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Submitted by Promila Kapoor-Vijay on
Professor Juma has made very important observation that Africa needs to be concerned with the well being of its people. I believe policies developed by Governments cannot afford to neglect the food, nutrition, energy, and water needs of poorest and those who constitute local culture and preserve it - the local communities living in - unique ecosystems. The people living as part of unique ecosystems depend upon indigenous plant, animal resources for their survival and continuation, which includes habitats and landscapes. Local species used by indigenous and traditional people are the life support species unique in their genetic hardware and ecological adaptations to extremes of temperatures, arid and saline soils, or in tropical forests such as mangroves, rain forests. Genomic advances are moving at a speed and have placed new value on genes of such species and others not yet fully valued. These species are part of biodiversity of plants, animals and microorganisms, and have been preserved and maintained in nature by in situ methods of conservation by local people and cultures due to their specialised traditional knowledge and cultures for times immemorial. International Year of biodiversity 2010 gives us new courage to rethink and ensure that economic changes linked with climate change brings an era of climate of change and justice in revaluing local biological resources and ecosystem services in Africa and other regions of the world so that benefits reach the poorest, and those living in marginal environments in Africa and elsewhere.P.Kapoor-Vijay