World’s genetic diversity going, going…..

February 17, 2008

  • According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, about 75 per cent of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has already been lost in the last century.
  • Almost 96% of the commercial vegetable varieties available in 1903 are now extinct.
  • Today only 150 plant species are cultivated, 12 of which provide approximately 75 percent of our food and four of which produce over half of the food we eat.
  • Between 10% and 30% of mammal, bird, and amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction (medium to high certainty), based on IUCN–World Conservation Union criteria for threats of extinction.
  • Over the past few hundred years, it is estimated that humans have been responsible for up to a thousand times more extinctions than the natural rate.

http://www.fao.org/biodiversity/crops_en.asp

3 Responses to “World’s genetic diversity going, going…..”


  1. […] 19, 2008 by craig1colo From Food Democracy, more bad news on biodiversity and the effects of industrialization and […]

  2. craig1colo Says:

    Thanks for a sobering post. Can you provide any sources for any of the data? I have been looking for similar data and UN sources would be great.

  3. annierichardson Says:

    Hi Craig,

    It should have been noted, sorry about that. Here you go:
    http://www.fao.org/biodiversity/crops_en.asp
    Annie


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