Global Hotspots of Conflict Risk between Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation

Amy Molotoks (Corresponding Author), Matthias Kuhnert, Terence P Dawson, Pete Smith

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Abstract

The global challenges of food security and biodiversity are rarely addressed together,
though recently there has been an increasing awareness that the two issues are closely related. The
majority of land available for agriculture is already used for food production, but despite the
productivity gains, one in nine people worldwide are classified as food insecure. There is an
increasing risk that addressing food insecurity through methods such as agricultural expansion or
intensification could lead to biodiversity loss through destruction of habitats important for
conservation. This analysis uses various indicators of biodiversity at a global scale, including
biodiversity hotspots, total species richness, and threatened and endemic species richness. Areas
where high biodiversity coexists with high food insecurity or a high risk of agricultural expansion,
were examined and found to mainly occur in the tropics, with Madagascar standing out in
particular. The areas identified are especially at risk of biodiversity loss, and so are global priorities
for further research and for policy development to address food insecurity and biodiversity loss
together.
Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalLand
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2017

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Keywords

  • biodiversity conservation
  • food security
  • land use

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