UN Biodiversity Conference

4-17 December, Cancun, Mexico
9 December 2016 | All day | Rio Conventions’ Pavilion, Universal Building – “B” Main floor

Forest and Agriculture Day

All day

Rio Conventions’ Pavilion, Universal Building – “B” Main floor

Forest and Agriculture Day

Complementing the roles of agriculture and forestry to achieve socio-ecological and sustainable development priorities

Forested lands play an important role in the production of food, fuel, fiber and the provisions of other goods and services critical for human well-being. The quality and quantity of wild crop relatives and other forms of biodiversity, that underpin production systems, also benefit from forests in different ways.

The long-term sustainability of agricultural production and overall food systems profit from the ecological functions of forests and trees as well. Key benefits include soil conservation, water cycling, pollination, pest and diseases regulation, carbon sequestration and storage, nutrient conversion, nitrogen fixation and habitat protection, including for pollinators. For agriculture, the biodiversity in forest ecosystems is a key component to ensure nutritional diversity, as well as a continued flow of yields, with lowered costs. Tackling food security and biodiversity conservation in forests, in the face of climate change, requires a better understanding, as two mutually supportive objectives in managed landscapes.

However, every year large areas of forested land are being lost. The majority of crop and livestock production systems are, unfortunately, still contributing to negative environmental externalities, and agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation.

With population growth expected to exceed nine billion people globally in 2050, and current patterns of consumption and production adding pressure to already scarce natural resources, meeting the world’s demand for food and forest-based products will require innovative, cost-effective and inclusive measures. Climate change presents an additional threat, already affecting agriculture and food systems in many regions. This compounds the challenge to achieve food security, sustainable land management and poverty eradication goals.

While the implications need to be better understood, several countries are already enabling productive sectors to become more resilient and able to adapt to climate change, contributing to the reduction and removal of greenhouse gas emissions, where possible. The Forest and Agriculture Day will bring the perspectives of different stakeholders to describe why, how and who are championing solutions for producers to improve their livelihoods, increase productivity and reduce losses and waste.

Organized by:

With support from:

Panelists :
Braulio Dias (SCBD) and Terry Sunderland (CGIAR rep)


Welcome Address: Biodiversity mainstreaming for climate smart agriculture, food security and sustainable forest management

Highlights from key meetings on mainstreaming biodiversity in productive sectors

Mexican Government representative (TBC)

Hesiquio Benítez, Director General de Cooperación Internacional e Implementación, CONABIO

Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat

Eva Muller, Director, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO

Keynote:  Highlights from the State of the World’s Forests 2016, Eva Muller

Q&A- Facilitated by Catalina Santamaria, CBD Secretariat



Session 1: Forests and trees – an essential element of sustainable agriculture

Keynote: Forests, Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Terry Sunderland, Principal Scientist, CIFOR Forests and Livelihoods program and Lead on the Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition Report for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

Panel discussion on the contributions of forests:

  • Terry Sunderland, CIFOR
  • Dietmar Stoian, Bioversity
  • Hein Ngo, IPBES

Q&A – Facilitated by Phil Dobie, ICRAF


Session 2: Land use frameworks that secure conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Keynote: The role of policy and legal frameworks governing land-use change, and securing land-tenure systems

Country perspectives: Vietnam, Gambia (TBC)

Stakeholder perspective: Brandee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary

Q&A Facilitated by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds


Lunchtime session: Ecological intensification and ecosystem services

Keynote: Recognizing the value of agro-forestry systems to global production

Dr. Salman Hussain, UNEP TEEB Coordinator

Discussion Topic: Oliver Page, Regional Climate Change and Environmental Specialist Environment and Climate Division, IFAD

Panel Discussion:

  • Bernardo Strassburg, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainability (IIS)
  • Sarah Nelson, RSPB
  • Mafabi Gumonye Paul, Director of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda

Q&A Facilitator: Oliver Page, Regional Climate Change and Environmental Specialist Environment and Climate Division, IFAD


Session 3: Use of policy instruments for landscape connectivity

Discussion topic: Incentives that promote landscape connectivity to contribute to broader development priorities

  • Laura Plant, Price Waterhouse Cooper

Country perspectives:

  • Felipe Carazo, Executive Director FUNDECOR, Costa Rica
  • Mohamed Ali Ben Temessek, Deputy Director, General Direction of Environment and Quality of Life, Tunisia

Business perspective: Syngenta Representative, Switzerland

Q&A Facilitator: Peter Besseau, Chair of the GPFLR and UNFF12


Session 4: Commitments to zero deforestation and other sustainability standards

Discussion topic: Translating commitments into practice – How to measure impacts on various aspects of sustainability

Dietmar Stoian: Principal Scientist, Bioversity

Stakeholder approaches:

TRASE, a new kind of transparency platform: Sarah Lake, Head of Programme, Drivers of Deforestation, Global Canopy Programme

High Conservation Values Assessments: Planning private sector expansion of agricultural commodities to minimize impact on climate and biodiversity: Paulina Villalpando, Executive Director of the HCV Network

 Q&A Facilitator: Blaise Bodin, CBD Consultant


Session 5: Coordinated policies governing land use and land-use change related to forests, biodiversity, agriculture and energy


Stakeholder perspectives:

Levi Sucre, de la Red de Indígenas Bribri y Cabecar (RIBCA) en Costa Rica

Alianzia Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB) (including video)


  • Nigeria representative
  • Mexico representative
  • Ulrich Apel, Land Degradation and Forest Officer, GEF
  • Eva Muller, Director, FAO
  • Salman Hussain, UNEP TEEB Coordinator

Q&A Facilitator: Paulina Villalpando, Executive Director of the HCV Network