Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services in East African Agriculture

  • 12th July 2016
  • by secretary

5 July 2016. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) have released a joint document that provides technical and policy guidance to East African governments on measures promoting the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural production.

Year of publication: 2016
Publisher: FAO
Pages: 170 p.

The document titled, ‘Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity into Agricultural Production and Management in Eastern Africa,’ Practical issues for consideration in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to minimize the use of agrochemicals, aims to promote mainstreaming through countries’ National Biodiversity and Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). NBSAPs are the main policy tool for implementing the CBD’s provisions at the national level and achieving the Convention’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The document features three parts, the first of which provides definitions and an overview of the international and African contexts. The second part provides detailed technical information on how ecosystem services and biodiversity can be used to minimize the use of agro-chemicals in agricultural production in East Africa. It describes ecosystem services, related practices, challenges and potential trade-offs in the following areas: pest and disease control; weed management; enhancing soil fertility; water conservation; pollination; management of agro-pastoral production systems; farm-level management of crop, tree and livestock integration; and farmers’ traditional knowledge and innovation.

The third part of the document focuses on practical advice for policy makers in mainstreaming ecosystem services in agriculture. The first chapter of this section describes the international policy framework and gives examples and experiences of how agro-ecosystem services are being handled in the European Union (EU). The second chapter presents a case study of Kenya’s national policy framework and policy instruments that are being used in various agricultural sectors in Kenya. The final chapter presents policy recommendations for promoting biodiversity and ecosystem services in agro-ecosystem management in NBSAPs as well as recommendations for policy entry points with regard to various national actors.