The challenge: Food systems are failing
We need to transform our food systems – what we eat and what we grow.
In today’s complex and interconnected world, what we eat and how we produce it are inextricably bound to the health of people and the planet. A focus on increasing food production without due regard for the environment is causing severe land and water degradation. A focus on addressing hunger without regard for nutritious diets is contributing to an epidemic of heart disease and diabetes. A focus on increasing yields in a few staple foods is contributing to loss of food diversity.
The solution: Increase agrobiodiversity in diets, markets and production systems
A sustainable food system cannot exist without agrobiodiversity.
Agrobiodiversity is the foundation of sustainable food systems. It boosts total productivity and quality of nutrition in the diet. It increases resilience, soil health and water quality while reducing the need for water, synthetic fertilizers and other costly inputs. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to less diverse farms.
Few decision-makers – governments, investors and companies – have welldeveloped policies to mainstream agrobiodiversity in food systems. In a review of 119 National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, only 30% include detailed actions for agrobiodiversity conservation and use.
Without making better use of agrobiodiversity, we will struggle to meet internationally agreed targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Targets.