Among the 6,000 species of plants that have been cultivated for food, in 2014 fewer than 200 species reached significant production levels globally, while only nine crops (sugar cane, maize, rice, wheat, potatoes, soybeans, oil-palm fruit, sugar beet, and cassava) accounts for over 66% of all crop production by weight. Due to intensive and unsustainable farming practice, 16.5% of vertebrate pollinators, such as bats and birds are threatened with global extinction, with the percentage rising to 30% for island species.
[Water]: Sicily has started harvesting exotic fruit trees, generally associated with tropical climates (Papaya, bananas, mangoes, and avocados), while Mexico has been abandoning the cultivation of corn and other cereals, to favour other alternatives requiring less water, as the 75 percent of Mexico’s soil is already considered too dry to cultivate crops.
[Mediterranean Foodscape]: Greenhouse gases emissions of cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, which characterise the Mediterranean Diet, are less than 8% compared with 46% coming from meat and eggs.
[Nutrition for All]: the agriculture and livestock sector are the primary responsible for deforestation, being 62% of global land footprint generated by meat and animal products.
[Waste & Circular Systems]: Less than 25% of the Earth’s surface is still in natural conditions, and at this current rate in 2050 that percentage will drop to 10%. However, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, 40% of which happens during the harvest.
Participants will be guided towards the importance of seeds in the food chain, but also on the impact that consumers and food choices have on biodiversity loss. For this reason, space will also be given to illegal markets as a consequence of a growing demand for wild animals. Water restoration projects and promotion of the multifunctional use of natural resources in the farming practices will be specifically considered in light of the production of local varieties.