In 2010, governments adopted the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets as part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and progress and actions in addressing these targets will be reviewed at CBD COP13. However, five years after their adoption, it is widely recognised that further efforts are needed in order to achieve these targets and to reverse the effects of biodiversity loss. Fully understanding the drivers behind such loss, and ways to reverse them, are of fundamental importance in addressing this.
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets are also highly relevant for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by governments in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs address the complex challenges we face in our interconnected world, and are a call to action that will shape the next 15 years of policies, programmes and funding. They are equally relevant to all countries, and across all sectors. Agriculture is strongly connected to achieving the goals. Investing in the agricultural sector can address not only hunger and malnutrition, but also other challenges related to poverty, loss of biodiversity, water and energy use, climate change, and unsustainable production and consumption patterns.
The Eighth Trondheim Conference therefore aims to bring together decision-makers and experts from governments, private sector, academia, UN agencies and other non-governmental organisations from around the globe to discuss interrelationships between agriculture for food (with a special focus on crops and livestock) and biodiversity, and to identify approaches for the achievement of mutually beneficial and sustainable outcomes. It is intended that the deliberations and report of the Conference will amongst other things provide inputs to the high-level segment of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Mexico in December 2016 (CBD COP13).
A significant determining factor for the future status of terrestrial, coastal and freshwater biodiversity is the agricultural sector. This sector faces significant challenges in meeting the needs for increased quantity and quality of food for a growing world population, and is at the same time trying to address other dimensions of sustainability, including environmental impact. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are a critical foundation for food production, and the agricultural and food sector is also an important provider of ecosystem services and contributor to human well-being.
Better integration of biodiversity and agriculture in policies and actions will help provide solutions for the challenges we will face between now and 2030. Efforts to meet an increasing demand for food while conserving biodiversity can be mutually supportive, with tools and approaches that can help in advancing both agendas. Building on the outcomes of the Seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity "Ecology and Economy for a Sustainable Society", the Eighth Conference will explore the role of agriculture and food systems in building a sustainable future, and how biodiversity and agricultural policies can be mutually supportive to address shared challenges and to provide shared solutions.
Expanding opportunities for constructive dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders is one of the basic steps in integrating biodiversity and agriculture considerations into each other's operations. This will be essential to the delivery of both the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs. Since 1993 the Trondheim Conferences on Biodiversity have provided opportunities for dialogue and capacity enhancement amongst stakeholders on current issues relating to the biodiversity agenda. They intend to provide a forum for open and constructive dialogue, leading to a transparent and scientifically sound basis for addressing each of the chosen issues. The partners of the 8th Trondheim Conference are: the Norwegian Government, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank.