Ecosystems provide goods and services that support food production—including provision of wild foods and water, pest control and pollination—and biodiversity programming can have significant positive impacts on food security. Similarly, agriculture programming can sustainably increase productivity and incomes while minimizing impacts on the environment, yielding benefits for both food security and biodiversity.
Natural ecosystems capture, store and purify water, allowing biodiversity programming to complement and protect water and sanitation investments. Similarly, by improving waste water treatment and increasing water use efficiency, water and sanitation programming reduces the pollution of aquatic ecosystems and lessens the amount of water taken from rivers or lakes.
Democracy, human rights and governance (DRG) challenges—such as weak institutions, insecure access to natural resources and lack of participation in decision-making—are key drivers of biodiversity loss, and DRG programming can yield substantial benefits for biodiversity. Similarly, biodiversity programming often yields DRG co-benefits by promoting co-management of resources, investments in judicial systems and support to land tenure systems.
Intact, biologically diverse ecosystems play important roles in promoting health and fighting disease by providing goods and services including wild foods, natural medicines, and clean air and water. Human health also plays an important role in biodiversity outcomes, as poor health and low access to health services are drivers of biodiversity loss.
Ecosystems provide goods and services critical to human development and well-being such as food, fiber, clean water, fertile soil and pollination. Opportunities for integrating biodiversity with other development sectors exist throughout the USAID portfolio, and can be realized by the coordination of existing programming, co-location of new activities or planned co-funding.