Don’t worry, we didn’t go nuts, nor missed our biology class! We deliberately asked Béla Bartha, the director of the Swiss foundation ProSpecieRara, a few naive questions onbiodiversity. Here he explains again very clearly why it is indispensable for us humans…
Biodiversity: Isn‘t it in the end all about the survival of the fittest? So why care about biodiversity?
It is a great and important achievement of our enlightened society that we care about the weak in our environment. This is what distinguishes us as humans from the “survival of the fittest” principle we find in nature.
Talking about our crop we refer to them also as “cultivated plants”. This means they belong to a different category of plants and did not evolve randomly and only influenced by natural conditions. The are the result of human intervention through agriculture and selection. And we can only select when there are several options presented to us. But these options keep on shrinking because biodiversity continues to disappear. This is why we should care about it. Otherwise we become even more vulnerable and less prepared for the changes that our environment is undergoing.
Food: And why should it be important to us that our crop is not all the same and standardized?
Because we humans aren’t all the same either. We live in different climate zones, have different customs and so on. Allowing standardized products assumes that we all live under the same conditions and in the same environment. It means that we all have the same needs and that all of us even expect the plant to have particular characteristics regarding it’s taste, texture and cooking properties. Luckily, this is not the case!
Vision: ProSpecieRara is mostly active in Switzerland, the major part of the Nativo Project will happen in the Peruvian jungle – so what connects these two?
The Nativo Project is based on three core principles of ProSpecieRara. The first principle is the understanding that the taste of a natural product depends on the variety you chose. This is why Choba Choba uses different varieties of cacao for its chocolate creations and not only plays by slightly adapting the recipe, adding more or less sugar…
Secondly, it is important to understand that whatever variety of a product is used for production, it is a momentary decision and already tomorrow another variety might become highly popular and “the chosen one”. In order to be able to choose among different varieties, the Nativo Project also preserves and protects those cacaos that maybe will not be used for Choba Choba’s next chocolates. This approach is what makes this project truly sustainable and responsible.
And last but not least, by preserving the different local cacao varieties on-site in the Alto Huayabamba, the cacao farmers will always have free access to the the cacao heritage of their region. This will allow them to govern their local cacao varieties and seed stock as they wish and stay independent from a handful of big seed producing corporations.
These three fundamental principles of the Nativo Project are identical with the core mission of our foundation, no matter where this project is rooted and implemented. This is why we consider it worthy of support!