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FAO's Technical Guidance Document: Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity into Agricultural Production and Management in the Pacific Islands

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This guidance document primarily considers the regulatory services and how they may be promoted and enhanced to support more sustainable production (provisioning services) and reduce externalities detrimental to biodiversity by reducing reliance on chemical inputs. Other services, however, such as the cultural values of agriculture and related indigenous knowledge systems, are also important in supporting efforts towards an improved ecological foundation of agriculture.

Chapter 2 introduces the international framework for chemical management and biodiversity conservation. Part II then addresses a number of technical aspects related to mainstreaming ecosystem services and biodiversity management in agricultural production in the Pacific Islands, with the objective of reducing the use of agrochemicals and increasing overall sustainability of farming systems across the subregion. It covers the key challenges to sustainable agricultural production in the subregion – the role of ecosystem services and biodiversity in relation to soil fertility, biological pest control, ecological weed management, management of invasive alien species, integrated farming systems, organic agriculture and ecotourism – and examples of the types of production systems and best practices that are best placed to preserve and enhance agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

Part III looks at the policy context. In particular, it identifies relevant entry points for policy instruments that stakeholders across the subregion can use to achieve the final goal of mainstreaming an ecosystem approach in agricultural production and management. This section especially looks into NBSAPs as policy instruments that are ideally placed for achieving this goal, considering their scope and their cross-sectoral and “living” nature. Case studies from the subregion explore issues related to the use of incentives for ecosystem services as a mechanism for funding best ecosystem management practices.

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