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Publication // Nature-based solutions in agriculture: Sustainable management and conservation of land, water and biodiversity

By F. Miralles-Wilhelm. This literature review from the FAO and the Nature Conservancy incorporates the application of NbS in agricultural landscapes that contribute to reducing negative trade-offs between sustainable production and conservation objectives. Specifically, this review provides a synthesis of literature covering NbS applications in agricultural landscapes to achieve co-benefits in production, climate action (disaster risk reduction, adaptation, and mitigation, and conservation of land, water and biodiversity.

Nbsinagriculture FAO Nature Conservancy


Today, the global food system drives a ten trillion-dollar economy that connects 7.5 billion consumers and a diverse array of more than 1 billion food producers (farmers, ranchers, pastoralists, and fish harvesters). Approximately one-half of the world’s habitable lands are used for agriculture (Ritchie, 2019). Not surprisingly, the food production system has a massive impact on our planet. As we look to the future, global food demand is set to increase 50%, including a 70% increase in protein demand by 2050 (OECD and FAO, 2018). Any solution to our challenges around climate, conservation and human well-being will need to involve a transition in the way we produce food and fiber. Agriculture can begin to use Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to reduce environmental impacts and, in some cases, enhance agricultural productivity. But in order to realize the full potential of Ag NbS to have a positive impact on these problems, we need new ways to fund them that are commensurate with the scale of the opportunities.

"Examples of experiencies in implementation of NbS in agricultural landscapes do suggest however a variety of co-benefits specific to production."


February 2021


FAO and The Nature Conservancy


Miralles-Wilhelm, F. 2021. Nature-based solutions in agriculture Sustainable management and conservation of land, water, and biodiversity. Virginia. FAO and The Nature Conservancy.


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