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Agricultural Biodiversity: Overview PDF Print E-mail
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Agricultural biodiversity is a broad term that includes all components of biological diversity of relevance to food and agriculture, and all components of biological diversity that constitute the agricultural ecosystems, also named agro-ecosystems: the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes. It is the outcome of the interactions among genetic resources, the environment and the management systems and practices used by farmers. This is the result of both natural selection and human inventive developed over millennia (CBD-COP decision V/5, appendix).  The goals of the work programme are:



  • Promote the positive effects and mitigate the negative impacts of agricultural practices on biological diversity in agro-ecosystems and their interface with other ecosystems;
  • Promote the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources of actual or potential value for food and agriculture; and,
  • Promote the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources (decision III/11, paragraph 1).
Structured to take into account the different dimensions of agricultural biodiversity and is based on four elements:
  • assessing the status and trends of the world’s agricultural biodiversity,
  • identifying adaptive management techniques, practices and policies;
  • building capacity, increasing awareness and promoting responsible action; and,
  • mainstreaming national plans and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity into relevant agriculture sectors.