What is Agrobiodiversity and why should we care?

What is Agrobiodiversity and why should we care?

Tea landscape
Tea landscape from Oudomxay, Laos. Photo credit: Joost Foppes

Biodiversity in Lao PDR for food and nutrition contributes significantly to day-to- day livelihoods of both rural and urban people. This wealth represents Laos’ great natural and social heritage as most of Lao food, folklore and cultural traditions are closely linked to agrobiodiversity. While agrobiodiversity has been well documented, the body of knowledge is scattered, difficult to qualify and access, and in many instances in danger of being lost.

Laos is not considered a mega-diverse country and point of origin for nothing. Did you know that Laos has more of everything when it comes to biodiversity...

Agro-biodiversity is the result of a combination of processes. It is part of the natural selection process of how plants succeed one another in forests. It is also part of and the careful selection and inventive developments of farmers, herders and fishers over millennia. Local knowledge and culture can therefore be considered as integral parts of agro-biodiversity, because it is the human activity of agriculture that shapes and conserves this biodiversity.