The understanding that biodiversity in general is critical to a healthy and sustainable ecosystem has grown for over forty years now, but transferring that wisdom to food production has made little headway. Of the more than 7,000 domesticated food crops, barely 150 are grown commercially and corn and wheat alone comprise over half of the worlds calories. Of those crops grown, one or two varieties, with the largest yields and disease and pest resistance, are chosen or created at the exclusion of hundreds or thousands of other varieties which represent millennia of indigenous R&D. This has led to a mass extinction event of plants specifically developed to support human society, estimates range from 60-85% of domesticated plant species currently extinct. This process creates monocrops and limits the genetic diversity that allows plant adaptation to environmental changes. Growing awareness of imminent environmental change and the current difficulties in managing and maintaining global food stores, and the possibility of extreme social unrest, has drawn the issue of declining food crop diversity into stark light. While not a solution, stop gab measures based on these fears spurred the opening of the international Arctic Seed Vault to begin warehousing the remaining diversity of domesticated plants this February. To address these issues and begin formulating a strategy for implementing change, a Convention on Biological Diversity is being held in Bonn, Germany in May. Global food supplies will continue to be a critical hurdle in maintaining social and environmental stability, so expect this issue to continue and expand as the debate takes on new dimensions as governments and organizations actually attempt to act on this well known information.

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