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Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

The productivity and sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries depend on healthy and biodiversity-rich ecosystems to maintain environmental flows, nutrient-rich soils, clean water, pollination, and control pests and disease.

Documenting, valuing and ensuring nature’s benefits to society.

FAO plays a critical role in promoting policies that protect biodiversity and improve the management of ecosystems. By working with farmers and other partners, FAO provides evidence-based knowledge to inform policy and decision-makers. This includes providing practical guidance, tools, policy briefs and training to support Member Countries.

Ecosystem services and biodiversity are not always explicitly accounted for in national or international development agendas. FAO works with governments to better understand and apply ecosystem service valuation in public policies and financial decision-making.

FAO convenes and hosts international symposia and fora and actively contributes to negotiations and conventions that strengthen polices on ecosystem services and biodiversity for food and agriculture.

Key policy messages

·        The importance of ecosystem services and biodiversity in sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry requires renewed efforts to better integrate them into global and national agriculture and natural resources policies.

·        FAO provides evidence, guidance and expertise to encourage countries to safeguard biodiversity and value ecosystem services, and in so doing, achieve FAO’s strategic objectives.

·        Agriculture, forestry and fisheries policies must be aligned with an understanding and recognition of ecosystem services and policy-makers need to incentivize action at both the country and local level.

·        FAO is supporting the mapping of ecosystem types, biodiversity and ecosystem services globally to improve knowledge and quantification that then feeds into policy decision making.

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