Current agricultural practices are regarded as one of the most significant drivers of biodiversity loss. At the same time, the goal of achieving global food security remains a long way off. The world desperately needs an agricultural production system that is both resilient and contributes to achieving food security. Agricultural biodiversity will play a central role in achieving these twin objectives. By conserving and harnessing agricultural biodiversity, food and agriculture production can contribute to sustaining healthy biodiverse ecosystems. By recognizing the value of agricultural biodiversity, agriculture can deliver more benefits to the communities that manage this biodiversity. In addition, as the world copes with the challenge of adapting to climate change, agricultural biodiversity becomes an especially critical resource. For these reasons UNEP and GEF consider agricultural biodiversity to be a transformative force. Over the past ten years, UNEP and GEF have worked together on twelve innovative agricultural biodiversity projects (http://www.unep.org/dgef/Portals/43/AgBD_publication_FINAL.pdf)
Together these projects have demonstrated agricultural biodiversity´s potential to contribute to overall biodiversity maintenance and ecosystem function, as well as to better nutrition, increased food security and improved well-being in rural communities. In implementing these projects, UNEP has provided support to 34 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The total budget invested through these projects is USD 122 million.