FAO Discusses Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors
Photo by Arturo Rivera
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Participants at the 'Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors' took stock of the state of current biodiversity mainstreaming efforts and considered future work under FAO's Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform.

To address multiple SDGs, FAO launched the Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform to build bridges between sectors, identify synergies, align goals, and develop integrated cross-sectoral approaches to mainstream biodiversity in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.

31 May 2018: Transformative changes are needed to produce healthy and nutritious food while simultaneously safeguarding the planet’s biodiversity. This was one of the messages of the ‘Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors,’ hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

Held from 29-31 May 2018, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, and organized jointly with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the dialogue brought together ministers, experts and stakeholders from agriculture, fisheries, forestry and the environment. Participants took stock of the state of current biodiversity mainstreaming efforts and experiences at different levels, and considered future work under FAO’s Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform.

The Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform was launched by FAO to build bridges between sectors, identify synergies, align goals, and develop integrated cross-sectoral approaches to mainstream biodiversity in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. It was welcomed by the CBD Conference of the Parties at its thirteenth meeting. Addressing, in particular, SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land), the Platform has the objective of mainstreaming biodiversity through:

  • facilitating dialogue among governments, communities of practice and other stakeholders;
  • facilitating the exchange of information and data on biodiversity and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices and policies among stakeholders; and
  • translating knowledge into policy-related actionable recommendations for consideration by FAO’s Governing and Statutory Bodies.

‘Biodiversity is essential for safeguarding global security and nutrition, improving rural livelihoods, and enhancing the resilience of people and communities,’ said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his keynote remarks. With large parts of the planet used to grow food, raise animals or produce products such as timber, the agricultural sector, if managed sustainably, can make significant contributions to protecting biodiversity, he added. He also described how the loss of agricultural biodiversity poses a direct risk to food security.

The Dialogue included plenary sessions and parallel working groups, which considered specific aspects of biodiversity mainstreaming: national legislation; global governance; certification; and incentives and investment. It will provide inputs to the FAO Regional Conferences and relevant Technical Committees, which will consider biodiversity mainstreaming at their forthcoming sessions, as well as the fourteenth session of the CBD Conference of the Parties, to be held in November 2018. [UN Press Release] [Dialogue Webpage] [Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform Webpage]


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