Extensive farming and biodiversity

A document drafted by WWF stresses the connection between extensive farming and biodiversity conservation strategy. 

During the Food System Pre-Summit, underway at the FAO, in Rome, from July 26 to 28, the WWF stressed the need to promote a dialogue on the importance of inducing the market towards a more sustainable diet, as the only solution to save the planet and safeguard human health. The current food system is in fact the greatest threat to global biodiversity, and WWF's recommendation to counter the unsustainable impacts of this food system is to "Drastically reduce meat consumption and learn to 'choose better', including paying the right price". WWF also reiterated that non-intensive livestock farming is one of the possible solutions, since it allows to protect animal welfare, habitat biodiversity, and give voice and continuity to local cultures and traditions, by adopting a socio-ecological solution to global challenges. As stated by Isabella Pratesi, director of the conservation’s program for WWF Italy, «Grazing has an important role in biodiversity conservation. In the EU, some priority habitats are directly dependent on maintaining a sustainable grazing load, and almost 20% of semi-natural habitats of EC interest are seriously threatened by the reduction in grazing practice. The absence of traditional pastoral activities leads to an increase of shrubs. Vice versa, the presence of an excessive livestock’s load we will lead to erosion phenomena and loss of biodiversity. Grazing also plays an important role in increasing the organic soil carbon content, and it contributes to feeding the soil fauna and flora as well as the entire resulting food chain».

The document drafted by the WWF is available below (In Italian).