event 28 jun. 2021

Publication // Nature-based Solutions in agriculture: The case and pathway for adoption

By F. Miralles-Wilhelm and T. Iseman. To sustain the future of food systems, producers around the globe must lead a transition to agricultural practices that regenerate landscapes. This report provides much-needed insight on the policy interventions and financial mechanisms necessary to enable sector-wide adoption and implementation of Nature-based Solutions in agriculture.

Nb S The case and pathway of adoptation FAO Publication

Key messages

  1. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are cost-effective interventions that can enhance resilience in agriculture and food production while mitigating climate change and enhancing the environment.
  2. Agricultural producers have a critical role in implementing NbS in their operations and can help to shape wider landscape-scale approaches to Nature-based Solutions.
  3. Policymakers can enable the implementation of nature-based approaches through a variety of means including by law and regulation, economic incentives, capacity building, and communications.


Food system demands have increased exponentially in recent decades and are estimated to continue growing as global populations increase and economic affluence expands. However, the very foundation of a productive system – healthy lands and soils and clean water supply – is already under immense pressure. In fact, by the most credible estimates, up to 52% of global agricultural lands are now moderately to severely degraded, with millions of hectares per year degrading to the point they are abandoned by the land manager. The loss of productive land, coupled with increased food demand, pushes agriculture to be the primary driver in 80% of native habitat loss. Agricultural irrigation is driving the majority of water scarcity issues in high-risk basins threatening food systems, community water supplies, and ecosystem health. These pressures have resulted in the global agriculture sector driving more biodiversity loss, destruction of natural habitat, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources around the world than any other industry.


Iseman, T. and Miralles-Wilhelm, F. 2021. Nature-based solutions in agriculture – The case and pathway for adoption. Virginia. FAO and The Nature Conservancy.



February 2021


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and The Nature Conservancy


Nature-based solutions in agriculture: The case and pathway for adoption

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