Policy support

In additional to its Technical Committees and other Governing Bodies, FAO hosts over 80 fora for the development of policies aimed at improving the sustainability of agrifood systems, many of which address biodiversity. 

FAO develops normative and standard-setting instruments such as international agreements, codes of conduct, international plans of action and technical standards that directly or indirectly address biodiversity, and supports countries in the implementation of these instruments.  

Examples include the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries, which provides a framework for the better management of marine resources. The FAO-WHO International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management provides standards of conduct on sound pesticide management for government authorities and the pesticide industry.  

More on policy support provided by FAO on overall biodiversity, genetic resources and ecosystem services is available here.  

FAO intergovernmental processes and bodies addressing biodiversity

The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is the only permanent intergovernmental body that specifically addresses biological diversity for food and agriculture. It aims to reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.


The  International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture hosted in FAO promotes the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic diversity. It has made a fundamental contribution to helping achieve food security for all, while supporting researchers and farmers adapt their crops to climate change.


The International Plant Protection Convention was adopted to prevent and to control the introduction and spread of plant pests and weeds. The international standards, guidelines and recommendations are recognised by the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement.