and those in the developing world.
Twelve young Australian agricultural scientists with a genuine interest in international agricultural development were supported to attend the 2010 Crawford Fund conference. Over coming months, they will be making presentations at a relevant academic or research institute on what they learned from their attendance, and will be providing 500-word articles outlining how they benefited from the conference and what they considered to be the highlights, which will be posted on our website. A photo of the students, with the Crawford Fund Chairman, Neil Andrew, and Executive Director, Denis Blight, is below.
|Dr Cristián Samper
||Professor Steve Hopper
|Dr Emile Frison