FAO and the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR) have collaborated on an initiative to explore the contribution that biodiversity for food and agriculture can make to improving food security and agricultural sustainability and meeting the challenges of global change, particularly climate change. A major part of this collaboration was the organization of an Expert Workshop which was held at FAO Headquarters, Rome in April, 2010. This Workshop explored the different challenges that confronted agriculture and the options that existed or could be developed that would be needed to meet the challenges of feeding the world, coping with climate change and improving impact of agriculture on the environment.

This book presents the current state of thought on the common path of sustainable diets and biodiversity and addresses the linkages among agriculture, health, the environment and food industries.
The alarming pace of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and their negative impact on poverty and health makes a compelling case for re-examining food systems and diets. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop and promote strategies for sustainable diets, emphasizing the positive role of food biodiversity in human nutrition and poverty alleviation.
Sustainable Diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.
The contents of this book represent the presentations given at the International Scientific Symposium on Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets, organized by FAO and Bioversity International and held at FAO, Rome, from 3 to 5 November 2010.


With the publication of Save and Grow, FAO proposed a new paradigm of intensive crop production, one that is both highly productive and environmentally sustainable.

The Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) would like to thank all the authors, contributors, graphics designers and other individuals and institutions who have supported the development of this guide. All have found the extra time in their busy schedules to write, edit, prepare or review the materials, and many others have kindly allowed the use of their photos or other materials. Special thanks go to the staff at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) for the time and effort they dedicated in the preparation of this guide, in particular to Diana Remarche Cerda for drafting the original outline and Alashiya Gordes and Sarah Mc Lusky for reviewing the text. Deep gratitude also extends to Studio Bartoleschi for the endless patience in revising and updating the layout and graphics. All the contributors have a great passion for biodiversity and hope that the guide will inspire young people to learn, better understand the importance of biodiversity and take action in conservation initiatives. In addition, gratitude goes to the YUNGA and CBD Ambassadors for their passion and energy in promoting this guide.

Sustainably managed forests provide essential goods and services and thus play a vital part in sustainable development. Reliable and up-to-date information on the state of forest resources is crucial to support decision-making for investment and policymaking in forestry and sustainable development.

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