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Agrobiodiversity is the foundation of sustainable agricultural development. It includes the diversity of plants, animals, fish, trees and microbes that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture. The human race could not survive without access to this diversity, which enables plant and animal species and agroecosystems to evolve and adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Agrobiodiversity will play an increasingly important role in enabling agriculture to achieve gains in productivity, improve sustainability, support improved livelihoods for the rural poor (and increasingly the urban poor) and meet the challenge of changing production conditions such as those resulting from climate change, population growth, urbanization and an increasingly degraded environment. Changes will be needed in both the nature and the amounts of agrobiodiversity used. Agricultural production systems need to be focused more on the effective conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to address the triple objectives of environmental sustainability, food security and improved livelihoods.