The International Day for Biological Diversity:Biodiversity and Agriculture 22 May 2008

Sustainable Agriculture for Biodiversity Preservation and Stable Livelihoods

Sustainable agriculture seeks to make use of nature’s goods and ecosystem services while producing an optimal yield in an economically, environmentally, and socially rewarding way, preserving resources for future generations. Making the transition to sustainable agriculture for farmers and agricultural producers is a process.

Sustainable agricultural management aims to:
  • use water, land, nutrients, and other natural resources effectively or at the rate they are replenished so that resources are conserved, for example, using water effectively means taking into consideration other ecosystem services that water provides (flood mitigation, nutrient cycling, drinking water supply, and sanitation);
  • manage biodiversity in such a manner that biological resources are sustained, for example, maintaining wild relatives of crop species within agricultural landscapes (woodlots and hedgerows) sustains biodiversity; and
  • minimize the impact of agriculture on the wider environment in order to sustain the other ecosystem services, such as, minimizing chemical inputs, especially non-renewable sources, so there is minimal damage to the surrounding ecosystem.

For more information and to view successful examples of sustainable agricultural practices, please check the work of the “Partners of the CBD” (links on the left-hand side) and visit the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development and the Management of Animal Genetic Resources sites at the Food and Agriculture Organization.