National Geographic photojournalist Jim Richardson discusses the degradation of the world's agricultural biodiversity, and efforts to save humanity's food legacy. Agricultural biodiversity is as much in need of defending as the world's wildlife. Countless varieties of plants and animals were bred by the world's peoples for talents specific to every soil, climate, and human culture. Most of them have been lost---their hard-won genetic sophistication extinguished. But many have survived, thanks to professional and amateur devotion, and they are wondrous---living embodiments of humanity's deepest traditions.Photojournalist Jim Richardson has been covering the agricultural beat for National Geographic since 1984. His spectacular photographs, and the stories he tells with them, are renowned."
Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor of its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine. Â Richardson has photographed more than 25 stories for National Geographic.
Richardson's work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. In addition to his color photography, Richardson has built a distinguished body of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life. He lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where his work is featured at his gallery, Small World, on Lindsborg's Main Street.
Quantity of plant and animal species found in a given environment. Sometimes habitat diversity (the variety of places where organisms live) and genetic diversity (the variety of traits expressed within a species) are also considered types of biodiversity. The estimated 330 million species on Earth are divided unequally among the world's habitats, with 5090% of the world's species living in tropical regions. The more diverse a habitat, the better chance it has of surviving a change or threat to it, because it is more likely to be able to make a balancing adjustment. Habitats with little biodiversity (e.g., Arctic tundra) are more vulnerable to change. The 1992 Earth Summit resulted in a treaty for the preservation of biodiversity.