Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Call for submissions

Call for experiences, best practices and scalable solutions for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture

Biodiversity is the cornerstone of sustainable production and food security. It contributes to the health of ecosystems, the sustainability of food production and the resilience of livelihoods. The agricultural sector - plant and animal production, fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry - depends on biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides, but it is also the sector with the greatest influence on biodiversity.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in December 2022 sets the course for global biodiversity action over the next six years and beyond. It includes 23 targets to achieve by 2030, several of which specifically concern the agricultural sector. Its implementation will require the involvement of stakeholders in the agricultural sector. 

This challenge will be the subject of the International Symposium "Agriculture, Biodiversity and Food Security: From Commitments to Actions", to be held in Quebec City, Canada, from April 30 to May 2, 2024.[1] The Symposium will discuss technical recommendations to facilitate the agricultural sector's commitment to achieving sector-relevant targets. These recommendations will build on efforts already underway to integrate biodiversity into agriculture, and will take into account the opportunities, constraints, and challenges, for food producers and all other stakeholders, that need to be addressed to better integrate biodiversity into agriculture.

Through this call for submissions, the steering committee of the Symposium and its co-chairs are inviting stakeholders to submit contributions on experiences and best practices, and concrete, scalable solutions concerning biodiversity and agriculture, in order to inform the Symposium and facilitate the development of recommendations.

A first version of the recommendations (Zero Draft) serves as a reference for completing the template for submissions.

The call is open until 18 March 2024.

How to take part in this call for submissions:

To take part in this Call for submissions, please register to the FSN Forum, if you are not yet a member, or “sign in” to your account. Please download the submission template (English, French or Spanish) and upload the completed form in the box “Post your contribution” on this webpage. Please keep the length of submissions limited to 1,500 words and feel also free to attach relevant supporting materials. For any technical support regarding downloading or uploading the submission form, please send an email to [email protected].

We look forward to receiving your contributions, which will undoubtedly enrich the Conference and its outcomes.


Julie Bélanger, Natural Resources Officer (Biodiversity), Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, FAO

[1]The International Symposium "Agriculture, Biodiversity and Food Security: From Commitments to Actions" is co-organized by the Laval University (UL), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Ministry of International relations and La Francophonie (MRIF) of the Government of Quebec.

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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Dear Participants,

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the numerous valuable contributions we have received for this call for experiences, best practices and scalable solutions for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture. We truly appreciate the time and effort that you put into submitting your contributions and have been reading your input with great interest! 

The Call was hosted on behalf of the steering committee and co-chairs of the International Symposium "Agriculture, Biodiversity and Food Security: From Commitments to Actions", to take place in Quebec City, Canada, from April 30 to May 2, 2024. It ran for a total of 6 weeks in February-March 2024. During this period 128 submissions and comments were received, from a diverse group of participants located in over 50 countries.

Looking towards the Symposium, the results of this call will help inform discussions and recommendations to help translate global commitments on biodiversity into action. The outcomes of the Symposium will be made available on the FSN Forum.

Thank you and best regards,

On behalf of the steering committee of the Symposium and its co-chairs

Norman Uphoff

Cornell University
United States of America

Contribution for international Symposium on “Agriculture, Biodiversity and Food Security: From Commitments to Actions,” Quebec, April 30-May 2, 2024

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar is an agroecologically-informed set of principles and practices for growing rice, the world’s most widely grown and consumed food grain. Initially used with irrigated rice production but now also with rainfed cropping, SRI capitalizes upon biological processes and potentials that exist within rice plants and in the soil systems they grow in, departing from current strategy of relying on new seeds (genomes) and synthetic inputs to increase production. 

Put most simply, SRI management induces more productive and robust phenotypes (crops) from a given genotype (variety). This management leads to higher gain yields from existing varieties, with reductions in inputs such as water, seeds, and agrochemicals. For most rice farmers, it is also labor-saving once the methods have been mastered. SRI is not a usual kind of technology, but rather a change in paradigm. It is still a work in progress, with improvements coming in farming systems and in mechanization.

SRI’s effects are protective or conserving of biodiversity, both above- and below-ground, at the same time these make for a more efficient and sustainable agriculture and for greater food security. This is in part because SRI phenotypes are more resistant to the hazards of climate change, including damage from water stress, storms and wind, and pests and disease, and they also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The principles and practices of SRI are applicable also, with appropriate adaptations, to other crops such as wheat, millet, sugarcane, and some pulses and vegetables. 

