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Biodiversity for food and agriculture

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is the diversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms at genetic, species and ecosystem levels, present in and around crop, livestock, forest and aquatic production systems. Biodiversity is essential to the structures, functions and processes of these systems, to livelihoods and food security, and to the supply of a wide range of ecosystem services. It has been managed or influenced by farmers, livestock keepers, forest dwellers, fish farmers and fisherfolk for hundreds of generations.

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

In 2019, FAO launched The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture.

Prepared through a participatory, country-driven process, under the guidance of the Commission, the report draws on 91 country reports to provide a description of the roles and importance of biodiversity for food and agriculture, the drivers of change affecting it and its current status and trends. It describes the state of efforts to promote the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture, including through the development of supporting policies, legal frameworks, institutions and capacities. It concludes with a discussion of needs and challenges in the future management of biodiversity for food and agriculture.

The report complements other global assessments prepared under the guidance of the Commission, which have focused on the state of genetic resources within particular sectors of food and agriculture.