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Sustainable Agriculture for Biodiversity – Biodiversity for Sustainable Agriculture

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    Booklet
    Biodiversity for sustainable agriculture
    FAO’s work on biodiversity for food and agriculture
    2018
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    This brochure presents FAO’s work on mainstreaming biodiversity as a cross-cutting theme in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors. It provides examples of on-the-ground activities and highlights relevant international mechanisms. It shows how biodiversity and ecosystems benefit people in countless ways by providing food, clean water, shelter and raw materials for our basic needs. Agriculture is a major user of biodiversity but also has the potential to contribute to the protection of biodiversity.
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    Document
    The Role of Forests, Trees and Wild Biodiversity for Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems and Landscapes 2013
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    Many contend that in order to overcome the world’s nutrition problems, nutrition must become a crosscutting issue, with concrete commitment and attention from a wide range of disciplines. From this assertion has grown the promotion of nutrition-sensitive approaches to economic growth, development, agriculture and food systems (nutrition-specific interventions target malnutrition directly, whereas nutrition-sensitive interventions target the causes of malnutrition by integrating nutrition into po licies and programs in diverse sectors). There have been repeated calls for the international community to prioritize identification ways to leverage agriculture (and agricultural landscapes) to enhance nutrition (and health). Land use change is an often overlooked driver of change in diets, nutrition and food security, especially for rural communities. The synergies between food systems approaches to food security and nutrition and landscape approaches to integrated biodiversity and forest cons ervation should be explored and built on. Forests and trees support food security and nutrition in a number of ways. Forests and wild biodiversity provide nutritionally important foods (including fruits, vegetables, bush meat, fish and insects), that contribute to the diversity and nutritional quality of diets of people living in heterogeneous landscapes. Forests and trees provide fuelwood, an essential and often overlooked component of the food systems in rural areas across the globe. Forests a nd tree products make invaluable contributions to the income of people living in and around them, often providing the only means of accessing the cash economy, thus enabling access to nutritious foods through purchasing. Forests also sustain resilience: forest products are often consumed more frequently in times of food scarcity and can provide livelihood safety nets. When they reach markets, forest and tree products can contribute to the nutrition-sensitivity of global food systems (approximate ly 53% of the fruit available for consumption globally is produced by trees), especially when market chains are supported and developed in a nutrition-sensitive manner. Biodiversity, forests and trees outside forests also provide an array of ecosystem services essential for the sustainability and nutriton-senstivity of agricultural systems (e.g. pollination, water provisioning, genetic resources). A better understanding of the importance of these relationships, and the spatial scales at which th ey function, is needed to ensure they are not overlooked in policy and practice.
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    Booklet
    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Seychelles 2019
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    The climate smart agriculture (CSA) concept reflects an ambition to improve the integration of agriculture development and climate responsiveness. It aims to achieve food security and broader development goals under a changing climate and increasing food demand. CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce/remove greenhouse gases (GHGs), and require planning to address trade-offs and synergies between three pillars: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. The priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected to achieve more efficient, effective, and equitable food systems that address challenges in environment, social, and economic dimensions across productive landscapes. The country profile provides a snapshot of a developing baseline created to initiate discussion, both within countries and globally, about entry points for investing in CSA at scale. Seychelles is a small island state in the western Indian Ocean, which has developed a high-income economy and eliminated extreme poverty. Agriculture contributes about 2.2% of the country’s gross domestic product with tourism and the fisheries and seafood industries serving as the main pillars of the economy. Agricultural land occupies about 3.4% of the total land area of the country. A large portion of the land area (88.4%) is covered by forest mainly natural and established plantations for commercial purposes. Seychelles is divided into two large agro-climatic zones based on biophysical characteristics- mountainous/forest zone high ground and coastal plateau. In terms of agriculture, two agroecological zones can be distinguished mainly based on soil: upland and sandy soil. Main cropping systems includes food crop-based systems and perennial crop-based systems. Livestock production include goat, pig and chicken. Most crop production is under rainfed or irrigation system. Most farms are under 2 ha with backyard farming done to supplement household food or income. The main crops and products include coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potato, cassava, banana and tuna. Seychelles has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in Africa due to the shift from predominantly unprocessed traditional foods to a more westernised dietary intake consisting mainly of refined and processed foods. most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission come from the energy sector, followed by waste and agriculture which contributes 0.79% of the total. Seychelles has outlined in its nationally determined contributions mitigation actions in the forestry, energy and transport, and waste sectors. In agriculture, actions to mitigate climate change include: promotion of agricultural practises such as agroforestry which would involve mainstreaming strategies to limit deforestation and increase the sink capacity of forests. Challenges for the agricultural sector include (i) deforestation and unsuccessful intensification, (ii) uncontrolled urbanisation, land clearing, bush fires and population pressure, and (iii) high reliance on food imports. Agriculture in Seychelles is limited by a lack of arable land and extreme rainfall patterns and meteorological events like tropical storms, floods and droughts. Climate change poses serious challenges to the country such as uncontrolled economic and social consequences of floods, land degradation, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, declining agricultural yields, health vulnerability, and increased occurrence of drought. CSA technologies and practises present opportunities for addressing climate change challenges as well as for economic growth and development of the agriculture sector. Identified CSA practises in use in the country include: crop production under shade houses, inter cropping, use of organic manure and mulch, use of weather information, water control through irrigation, anti-erosion arrangement, windbreak and shelter, and use of climate-adapted seeds. Seychelles has several key institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises. These include government ministries and agency structures of ministries, firms operating in the agricultural sector, academic institutions, specialised laboratories and agricultural research institutes and training centres. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) serving as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and nationally designated authority to the Green Climate Fund is responsible for country’s climate change plans and policies. On the agriculture front the ministry of agriculture and fisheries is the key government institution for partnerships for climate-smart agriculture work in the communities as well as for policy and investment related issues through the national agricultural investment plan. A number of csa-related policies and strategies have been developed: National Programme on climate change strategy, national strategy for disaster risk management, national biodiversity strategy and action plan and the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into the country’s strategic plan- a definitive document intended to guide land-use management up to the year 2040. A number of projects that foster the development of knowledge and evidence on the effectiveness of climate smart agriculture in improving food security, mitigating climate change and improving the adaptive capacities of production systems and populations in Seychelles have received support from various donors and financing schemes. In addition, AfDB, COMESA, FAO, EU, IFAD, etc. have invested hugely in several aspects of the climate/agricultural sector of Seychelles which also include the development and promotion of csa innovations. From various sources of climate finance available internationally, Seychelles is currently eligible for only a limited number of these and has not wholly accessed major funding instruments such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund. The county is a small island nation whose prospects rely heavily on external demand, especially tourism. This poses major challenges for diversification and resilience. Its commitment to csa is relatively new with limited institutions and sources of funding.

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