For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Feeding a Growing Population that Relies on Ecosystem Services
The future of farming, food supply, and protection of natural resources are utterly interdependent.

While all economic sectors depend to some degree on ecosystem services, agriculture has the most intimate relationship with nature. Agriculture depends on healthy ecosystems for services such as pollination for nearly 75% of the world?s crop species, freshwater, erosion control, and climate and water regulation. It also employs 40% of global population and about 70% at the base of the pyramid.

At the same time, agriculture is the dominant influence on ecosystem health, with approximately 40 percent of the Earth?s land cover used for crop production and pasture. The drive for more food to feed a growing population has led to the conversion of forests into cropland, nutrient impacts on inland and coastal waters, and the use of nearly 70% of global freshwater.

Between now and 2050, the global population are expected to increase from around 7 billion to 9 billion. The challenge of feeding a growing population while lifting millions out of poverty is daunting. Yet if sustainable farming practices are adopted, agriculture can continue to provide critical ecosystem services, such as water regulation and carbon controls, while still producing higher yields of food. Niger, for example, has recently witnessed a farmer-led ?re-greening? movement that has reversed desertification and brought increased crop production, income, food security, and self-reliance to impoverished rural food producers.

In the United States, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been leading the way in investing in ecosystem services. Prompted by the 2008 Farm Bill, the agency launched an Office of Environmental Markets with the aim of creating new, incentive-based revenue streams for farmers that adopt more sustainable practices.

At a global scale, the World Economic Forum recently published Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture which seeks to integrate ecosystems services into agricultural practices. Led by several multinational companies, the roadmap encourages increased investment in agriculture for food security, collaboration at a global scale, and private sector implementation of sustainable practices.

Despite these efforts, key questions remain as the agricultural sector faces the triple challenge of population growth, ecosystem degradation and climate change: How can we ensure that, on a global scale, there are sufficient ecosystem services to maximize farm yields on a sustainable basis? What is the baseline for an adequate level of ecosystem services? And what resources, tools and incentives do farmers and ranchers need to meet it?

Next year, the Rio+20 world summit in Brazil will focus on the Green Economy and how to integrate ecosystem services, particularly for the agricultural sector.
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