The agricultural sector depends heavily on biodiversity. Biodiversity sustains food systems by keeping soils fertile, pollinating plants, purifying water and air, keeping fish and trees healthy, and fighting crop and livestock pests and diseases. Biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including climate change. It makes a variety of contributions to the livelihoods of many people, often reducing the need for food and agricultural producers to rely on costly or environmentally harmful external inputs. Many key components of biodiversity for food and agriculture at genetic, species and ecosystem levels are in decline. The proportion of livestock breeds at risk of extinction is increasing. Overall, the diversity of crops present in farmers’ fields has declined and threats to crop diversity are increasing.
Agriculture is a significant cause of biodiversity loss. Intensive farming often relies on the intensive use of lands, water and agrochemicals, putting severe pressure on natural resources. As a result of agricultural intensification, global pesticide use has continued to grow over the past 20 years. Pesticides are often used as the first line of defense primarily because of a lack of understanding of pest ecology and the importance of overall crop husbandry. This trend can and has to be reversed. Agricultural systems can be designed to build on and enhance natural biodiversity while at the same time sustaining production and profitability. The adoption of ecosystem-based approaches is essential for halting the loss of biodiversity and achieving resilient societies and ensuring food security and nutrition.
In addressing the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity loss, the ACP MEAs Programme targets the mainstreaming of biodiversity into agriculture policies and practices and better management of hazardous pesticides and other chemicals applied at different stages of agricultural production. Read more
Governance and Knowledge
We Strengthen the capacities of national and regional institutions on policy development and biodiversity mainstreaming for the implementation of relevant conventions in agriculture
We enhance regional collaboration and dissemination of best policies and practices across ACP countries
Conservation of biodiversity
We enhance the integration and field implementation of measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the sound management of chemicals and waste in agriculture, forestry and fishery in ACP countries