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Conservation versus food production in Africa: better managing trade-offs

Phil Franks

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

Agricultural expansion is the greatest driver of the loss of nature and its biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide. In Africa, this is primarily the expansion of food crops to meet growth in domestic food demand. Further losses are inevitable before the situation stabilises. But they could be greatly reduced by better managing the trade-offs between conserving nature and increasing agricultural production. The much-discussed ‘transformative change’ needed to make this happen will be as much if not more about better governance than improved technology. This briefing explains basic concepts of better trade-off management and identifies four key changes in policy and practice needed to bring this about.

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With the support of country partners, IIED is conducting research to better understand existing and future competition and trade-offs between food production and natural forests, and the implications for land use policies in sub-Saharan Africa.

More at www.iied.org:
Food demand and forests in sub-Saharan Africa

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