Walk through farmlands in the rugged, hilly terrain of parts of Mexico and you’ll see maize plants grown widely spaced apart with pole beans climbing up them and the large leaves of squash covering the soil alongside edible herbs. These are all part of a farming system known as a milpa. It is quite the opposite of monoculture here, with each family growing a variety of nutritious crops.
For generations, Ariel Benitez's ancestors, the Ava Guaraní people, one of the Indigenous Peoples living in eastern Paraguay, have been harvesting the green leaves of the yerba mate tree to make the bitter, caffeinated brew beloved in South America and beyond. 
Agriculture has been around for more than 10 000 years. In that time, it has not only given us food, shelter, and livelihoods, but also knowledge, traditions, innovations and ecosystem services. However, with many ecosystems pushed beyond their capacity, agriculture now needs to provide all these benefits – and more – while being more responsive to the environment.
Picture patches of tropical, dry forest separated by agricultural land stretched across the surface of six countries at the heart of the American continent. This is the Central American Dry Corridor, a 1 600-kilometre-long expanse through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama – home to 11.5 million rural people, who largely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Sayad village is one of the most ancient settlements nestled on the Caspian Sea coast of Azerbaijan’s Khachmaz district. It’s long been famous for its numerous varieties of succulent tomatoes thanks to the farmers’ careful cultivation of the crop and the sunny climate. But something new and transformative is happening. Farmers are reviving and building on their region’s traditional agricultural techniques, such as crop rotation, with the help of training and support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union.
Maia Diagne’s eyes fill with emotion as she describes the lifelong bond she feels with the water lilies that grew in large quantities in her part of Senegal. "I was born in the middle of the water lilies, in a pirogue [a small boat] while my mother was on her way to the Djoudj National Bird Park to harvest them."
At 52 years old, through a marriage and the birth of seven children, Dandakoye has witnessed devastating changes to the land around his village of Sakey Kouara Tegui. Situated in the western region of Niger, Dandakoye’s village is nestled in the watershed of the Gorou Tayya plateau in the urban commune of Kollo.
Biodiversity constitutes an essential element in our global ecosystems and provides the foundation for agricultural practices and food production. It is essential to our well-being and food security, but it is often threatened by our activities. In some places, however, farmers have learned to work in harmony with the environment and use knowledge passed down over centuries to implement sustainable practices and protect the biodiversity in their surrounding ecosystems. These farmers and rural communities have envisaged and implemented ingenious ways to conserve, preserve and sustainably use biodiversity while safeguarding their livelihoods and the unique landscapes in which they live.
Romeo Mikičić has been fishing in the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea for more than 40 years.The father of two is passionate about the sea and comes from generations of fishers who lived on the island of Cres, one of more than a thousand islands in the Republic of Croatia that depend on fishing.
"It eats everything, leaves nothing and reproduces very quickly," laments Mouradh, a fisherman from the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah. For the country’s fishers, the blue crabs that were being hauled out of the water, tangled up in their broken nets, were a disaster.