Home / Knowledge Portal / Sustainable agriculture / Ecologically sustainable food systems / The state of the world’s biodiversity for food and agriculture
March 5th, 2019

The state of the world’s biodiversity for food and agriculture

Published by FAO,

This report (PDF) by the FAO provides an assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA) and its management worldwide. BFA is the subset of biodiversity that contributes in one way or another to agriculture and food production. BFA is indispensable to food security, sustainable development and the supply of many vital ecosystem services. Biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including to the effects of climate change. Multiple interacting drivers of change are affecting BFA. While a range of drivers have major negative impacts on BFA and the ecosystem services it delivers, some provide opportunities to promote more sustainable management. Many key components of BFA at  genetic, species and ecosystem levels are in decline. Therefore, knowledge of associated biodiversity, in particular micro-organisms and invertebrates, and its roles in the supply of ecosystem services needs to be improved. However, the use of many biodiversity-friendly practices is increasing. The sustainable use and conservation for BFA call for approaches in which genetic resources, species and ecosystems are managed in an integrated way in the context of production systems and their surroundings. The use of a wide range of management practices and approaches regarded as favourable to the sustainable use and conversation of BFA is increasing. However, levels of coverage and protection are often inadequate. Enabling frameworks for the sustainable use and conservation of BFA urgently need to be established or strengthened. Research on food and agricultural systems needs to become more multidisciplinary, more participatory and more focused on interactions between different components of  BFA. Improving the management of BFA and enhancing its contributions to ecosystem services call for better multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral and international cooperation. Knowledge of the roles of biodiversity in the ecological processes that underpin food and agricultural production needs to be strengthened, and used to develop management strategies. Establishing effective policy and outreach measures will be needed to support the uptake of management practices.

Curated from fao.org