Biodiversity, food security, nutrition and income through home gardens

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner Bioversity International started a home garden initiative in Nepal in 2002. Based on support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and other partners, the initiative studied how home gardens can contribute to biodiversity, food security, nutrition and household income.

A recent impact study highlights following results:

  • Home gardeners see their yields nearly triple from 300kg per year to as much as 900kg per year.
  • Biodiversity increased in the home gardens of participating households, with 66 species under cultivation as compared to fewer than 40 species before the project.
  • Farmers now maintain higher plant diversity and cultivate a greater range of plant groups – vegetables, fruits, spices, medicinal herbs, fodder and ornamentals.
  • More households are selling their garden products and participating households doubled their overall consumption of produce.

Read more about the partners involved and the scaling up of the project here.

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Protecting traditional knowledge through biodiversity conservation

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Tradition is something that needs to be created, not simply protected. If we are to protect anything, it is nature itself, which supports tradition.

Morimoto Kiko, an artist and master in painting Kimonos from Kyoto, established an eco-cultural enterprise in Chot Sam, Cambodia in the mid 1990s. Jointly with women weavers he is bringing back lost skills through revitalising traditional knowledge and practices. His work is also related to biodiversity conservation. Morimoto and the local community are planting a traditional forest where everything from the natural dyes to the silk can be harvested in the rich natural environment. Learn more about the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles and the underlying philosophy around linking nature with tradition, craftsmanship, and collaboration here.

Watch a short clip on Morimoto’s work here.

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Impact of climate change on human health

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During the recent World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Health and Climate at WHO Headquarters in
Geneva, Switzerland from 27-29 August 2014 parties highlighted the severe impacts of climate change on human health. Almost 400 participants from governments and non-governmental organizations as well as UN agencies and the private sector gathered to reflect on relevant issues such as the state of climate science and how it relates to health as well as the public health response to climate change and health resilience. Parties also discussed about health benefits and health promotion while mitigating climate change and the economics of health and climate change. Learn more about the results of the conference and ways to link climate, sustainable development and health policy in the future here.

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