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Biodiversity in Action — #1









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    Book (stand-alone)
    Report on monitoring schemes and data collection on biodiversity for food and agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 2021
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    Biodiversity protection encompasses key aspects directly related to the sustainability of our food systems: BFA provides a diverse and heterogenous biological basis for diverse and resilient production systems, for the pollination of cultures, for increased diversity of food, and is strongly linked to local and indigenous knowledge on local crops and breeds acknowledged as cultural heritage. This study examines the existence of data collection, monitoring systems, and conservation initiatives as well as legislation and policies related to biodiversity for food and agriculture in the three following regions: (1) Central Asia, (2) the South Caucasus countries, Turkey, Belarus and Ukraine and (3) the Western Balkan countries and the Republic of Moldova. From this study, it appears that none of the three studied regions currently have any solid monitoring schemes for agricultural biodiversity, nor do they have a strong legal framework for protecting farmers’ rights to seeds that would allow them, amongst other things, to maintain biodiversity. Conservation actions, policies, and legislation generally concern wild biodiversity conservation (through habitat protection) and crop genetic resources conservation but rarely address biodiversity for food and agriculture or wild biodiversity loss caused by food systems. The three regional reports conducted in the framework of this study reported a general lack of capacities and a particularly low level of involvement of farmers and other food producers in monitoring, data collection, and conservation activities. The combination of these two major observations leads us to the conclusion that the governance of BFA should be transformed to put food producers at the centre of biodiversity monitoring and conservation, in dialogue with scientists and institutional actors. Their specific expertise must be acknowledged and valued in the efforts of preserving the biodiversity that they cultivate and sustain. Beyond this needed shift in the governance of monitoring activities, we highlight the necessity of a regional articulation of monitoring efforts and a specific focus on local threatened varieties and breeds (beyond habitat conservation), while very comprehensively considering BFA and wild biodiversity impacted by food systems. Regarding biodiversity protection, we recommend – in addition to farmer-centered data collection and monitoring system implementation – addressing the root causes of biodiversity loss, adopting a systematic approach in legislations, policies, and actions while supporting agroecology, and fulfilling international instruments that guarantee the rights of producers to grow and raise local varieties and breeds.
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    Regional Dialogue on biodiversity mainstreaming across agricultural sectors in the Near East and North Africa region. Programme and Concept Note
    Amman, Jordan, 3 - 5 November 2019
    2019
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    Biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human wellbeing is intimately linked. Biological resources are the pillars that support agriculture and mankind’s capacity to feed itself. The conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity in agriculture are key to the long term sustainability of our food systems, and are therefore a global responsibility. The FAO Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform adopts a systemic and holistic approach to biodiversity mainstreaming, fostering and highlighting the synergies between FAO’s work on biodiversity and connected areas, including agroecology, indigenous peoples, incentives for ecosystem services, agrobiodiversity, low carbon agriculture, nutrition, sustainable rice production, and pollination, among other relevant subjects. The goals of the FAO Biodiversity Mainstreaming Strategy include a) sustainable use of biodiversity through landscape and ecosystem approaches, b) conserve, enhance and restore biodiversity and ensure the continued provision of ecosystem services, c) promote sustainable food and agriculture systems that integrate biodiversity considerations throughout value chains and d) enhance the contribution of biodiversity, and associated indigenous and local knowledge, to food security and nutrition, ending poverty, and safeguarding resilient livelihoods. Regional consultations are being organized during the second semester of 2019 as part of the preparation of the Biodiversity Mainstreaming Strategy. The Regional Consultative Meeting on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors in the Near East and North Africa Region (NENA) is part of this process, and is being organized by FAO in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment of Jordan.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Hand in hand with nature – Nature-based Solutions for transformative agriculture
    A revision of Nature-based Solutions for the Europe and Central Asia region, supported by Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) examples
    2021
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    This report seeks to provide the countries in the Europe and Central Asia region with an overview and real examples of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) applied to agriculture. This is FAO’s first attempt to present NBS applied to agriculture especially pointed at the countries of this region, prompting the scaling-up of these actions as solutions to brought ashore the transition towards resilience and sustainable agriculture. Nature-based Solution is a recent concept that has been rapidly embraced and promoted by international organizations, government bodies, scientific research, and social organizations to face current societal challenges. In agriculture, these solutions are supported by ecosystems functioning to provide food security and livelihoods. By doing so, natural resources and biodiversity are managed in such a way that they maintain their functions providing ecosystem services to the agro-ecosystem. Europe and Central Asia is a highly diverse region in which agri-food systems have had to adapt to severe and context-specific conditions. Therefore, it is also a treasure trove of NbS in agriculture, ingeniously developed and maintained by its local communities for centuries. By providing time-tested successful NbS examples coming from Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), this report encourages the recognition and identification of already existing NbS in the region as supportive actions that could be enhanced thanks to innovation and science. This way "Hand in Hand with nature: Nature-based solutions for transformative agriculture" supports ECA countries to manage natural resources sustainably while also coping with climate change and other threats to agri-food systems.

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