IUCN contributes to top FAO report

In February, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published the State of World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture.

The locals cultivating their crops

The Report assesses biodiversity for food and agriculture and its management worldwide. It is based on information provided by 91 countries and 27 international organizations, analysis of global literature and datasets, and contributions from over 175 authors and reviewers.

IUCN provided inputs to the report, through an analysis of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ to assess biodiversity use for human food and the extent to which that biodiversity used for food is located within the global protected areas network, using Protected Planet.

According to the Protected Planet Report 2018, approximately 15 per cent of land and inland waters, and 7.47% of the world’s oceans lie within protected areas.

IUCN’s analysis finds that over 98% of species used for human food (95% of threatened species) are “covered” by protected areas (i.e. a predetermined percentage of a species geographic range is within protected areas). The analysis concludes that while protected areas are an effective means for conserving biodiversity for food and agriculture, work is needed to improve the effectiveness of protected areas. Protected area networks remain ecologically unrepresentative and poorly connected, and many critical sites for biodiversity are poorly conserved. Work is also needed to increase the assessment of extinction risk to species worldwide.

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