A central component in preventing loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as provisioning of water, from expanding agricultural production is to limit the trade-off between economic growth and biodiversity by stimulating agricultural productivity and more efficient land use. Further enhancement of agricultural productivity (‘closing the yield gap’) is the key factor in reducing the need for land and, consequently, the rate of biodiversity loss (CBD, 2008). This option should be implemented carefully in order to not cause additional undesired effects, such as emissions of excess nutrients and pesticides and land degradation. An increase in protected areas and change towards more eco-agricultural cropping systems and sustainable meat production could have immediate positive effects on both biodiversity and water resource management, while increasing revenues from tourism (CBD, 2008).
From collection: The Environmental Food Crisis - The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal