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Why is biodiversity important?
Agriculture and biodiversity have often been regarded as separate concerns. Although biodiversity underpins much of modern agriculture, the development of contemporary production systems has resulted in extensive land conversion and concomitant biodiversity loss. In order to feed an ever growing population, innovative and acceptable ways of integrating biodiversity conservation and food production need to be identified. Maintaining diversity within agricultural systems is not a novel approach but one practiced by many smallholder farmers globally, in many different ways. The nutritional and livelihood benefits of diverse production systems are one way of achieving food security. Such systems are also more resilient to climate induced events or other shocks. Forests represent an important repository of food and other resources that can play a key role in contributing towards food security, especially if integrated into complex systems that are managed for multiple benefits.