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IPBES

Biodiversity central to food security

At the fourth plenary session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) last month, the thematic assessment on sustainable biodiversity use was referred for a second scoping by experts. I suggest that the new analysis needs to include biodiversity's contribution to ecosystem services that are essential to agricultural sustainability and food security.

Agricultural ecosystems are directly linked to human and environmental health (D. Tilman and M. Clark Nature 515, 518–522; 2014). They are essential to the IPBES' ambition to influence progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, by 2050, the food supply for 9.6 billion people will depend on the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and its multiple ecosystem services (see go.nature.com/7ympnb).

A narrow scope that focuses on harvesting wild, uncultivated species will fail to capture biodiversity's importance to ecosystem services. Instead, we need a systems-based approach (see J. Liu et al. Science http://doi.org/627; 2015).

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Correspondence to Fabrice DeClerck.

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DeClerck, F. Biodiversity central to food security. Nature 531, 305 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/531305e

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