CLAS Lecture Series: Using Biological Diversity to Address Food Security Under Climate Change

Fri May 27th 2016, 12:30 - 1:20pm
Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall, 424 Santa Teresa St.
Admission Information
Lunch Provided at Noon | Free and Open to the Public | No RSVP Necessary *Please note the location is in the Humanities Center, not at Bolivar House.*
CLAS Lecture Series: Using Biological Diversity to Address Food Security Under Climate Change

Please join us for this very special lecture with Professor José Sarukhán (CONABIO, UNAM) as he discusses "Using Biological Diversity to Address Food Security Under Climate Change". 

We are globally at a complex and dangerous crossroads of population growth, increasing demands for diets that are simultaneously harmful to human and ecosystem health, in a scenario of unpredictable environmental conditions caused by global warming. When referring to biodiversity, there is plenty of idle talk about adaptation that makes very little sense, as if it was possible to induce ecosystems to adapt to climate change. This presentation relates to one real way of adaptation based on biodiversity (at the genetic level), one directly related to the issue of food security (or, better even, food sovereignty). I use the example of a megadiverse country, Mexico, which is simultaneously a Vavilov center of plant domestication, and therefore corresponds to an area of great cultural diversity. I examine these relationships to show how these elements can combine to help us to truly adapt to climate change in the context of one of the most important necessities of humankind: food security.

José Sarukhán was trained at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), where he obtained his B.Sc in Biology. His graduate studies were conducted at Mexico’s National School of Agriculture (M.Sc.), and the University of Wales, UK, in John Harper’s lab (Ph. D.). His work on plant demography is iconic in the study of plant population ecology. The former president of the National University of Mexico, Prof. Sarukhán is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He created, in 1992, Mexico’s National Commission of Biodiversity (CONABIO). This institution is considered a model for compiling, enhancing and making widely available –to all sectors of society– the scientific and traditional knowledge and use of biological diversity in a mega-diverese country such as Mexico.

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