WWF and ICRAF announce partnership to restore nature through food systems transformation

Posted on December, 14 2022

Partners call on CBD negotiations to commit to increasing agroecological food production practices
As environmental ministers at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (UNCBD COP15) negotiate an agreement to tackle catastrophic degradation of our planet, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) have announced a partnership to accelerate implementation of food-based actions that will help restore nature and limit climate change. The two organisations will partner on major initiatives that support farmers in utilizing the power of natural ecosystems to build healthy and productive food systems that provide enough healthy and nutritious food within planetary boundaries.

“It is critical that the Global Biodiversity Framework commits to halving the footprint of our production and consumption by 2030. This requires a commitment to shift towards regenerative food production practices,” said Joao Campari, Global Food Practice Leader, WWF. “By teaming up with ICRAF, we are increasing our shared ability to deliver these solutions. Our partnership will support stakeholders, including governments, gathered at COP15 to translate the commitments made in Montreal to implementation in their own ecosystems, for the benefit of people and nature.”

To date, food systems have caused 80 per cent of all deforestation and 70 per cent of all biodiversity loss on land. Moving away from unsustainable intensive agriculture to nature-positive or agroecological production practices like agroforestry will reduce the threat of further deforestation and wildlife species decline, without damaging future food security. It will also help restore soil health, mitigate climate change and secure equitable futures for all. The power of food systems to restore soil health is a key converging point of the three UN Rio Conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

“Decisions for the future of our planet must be based on evidence and science. The science is clear that we need urgent action, and it’s also clear that agroforestry is a critical solution to making farming and livelihoods more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable at scale,” said Ravi Prabhu, Director General, ICRAF. “ICRAF and WWF are working together to turn this science into solutions that are implemented immediately.”

Areas of implementation on which WWF and ICRAF will partner include the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH) that emerged from last year’s UN Food Systems Summit; enhancing data and bringing together the global community through WWF’s Global Grasslands and Savannahs Initiative to elevate the profile of these crucial ecosystems; and driving action in key African landscapes in which conservation and agriculture converge.

“We are very proud to be working together,” added Campari and Prabhu. “Nature restoration depends on food systems transformation, but this can only be achieved through knowledge sharing and collaboration. It’s too big a challenge for any one organisation to take on. We look forward to working together and with other actors across the food system, from farms to government forums.”
WWF and ICRAF announce partnership to restore nature through food systems transformation