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The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture is a publication of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)of the United Nations.

The 2019 report presents the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA). It complements other global assessments prepared under the auspices of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Scope of the report

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (SoW-BFA) addresses the sustainable use, development and conservation of BFA worldwide. BFA is taken to include the diversity of animals, plants and micro-organisms at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels that sustain structures, functions and processes in and around production systems and provide food and non-food agricultural products.

The report draws on information provided in 91 country reports, 27 reports from international organizations and inputs from over 175 authors and reviewers.

Key findings

  1. Biodiversity is essential to food and agriculture: Biodiversity for food and agriculture is indispensable to food security, sustainable development and the supply of many vital ecosystem services.
  2. Multiple interacting drivers of change are affecting biodiversity for food and agriculture : While a range of drivers of change are having major negative impacts on biodiversity for food and agriculture and the ecosystem services it delivers, some provide opportunities to promote more sustainable management.
  3. Biodiversity for food and agriculture is declining : Many key components of biodiversity for food and agriculture at genetic, species and ecosystem levels are in decline. Knowledge of associated biodiversity, in particular micro-organisms and invertebrates, and of its roles in the supply of ecosystem services needs to be improved. Monitoring programmes for biodiversity for food and agriculture remain limited.
  4. The use of many biodiversity-friendly practices is reported to be increasing : The sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture 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 conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture is reported to be increasing. Although efforts to conserve biodiversity for food and agriculture in situ and ex situare increasing, levels of coverage and protection are often inadequate.
  5. Enabling frameworks for the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture remain insufficient : Enabling frameworks for the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture urgently need to be established or strengthened.

To read the key facts, click here.

What needs to be done

Securing and enhancing the multiple roles of BFA will require sustainable use and conservation of the ecosystems, species and genetic diversity that compose it. For this to happen, 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 that protect, restore and enhance these processes across a range of scales. Establishing effective policy and outreach measures will be needed to support the uptake of management practices that sustainably use biodiversity to promote food and livelihood security and resilience.

The country-driven process of preparing The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture has led to the identification of numerous gaps, needs and potential actions in the management of BFA. The next step is to take action. Over the years, the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture has overseen the development of global plans of action for genetic resources in the plant, animal and forest sectors. Implementation of these instruments needs to be stepped up. Consideration also needs to be given to how the international community can more effectively promote synergies in the management of all components of biodiversity, across these sectors and others, in the interests of a more sustainable food and agriculture.

To read the full report, click here.

Source : FAO



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