Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November, 19th. Today, during the UN-led Convention on Biological Diversity – Conference of the Parties (CBD COP), a new report was released of 338 community-based solutions to help farmers and other agricultural practitioners adopt ecologically-friendly practices that protect biodiversity.

New report outlines more than 300 community-based farming solutions to protect biodiversity

The report catalogs solutions unearthed by Solution Search: Farming for Biodiversity, a global competition held in 2017 and run in joint partnership by Rare and IFOAM – Organics International, to identify, spotlight, and reward promising solutions for sustainable small-scale farming.

Solutions were submitted from over 75 countries across 6 continents. The vast majority – 85 percent – came from developing countries where biodiversity hotspots, high levels of poverty, food insecurity and climate impacts come together. A quarter of successful solutions specifically target youth, a third focus on the empowerment of women.

The solutions not only showcase biodiversity-farming approaches that work on the ground, but also identify the success factors the solutions have in common, allowing for replication, as well as the design of global policy frameworks needed to stop rapid biodiversity loss.

“One thing the report makes clear is that agricultural communities will play an essential role in showcasing their contribution to a nature action agenda,” said Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. “Community-led solutions that work on the ground and can be scaled and replicated elsewhere are at the heart of this change.”

“This report showcases the inspiring work and innovative ideas of small-scale farmers and agriculture practitioners from communities all over the planet,” said Brett Jenks, President and CEO of Rare. “This report provides a pathway for NGOs, governments, and other practitioners to scale the adoption of the sustainable behaviors needed to protect biodiversity, and ensure people and nature thrive.”

“Smallholder farmers are nourishing communities the world over,” said Gabor Figeczky, Head of Global Policy at IFOAM – Organics International. “This report shows how the innovative solutions they apply are also safeguarding biodiversity for generations to come and provides guidance on how policy frameworks can support their replication.”

“The report shows how the most successful solutions combine technical and socio-economic strategies to bring about positive change in the ways we grow and consume food and other agricultural products,” said Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

The Farming for Biodiversity report identifies “steps to success” that are common across the 338 solutions and correspond with the current CBD Strategic Goals. The steps include:

  • Transforming attitudes towards nature by boosting social awareness and behavior change
  • Tailoring initiatives to ecological and economic contexts
  • Identifying and strengthening local champions of biodiversity
  • Setting incentives and economic returns to create win/wins
  • Creating spaces and support for bottom-up community engagement

The report also identifies recommendations to funding partners, policy makers, researchers and program planners focused on removing barriers to community engagement in sustainable farming solutions as well as providing enabling governance framework and funding structures.

The report is part of a larger initiative run in joint partnership by Rare and IFOAM – Organics International, and is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), a German initiative supported by The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

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