The 3rd International Conference on Biodiversity and the UN Millennium Development Goals will take place between October 29-31, 2014 in Aix-en-Provence, France. under the tematic title "Biodiversity and Food Security – From Trade-offs to Synergies".
This conference is the third in a series, organized by the French CNRS Institut Ecologie et Environnement (InEE) and the German Leibniz Association (WGL). The conference is based on invited keynotes and contributed posters for any of the topics relevant to the conference theme. Keynote speakers are now confirmed, including Professor José Sarukhán, UNAM, México, and Professor Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP, Nairobi.
Across scales from genes to species, landscapes and biomes, biodiversity is an important resource for humanity. It is the key for a broad range of services provided by ecosystems. Biodiversity helps regulate the nutrient cycle, water (e.g. floods) and mitigates impacts of climate change. Biodiversity is also of direct importance for human well-being and for cultural and other values including recreation. The provisioning of clean water and diverse food supply makes it vital for all people.
Biodiversity at all levels, including the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems, is lost at alarming rates. Critical factors for these trends are habitat destruction, global warming and the uncontrolled spread of alien species. Pollution, nitrogen deposition and shifts in precipitation further affect biodiversity.
Food security faces significant challenges due to population growth, poverty, globalization, climate change and other factors. Supplying healthy food to all citizens is crucial for global development - to reach it, not only food production but also equitable access to food for all people must be improved substantially. Biodiversity loss and global food security are hence two major challenges of our time.
Linking biodiversity and food security issues from a research perspective, and seeking synergies between them is likely to generate multiple benefits for social, ecological and economic development.