A natural landscape is a landscape that has not been changed in anyway by human activity. Formed by the earth’s changes through millions of years, a natural landscape is unique in every habitat and eco-system. Nature always finds a way to use it’s natural resources as they become available to surrounding organisms. If left alone, nature will always flourish and it’s diversity creates systems which live and feed off of each other, giving and receiving to one another to keep the circle of life flowing until it’s environmental conditions are changed.
Mimicking the natural landscape and the processes that occur naturally on Earth are needed when using the earth’s soil for food and livestock production if we are to keep the soil a renewable resource. The more diverse the landscape, the more the plants and animals help each other flourish and stay healthy for human consumption.
When trying to create a biodiverse farm all organisms must be taken into consideration. Not simply the seeds or animals alone but the relationship that they will have with the soil fauna, weeds, pests, predators and all other native or domesticated species that exist on the farm. Aquatic diversity also plays a part in the biodiversity of a farm when there are water ecosystems in place.
Humans are dependent on agricultural biodiversity and our current practices only promote uniformity and consistency of species’ being raised. This only benefits the corporate buyer who processes or packages the food for distribution. It is reported that over 90% of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields. Domesticated animal breeds have been cut in half. In fisheries alone, many species have gone extinct while other fishing grounds are being harvested beyond sustainable means.
Agricultural biodiversity provides sustainable food production, conservation of land and life support to other organisms. It also creates services for conservation such as wildlife protection, water and air quality and treatment programs and soil protection practices. Agricultural biodiversity strengthens food production and enhances all genetic resources. It promotes soil fertility and plant and animal growth. It helps breakdown pollutants and maintain a clean and healthy atmosphere.
If farming can start to create more biodiversity within it’s sustainable practices, mankind has a very good chance to increase the level of food health, human health and environmental health on the planet. -KATIE FLYNN