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Publication | 2021

The Biodiversity Advantage: Thriving with nature - biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and food systems

IFAD recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as climate change and food insecurity. The interventions undertaken at IFAD take into account many aspects of environmental degradation, and the causal relationships behind it, in order to pinpoint areas where action has the most potential for improvement, in communities that often will suffer the most from the effects of continued biodiversity loss.

The report contains five case studies that illustrate the way IFAD  has been tackling the challenges of protecting and enhancing ecosystems while increasing their benefits to smallholders and global benefits.

The case studies are from various contexts, but they have a number of common features: 

  • reducing direct pressures on biodiversity through sustainable smallholder agriculture
  • increasing communities’ nutritional security through the promotion of agrobiodiversity
  • using a participatory approach that builds on the existing capacities of rural people and empowers them, by developing solutions that are culturally sensitive and appropriate to the target groups of each project
  • promoting biodiversity, including agricultural biodiversity, as a strategy to increase smallholders’ resilience to climate change
  • actively seeking out opportunities for the most vulnerable populations, such as women and indigenous peoples, to improve their livelihoods and participation in decision-making