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August 18, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm IST
Biodiversity Means Landscapes:
Transforming towards Sustainable Agriscapes for Nature and People
18th August 2021, 14:00 Hours – 16:30 Hours (IST)
Agriculture is expected to cover an increasing world food demand for 8.5 billion people in 2030. Conventional agriculture is the leading driver of global land-use change and biodiversity loss (IPBES, 2019). Agricultural intensification and inputs have generated environmental hazards, including water and soils pollution and decline in pollinators’ populations, while around 40% of the world’s agricultural land is degraded, threatening food production as well as other important ecosystem services like soil fertility, water supply and climate regulation.
Conserving biodiversity on farms and in agricultural landscapes (soil, trees, pollinators, natural predators, livestock and crop genetic diversity etc.) will be instrumental to secure the provision of ecosystem services) and minimize the impacts of climate change, especially to achieve food and water security, and secure the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. Within a landscape, the proportion of land used for agriculture, forestry, natural habitat and other purposes depends on how different stakeholder groups value different ecosystem services. It is not a simple task to balance different ecosystem services in these mosaic landscapes, and there is a need to develop a neutral and evidence-based methodology that help achieve optimal outcomes while averting unforeseen risks. Stakeholders could then use this information in negotiations to inform land use planning and to balance the loss, recovery and sustainable use of land.
Aîchi Target 7 specifically addresses sustainable agriculture: “By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.” Target 7 is far from being achieved and the situation may even worsen with the increasing demand for food, fibre and fuel. Given the importance of agriculture to the overall purpose of the Aichi Targets, Target 7 did not reflect the potential biodiversity gains through sustainable agriculture and did not generate sufficient action. SDG Target 2.4 also addresses the issue: “By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality”.
However, the progress towards sustainable agriculture is hampered by the difficulty to measure its conservation benefits, especially the abundance of biodiversity on sustainably farmed land, and related socioeconomic impacts.
For a country like India where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population, and is key to a sound economy (Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing estimated at Rs. 19.48 lakh crore (US$ 276.37 billion) in FY20 and the share of agriculture and allied sectors in gross value added (GVA) of India at current prices stood at 17.8 % in FY20), transforming towards sustainable agriculture becomes all the more important for restoring our land health.
Sustainable agriculture is a central element of forest landscape restoration, ecosystem based adaptation and many other approaches that IUCN supports, including IUCN’s ‘Common Ground dialogues’ which position land health at the heart of sustainable agriculture, an effective concept for convening stakeholder dialogues. EUs ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’ is at the heart of the European Green Deal aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly.
Event Focus and Objectives
The proposed online consultation aims to distil multiple approaches to sustainable agriculture and to foster dialogue between actors in the agriculture and conservation sectors which would pave the way towards transforming conventional agriculture to sustainable mode : i) a reduced environmental footprint and ii) conservation of biodiversity on farms and in farming landscapes. The key questions the consultation aspires to address:
Farmer Producer Companies-led Sustainable Agriculture through Organic Farming in India: Issues and Way Forward
This review paper is a part of joint MSU Extension – MANAGE India publication written by Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, a senior administrator in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India. The paper discusses Farmer Producer Companies/Organizations in India.