Folder Agricultural Biodiversity

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Biodiversity is the basis of agriculture. It has enabled farming systems to evolve ever since agriculture was first developed some 10,000 years ago. Biodiversity is the origin of all species of crops and domesticated livestock and the variety within them. It is also the foundation of ecosystem services essential to sustain agriculture and human well-being. Today's crop and livestock biodiversity are the result of many thousands years of human intervention. Agricultural biodiversity provides not only food and income but also raw materials for clothing, shelter, medicines, breeding new varieties, and performs other services such as maintenance of soil fertility and biota, and soil and water conservation, all of which are essential to human survival. Nearly one third of the world's land area is used for food production.

Biodiversity and agriculture are strongly interrelated because while biodiversity is critical for agriculture, agriculture can also contribute to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Indeed, sustainable agriculture both promotes and is enhanced by biodiversity. Maintenance of this biodiversity is essential for the sustainable production of food and other agricultural products and the benefits these provide to humanity, including food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

While agriculture contributes significantly to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, it is also a major driver of biodiversity loss. The Earth’s biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate, putting in jeopardy the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services and their ability to adapt to changing conditions, threatening food and livelihoods security.

The major challenge for agriculture is to ensure food security, adequate nutrition and stable livelihoods for all, now and in the future, by increasing food production while adopting sustainable and efficient agriculture, sustainable consumption of resources, and landscape-level planning to ensure the preservation of biodiversity.

 

More information and COP decisions on this subject: http://www.cbd.int/agro/

Text source: Convention on International Biodiversity

PDF themadossier-landbouwbiodiversiteit.pdf Download Item only translated in Dutch

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