Today is California Biodiversity Day, falling on September 7 of each year. CA Biodiversity Day celebrates our state’s unique biodiversity and encourages actions to protect it. Protecting biodiversity is fundamental to CDFA’s mission, given that biodiversity underpins the world’s food supply.
Pollination is a key mechanism in the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity and life on Earth. Pollinators directly link wild ecosystems with agricultural production systems, and they are critical for food production, with at least 1/3 of human-consumed foods dependent on pollination. CDFA is focused on protecting biodiversity and pollinators in a number of ways:
- The Pollinator Habitat Program provides grant funding for the establishment of pollinator habitat on agricultural lands via practices like hedgerows and windrows
- The Healthy Soils Program also funds practices that provide pollinator habitat, while sequestering carbon and helping with water retention
- CDFA’s Animal Health and Pest Exclusion Branches work cooperatively with other agencies, including California’s Department of Fish and Game and the United States Department of Agriculture, to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful pests and diseases into California. These branches also provide certification that our animal and plant exports to other states and countries are free from pests and diseases; these actions protect California biodiversity as well as our food supply and natural lands.
- CDFA serves as co-chair of the Invasive Species Council of California. The goal of this Council is to guide efforts to keep invasive species out of the state, find invasions before permanent establishment occurs and take steps to eradicate incipient populations of undesirable species.
- CDFA is a participant in the Monarch Interagency Work Group Technical Advisory Committee, which works to protect and establish monarch habitat throughout the state, recognizing that such actions will also benefit other pollinators.
In pursuit of its mission to support agriculture and healthy food systems, CDFA partners with other state agencies on biodiversity and pollinator protection, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In this video, Fish and Wildlife biodiversity specialist Kim Tenggardjaja discusses the critical importance of pollinators such as bees; for example, California is home to about 1600 species of native bees.
On this Biodiversity Day, CDFA invites all producers to learn more about how these programs can help support biodiversity efforts on their farms and ranches.