Climate-Smart Agriculture

Genetic resources and biodiversity

Agriculture, including livestock, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, depends on the three components of biodiversity: the diversity of species, the diversity within each species and the diversity of ecosystems. Genetic resources for food and agriculture play a crucial role in food security, nutrition and livelihoods and in the provision of environmental services. They are key components of sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They underpin the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic organisms and forest trees to withstand a range of harsh conditions. The first Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, held in The Hague in 2010, identified a Roadmap for Action, which includes genetic resources among the tools and technologies for climate-smart agriculture.

At the request of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO prepared thematic studies on the interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources. The results of these studies are summarized in Coping with Climate Change – The Roles of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.