SRI achieves more robust and productive plants by two main results from its modifications of crop management: larger and more effective root systems, and promotion of the abundance, diversity and activity of the soil biota, particularly of beneficial soil microbes. The latter live around, on and inside plants, and we are learning that microbes living within plant tissues and cells (as endophytes) can influence plants’ expression of their genetic potential in beneficial ways, so our ‘optic’ for crop improvement needs some revision.

The paper submitted, after reviewing what constitutes SRI, discussed first some indirect effects of SRI crop management on the conservation of biodiversity: how this methodology  reduces crop requirements for water that compete with the needs of natural ecosystems; how SRI reduces the application of agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers that affect soil health and the inhabitants of soil ecosystems; and how it reduces greenhouse gas emissions that are driving global warming and climate change. 

It then discusses direct uses of SRI to help conserve biodiversity, starting with maintaining the genetic diversity of rice, the staple food grown and consumed most widely. It also discusses how civil society and government entities have introduced SRI to help protect endangered fauna such as lemurs, orangutans, rhinoceroses, ibises and storks, and vulnerable ecosystems such as mangrove, forest, and highland biospheres. And it considers how SRI practices benefit the soil biota, on which all other life on earth depends.

SRI is not a ‘silver bullet’ applicable everywhere, and certain limitations and conditions are reviewed in the paper, along with ways to deal with these. SRI is still a work in progress, but it contributes to the agroecological reorientation of agriculture that will help to make this sector an asset for biodiversity conservation rather than an impediment.

Please find the attached file with a short paper on how the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can contribute to conservation of biodiversity, above and below ground, in various ways.

Best regards,

Norman Uphoff

Professor Emeritus of Government and International Agriculture

Department of Global Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Dear FSN-Moderator, 

In response to your call for experiences, best practices and scalable solutions for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture, our team describes a dry chain technology recently appreciated and highlighted by the Agrilinks, USAID. 


Peetambar Dahal, PhD

Subject Matter Expert (Food Loss and Waste Cohort 5)

Seed Scientist (Retd.), University of California, Davis, USA

Former Coordinator of NRNA Americas to Agri Promotion Committee; Asta-Ja RDC-USA; Nepalese Agricultural Professional Association  (NAPA)

Marie-Claude Gallant

Université Laval

Bonjour Julie,

Pouvons-nous inclure une contribution FSN reçue par courriel??


Marie-Claude Gallant

Conseillère – Relations publiques et Protocole

Direction des communications
Université Laval

Since 2018 the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) and the Climakers Alliance gathered over 100 practical solutions co-created by farmers around the world to mitigate and adapt to climate change. While the focus of the initiative was on climate, the 'stories from the field' clearly show that practices implemented to improve farm resilience may have a positive impact in terms of biodiversity conservation and restoration, healthier soils, water quality, regulation of pollination and protection against pests and diseases. The stories testify to the fact that it is possible to balance the fundamental priority of achieving food security and ending hunger with a commitment to protect and restore nature as a key enabler of farming operation. At the sae time, the proposed solutions proved successful because they were informed by and catered to the needs and experiences of the farmers. A greater recognition of the role and engagement of farmers and the development of an adequate system of incentives is thus crucial to overcome existing constraints to the integration of biodiversity into agriculture. The WFO is keen to ensure farmers have a voice in the global conversation and is currently in the process of developing its first-ever policy position on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources, offering a farmer-driven approach to the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework and the achievement of agriculture-related targets.

Dear madam/Sir

I hope first of all thanks, I want give congratulation to the (FSN) moderator manager and all of the working team.

I sent a Indigenous related report and their role in agriculture sector where they are playing the important role to protect the biodiversity in Nepal from the Indigenous women.

With best regards,

Dhanbahadur Magar

Online portal :

Livestock needs not to be forgotten in agrobiodiversity... and: local genetics is an issue of peasant Rights

As mentioned during the FAO Call on the 20th Anniversary of the RtF Guidelines, preserving local genetics is also a question of preserving peasants' right to means for producing food locally (or as stated in this call, place-based solutions). The projects RAISE (Rights-based and Agroecological initiatives for Sustainability and Equity in Peasant Communities) and the Family farms more resilient to climate change with improved cows and adapted local forage show how the agenda on local seeds and breeds needs to combine strategies to improve knowledge and awareness at all levels on the importance of locally adapted genetic resources with concrete efforts in breeding programmes that are context-adapted. 

