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Commercial Agriculture and Forestry Could have a Net Positive Impact on Biodiversity

The importance of biodiversity has been reaffirmed in the current Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. To “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” is one of the 17 goals that the member state representatives to the United Nations have agreed.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature( IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, agriculture impacts 8,482 threatened species globally, while forestry impacts 7,953 threatened species, compared to the infrastructure and extractive sectors, which impact up to 4,688 and 1,692 threatened species respectively.

While agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss it could also significantly contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. This is what the new IUCN report No Net Loss and Net Positive Impact: Approaches for Biodiversity affirms. The report finds that under certain conditions, companies could have a greater impact in reducing biodiversity loss than in other sectors. Applying No Net Loss (NNL) and Net Positive Impact (NPI) approaches to agriculture and forestry landscapes are two of the solutions that IUCN proposes in the report.

The document is an outcome of a working group convened by IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme in 2013 that brought together experts on this issue from both the business and conservation communities.

This is an important finding that could inform the new process at the UN Committee on World Food Security on Forestry. The CFS has commissioned its High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) to prepare a report on Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition to feed into the debate at its 44th session in 2017. Emerging ag serves as the Secretariat of the Private Sector Mechanism to the CFS. We are running a working group on forestry. If you are interested in joining this schedule of work with colleagues from the forestry sector, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Read the full report here (PDF).

Morgane Danielou

Morgane has been working in international development and communications in relation to the agrifood sector for the past 15 years. She has worked for international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. She has been a spokesperson for specific industries as well as business groups in international policy processes. For two years, she was the private sector representative at the UN Committee on World Food Security where she helped found the Private Sector Mechanism. She was also vice-chair of the Food and Agriculture Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD. Morgane is passionate about building engagement with diverse stakeholders and representing civil society in United Nations processes and agencies. She has a strong background in corporate and digital communications.

Prior to joining Emerging Ag, Morgane was Director of Communications at the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA). During her time at IFA, she co-chaired the Farming First coalition. She also worked for the World Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She has conducted fieldwork in Latin America and Africa. A French national, Morgane is fluent in French, English, Portuguese and Spanish. She holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, an MBA from the Sorbonne Graduate Business School, a BA in History from the Sorbonne University and a BA in Chinese from the International Institute of Oriental Languages.

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