There is no healthy food without a healthy environment


Global Leaders and experts exchange dialogue on how we can achieve an ambitious Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework

“The need to mainstream biodiversity across the food and agricultural sectors is key in FAO’s vision for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life and the core of our new Strategic Framework,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in his opening remarks to panellists and an online audience of almost 1000, at the high-level segment of last week’s Global Dialogue on Biodiversity.

“This is a critical decade for climate action, to reset our relationship with nature, and to fulfil the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda,” he said looking to the UN Food Systems Summit and October’s UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) as key opportunities to build the political will and establish an ambitious Post-2020 Framework.

The two-day Global Dialogue on the Role of Food and Agriculture in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework was an event jointly organized by FAO and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 6 to 7 July.

“It is imperative that we catalyze the role of biodiversity in supporting productive sustainable food systems. As highlighted by the Dasgupta report, our economies livelihoods and wellbeing depend on our most precious asset and that is nature,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the CBD referring to Dasgupta’s global review on the economics of biodiversity commissioned by the UK Government earlier this year.

HUANG Runqiu, Minister for Ecology and Environment, People’s Republic of China described how China as the host country for COP15 is pressing ahead with preparations for the conference that will play an important role in halting biodiversity loss. He outlined three points he described as ‘crucial’ on the road to recovery:

  1. Pooling efforts, raising our ambitions, adhering to multilateralism and forging consensus to reach an ambitious and pragmatic post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
  2.  Mobilising resources and increasing investment in nature and ecosystem conservation and restoration.
  3.  Accelerating change and action. Prioritizing the conservation of biodiversity through global and national policy making and implementation.

Giving an overview of policies and strategies in place in Mexico, Jorge Arturo Argueta Villamar, Mexico’s Deputy Secretary of Planning and Environmental Policy, emphasised the enormous diversity in Mexico not only among species but linguistically and culturally. Reiterating Mr HUANG’s comment on finding a common ground while respecting differences, Mr Argueta described Mexico:

“80% of ecosystems contain most of the biodiversity and this is managed by indigenous peoples. This shows the importance of indigenous peoples in protecting and conserving biodiversity”.

The Director-General noted that FAO is already taking bold steps related to biodiversity, “Our Members adopted the Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors and the 2021-23 Action Plan to implement it. FAO supports a large biodiversity portfolio. More than 800 FAO projects, investing more than 2 billion USD, have biodiversity as a key objective.”

The UN Decades of Action on Nutrition and Family Farming already underway, the negotiation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the UN Food Systems Summit are all opportunities to shift our path towards sustainability 

Working as one UN 

This was the second time that FAO and the Convention on Biological Diversity organised a joint Dialogue on mainstreaming biodiversity, bringing countries and stakeholders together to decide on the best approaches to halting the loss of biodiversity. The CBD entered into force in 1993, inspired by the world's growing commitment to sustainable development. It works to conserve biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The FAO Director-General closed the High-level segment of the two-day dialogue with renewed enthusiasm.

“We will continue to act as a neutral platform and a convener to facilitate the exchange of experiences on biodiversity mainstreaming at all levels.  This is a critical decade for climate action, to reset our relationship with nature, and to fulfil the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda.”