Expansion of the agricultural frontier and destructive farming practices are leading threats to the global environment. On average, 14 million hectares of tropical forest have been converted for crops and livestock each year since 1980. This pressure is projected to intensify as world food requirements double over the next decades. At the same time, coastal and marine ecosystems around the world are suffering from destructive fishing and aquaculture practices, as well as runoff pollution from agriculture and other land-based sources.
Companies and consumers are increasingly recognizing the biodiversity dimensions of their marketplace choices. Agriculture and fisheries businesses can benefit by gaining public recognition for their responsiveness to consumer concerns while helping to sustain the natural resources that guarantee enduring food and fiber supplies. Successful partnerships around the world have shown it is possible to achieve a net benefit by meeting business needs while achieving local conservation and community development goals.
The Center’s Agriculture & Fisheries program works in partnership with leading companies and other organizations that deal with agricultural commodities and fisheries. Projects targeting all levels of the value chain harness companies’ policies, management practices, purchasing power and financial resources to achieve on-the-ground conservation results.