Agroecology: a transformative opportunity for biodiversity and the Rio conventions

What is agroecology?


Agroecology is a holistic and integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture and food systems.

It seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while also addressing the need for socially equitable food systems within which people can exercise choice over what they eat and how and where it is produced.

Agroecology is concurrently a science, a set of practices and a social movement and has evolved as a concept over recent decades to expand in scope from a focus on fields and farms to encompass the entirety of agriculture and food systems.

It now represents a transdisciplinary field that includes the ecological, socio-cultural, technological, economic and political dimensions of food systems, from production to consumption.


Key messages


This policy brief originated in the leadup to COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in December 2022, with a focus on agroecology and agricultural biodiversity as central to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF). While it retains this biodiversity focus, it has been expanded to include climate and land considerations.

This framework call on all countries to support agroecology through 5 key messages:


  1. Industrial food systems are the main driver of biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation. Without transforming food systems, we will not be able to reverse these highly destructive impacts.
  2. Agroecology works with nature and has the power to substantially achieve multiple national targets across issues and scales.
  3. A food systems lens, grounded in agroecology, is central to the implementation of the KMGBF, and to national climate, food and development strategies. Without agroecology, key national goals and targets risk being missed.
  4. There are vital connections between agroecology and conservation.
  5. A call to action: Support biodiverse agroecology for sustainable food systems and climate resilience.


Learn more and visit the FAO Agroecology Hub.

Publisher: Biovision Foundation and partners

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Africa

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