By the way: The International Year of Camelids provides for another opportunity to communicate on the value of locally adapted livestock: VSF-Suisse pushing for livelihoods diversification through the use of neglected camelids (the one-humped camel being one), is on the forefront of making the Camelids agenda in times of multiple crisis (biodiversity, climate and desertification) more prominent (cf. also, recent impact evaluation of a Camelids project series in Kenya).

Based on our experiences, this is what might be further addressed in the three sections of the call:

  • section A “efforts to conserve, sustainably use and integrate biodiversity”: biodiversity-data should comprise novel approaches such as vegetation mapping as well as traditional, indigenous knowledge; data should be speaking to its users, e.g. phenotypic monitoring in community breeding ;
  • section B “Constraints, opportunities and challenges to be addressed”: existing (breeding) programmes often do not take into account practical issues / logistics which should be the case in future (e.g. ex situ breeding often not possible in rural remote areas which tend to be rich in terms of local breeds);
  • section C “Policies and instruments for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity”: Community-based programmes should be further pushed and supported, so FAO could be really helpful in this.

Albarka is a five-year USAID/BHA funded Resilience Food Security Activity implemented by a consortium led by Save the Children, three local implementing partners—ADICOM, GFORCE, and Tassaght—and two international technical partners—Conflict Management Consulting and VIAMO. Albarka operates in Northern and Central Mali, in the regions of Douentza, Bandiagara, Gao, and Tombouctou. Intra-community conflict, violence caused by armed groups, political instability, and the negative impact of climate change have caused deep poverty and vulnerabilities for people and communities who lack food security, livelihood opportunities, and access to basic services. Albarka’s goal is to improve the food security and resilience of communities impacted by conflict. Communities in Albarka’s implementation areas are particularly impacted by climate change and face the loss of biodiversity, scarcity of water resources, prolonged droughts, degraded soils, pests infestations, degeneration of local genetic resources, siltation of irrigation canals etc... 

Communities in Albarka’s implementation areas are particularly impacted by climate change and face the loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, and prolonged droughts which lead to the overexploitation of natural resources and reduction in biodiversity (flora and fauna).Biodiversity is key for food and nutrition security. In the context of Albarka’s implementation areas different users must collaborate for the conservation and sustainable exploitation of natural resources linked to food production. These include farmers, pastoralists, fisher people. Biodiversity is key to their livelihoods, access to safe and nutritious foods and the general health of their environment. In this context, Albarka focused on the promotion of crop diversification through market gardening, the production of Echinochloa Stagnina (bourgou) and tree planting.   

Market gardening activities led to the diversification of crops thanks to Albarka supporting the introduction of new plant species including orange-fleshed sweet potato, fruit trees and legumes in addition to the vegetables traditionally produced by farmers. Live hedges have also been planted (acacia radiana, ana cardium and lemon tree) to protect the plants in the market gardens. Farmers and communities started reported an increase in animals, insects and birds in and around the market gardens. The rehabilitated Bourgoutiere (Echinochloa Stagnina) not only provide livestock feed, but are an important feeding and breeding habitat for native fish and birds. Market gardens and the sale of bourgou have provided additional sources of income for participants. Albarka has also worked with diverse users (farmers, fishers, pastoralists) to ensure good governance and the fair and sustainable management of these natural resources. 

Long-term implementation of a network of agroecosystem living labs across Canada

As described at COP15 in Montreal, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been building a nationwide network of agroecosystem living labs that bring together farmers, scientists, and stakeholders to collaborate and co-develop, test, and evaluate new solutions to tackle climate change and other agri-environmental challenges, including biodiversity. 

AAFC’s first living labs program, the Living Laboratories Initiative (2018–2023), consisted of 4 living labs that focused on innovations to mitigate and adapt to climate change, protect soil and water quality, and maximize biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Starting in 2021, this network has been scaled up under the new Agricultural Climate Solutions – Living Labs program (2021–2031), which consists of a network of 14 living labs across Canada, with over 1000 people now directly involved in more than 200 innovation activities. 
Submitted by Chris McPhee (AAFC Innovation Management Specialist) on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Agroecosystem Living Labs Network (CALL-Net) Biodiversity Working Group, led by Melanie Dubois (AAFC Senior Riparian and Biodiversity Biologist) and Lauren Des Marteaux (AAFC Field Crop Entomologist / Research Scientist, Sustainable Production Systems).