Communication counts

My editor, David Dickson, has previously highlighted the importance of effectively communicating the value of biodiversity to policymakers and the public (see Biodiversity loss matters and communication is crucial).

It seems like the world of agricultural biodiversity has cottoned on to the fact too. Delegates at the agricultural biodiversity GCARD session this morning stressed the importance of good advocacy and communication in influencing policy and convincing politicians and society that genetic resources and biodiversity are something worth saving.

delegates at agricultural biodiversity session (credit: GCARD)

Helga Rodriguez, a coffee grower in Costa Rica, said we need to increase this kind of awareness among all sectors of society.

In some instances this includes small farmers. Emile Frison, director general of Biodiversity International, said that most small farmers are well aware of the need to protect agricultural biodiversity. But, according to one delegate from Morocco, the same is not true when it comes to protecting wild species.

“At the end of the day,” said one CGIAR stakeholder, “we need a value proposition for farmers”.

But, according to Priscilla Henriquez from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation, the priority should be creating a strategy to reach the more influential policymakers.

“We need a strategy to talk to the politicians in charge of allocating money to genebanks,” she said.

“We must talk their language,” she added. Henriquez explained that this essentially means talking about genetic resources in terms of the issues that they care about—food security, nutrition, climate change and health.

I, for one, couldn’t agree more—science communication for development is, after all, what SciDev.Net is all about.

Sian Lewis
Commisioning editor, SciDev.Net

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