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Sustainable agriculture promotes biodiversity

Every day, agriculture produces an average of 23.7 million tons of food, provides livelihoods for 2.5 billion people, and is the largest source of income and jobs for poor, rural households. In developing countries, agriculture accounts for 29% of GDP and 65% of jobs.

Biodiversity is the foundation of agriculture. It has enabled farming systems to evolve ever since agriculture was first developed over 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. 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. The different crop varieties and animal breeds used in agriculture around the world are based on the world’s genetic diversity. In addition, biodiversity directly supports agriculture systems by helping to ensure soil fertility, pollination and pest control.

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s work on agriculture and biodiversity can contribute to the achievement of the targets for Sustainable Development Goal 2 on zero hunger and Aichi Biodiversity Targets 7 and 13. The Secretariat works with many partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Biodiversity International, and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, to build coordinated approaches for food security and sustainable agriculture.

 

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