The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on biodiversity, hereafter called Biodiversity TAG, is composed of 25 international experts in ecology, biodiversity indicators, agronomy, life cycle assessment, livestock production systems, and environmental science. Their backgrounds, complementary between systems and regions, allowed them to understand and address different perspectives. 

The aim of the methodology developed in these guidelines is to introduce a harmonized international approach for assessing the impacts of livestock on biodiversity. The livestock sector is a major user of natural resources (land in particular) and an important contributor to pollution (e.g. causing nutrient losses, increasing greenhouse gas emissions), which makes it one of the sectors with the highest impact on biodiversity. At the same time, livestock production is one of the few sectors with not only negative but also positive impacts on biodiversity; therefore, the sector can pull two levers to improve its biodiversity performance – mitigate harm and maximize benefits.

The Strategy applies to FAO’s relevant work on crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture (“agricultural sectors”) that are sustained by, or may have impact on biodiversity, ecosystems and the other services biodiversity provides. The Strategy aims to mainstream biodiversity across agricultural sectors at national, regional and international levels in a structured and coherent manner, taking into account national priorities, needs, regulations and policies and country programming frameworks. The expected result of the application of the Strategy would be to reduce the negative impacts of agricultural practices on biodiversity, to promote sustainable agricultural practices and to conserve, enhance, preserve and restore biodiversity as a whole.

Biodiversity is critical for safeguarding global food security, underpinning healthy and nutritious diets, improving rural livelihoods, and enhancing the resilience of people and communities.

The recent alarming findings on the threats of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation from FAO's 'The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture' and the global assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, have put the agriculture sectors at the center of the debate on the future of the planet.

Against this background, the FAO Conference in 2017 welcomed FAO’s initiative to act as Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform1  and requested FAO to facilitate, in collaboration with its partners, the integration of actions for the conservation, sustainable use, management and restoration of biological diversity across the agriculture sectors at national, regional and international level. 

Programme and Concept Note for the African regional multi-stakeholder dialogue on biodiversity mainstreaming across agricultural sectors held in Kigali, Rwanda, November 4-5, 2019 

The primary objective of the Consultation was to review the draft FAO Strategy on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors, and provide FAO with regional perspective about the proposed strategy. In addition, the meeting was an opportunity to make progress in the following areas: Increase awareness about the importance of biodiversity mainstreaming across the agricultural sectors within the Region; Exchange of knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned (including gaps and challenges) on biodiversity mainstreaming among countries within the Region; Identify areas for actions across sectors and priorities at the regional and country level, including resource mobilizations and stakeholder’s engagements, in preparation for the adoption of the CBD Post-2020 global biodiversity framework that will be adopted in Kunming, China in 2020; The FAO draft report on “the state of the biodiversity for food and agriculture in the Near East and North Africa Region” will be presented and discussed at the meeting.

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