Project details

Synergies between conservation and food security

The UN estimates that one billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. In the past, mainly natural disasters triggered food crises. Today it is the combination of natural and human causes. High food and commodity prices were responsible for the rampant increase in recent years.

The current high productivity agriculture with its intensity, the levelling of production systems and introduction of a few number of high yielding varieties and species caused a loss of biological diversity.

High prices for agricultural products increase the pressure on agricultural areas which were so far only extensively used or not used. The growing demand of biofuels will lead to extended forest clearance worldwide and to a further boost of food prices.

In its actual reports, the IAASTD emphasizes the importance of a change to a multifunctional agriculture with farmers becoming producers and ecosystem-managers, which contribute to an ecological solution of the food crisis. Critics of a multifunctional agriculture instead work on concepts how exploding metropolises can provide food for themselves (e.g. vertical farming).

This projects aims on identifying approaches and instruments adding to an ecological land use for global food security. Ecological land-use means in this context a land-use, which contributes to the preservation, protection and rehabilitation of ecosystem services. High-ranking experts will be interviewed based on a short, problem oriented appraisal and an international expert workshop will be organised.

Expected outcome of the project will be a white paper/policy document summarizing the fundamental results in concise conclusions and recommendations. The focus lies on instruments and factors, which support and promote an ecological food security. Possible synergies between land-use, biodiversity and climate protection will be highlighted.

The paper should serve as impulse for further exchange and discussions as well as contribution to an international debate (CBD Programme of Work on Agricultural Biodiversity, WTO negotiation, reform of the EU agricultural policy etc.).

Project no.: 



Research | International cooperation |


Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2009 - 2010

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Simone Sterly