Biodiversity
 
Biodiversity @ FAO

Biodiversity for food and agriculture includes the components of biological diversity that are essential for feeding human populations and improving the quality of life. It includes the variety and variability of ecosystems, animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain human life as well as the key functions of ecosystems.

The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for food and agriculture play a critical role in the fight against hunger, by ensuring environmental sustainability while increasing food production.


Such diversity is the result of thousands of years of farmers’ and breeders’ activities, land and forest utilization, and fisheries and aquaculture activities combined with millions of years of natural selection. Most of the human population lives in areas where food production and nature co-exist together.

The large and increasing number of under- and mal-nourished in the world, the prospect of rising inequality, difficulty of access to food by the most vulnerable populations, the decreased availability of natural resources and the uncertainty of climate change are among the main challenges facing FAO and its work on biodiversity for food and agriculture.

It is foreseen that developing countries will, in some areas, show a decrease in agricultural productivity between 20-40% due to the effects of climate change. This may lead to pressure on natural resources.

The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for food and agriculture play a critical role in the fight against hunger, by ensuring environmental sustainability while increasing food and agriculture production. It is imperative to do so in a sustainable way: harvesting resources without compromising the natural capital, including biodiversity and ecosystem services, and capitalizing on biological processes.

To cope with all these challenges and uncertainties a large reservoir of genetic and species diversity will need to be maintained and sustainably used. This diversity will further help maintain and rehabilitate productive ecosystems to supply future generations with abundant food and agriculture.

Animals Plants Forests Aquatic organisms
Soils Microbes and invertebrates Pollinators Nutrition
Protected areas Agricultural heritage Ecosystem approach Socio-economics
Gender Indigenous people Children and youth Biosecurity
IYB Official video
International Day for Biodiversity 2013
The youth guide to biodiversity
The youth guide to biodiversity
Save and grow
A policymaker’s guide to the sustainable intensification
Biodiversity for food and agriculture: Contributing to food security and sustainability in a changing world
Biodiversity for food and agriculture: Contributing to food security and sustainability in a changing world