Conclusions

In this chapter we have argued that agricultural biodiversity conservation generates several types of benefits, which are realized by different groups in society over time, and this is an important basis for prioritizing, designing, and financing conservation programs. We have noted that agricultural biodiversity conservation has potentially high use values to farm populations in highly heterogeneous and marginal production areas in terms of generating increased productivity and sustainable production systems, and these areas will also likely be significant providers of option and existence values from in situ conservation. An important means of achieving efficient and equitable agricultural biodiversity conservation is identification of areas where there are high potential productivity gains to be made from increasing and enhancing the diversity available to farmers, as well as those which are likely to provide the highest option values of conservation and targeting these for priority under conservation funding. We have also discussed the effectiveness of various types of payment mechanisms for conservation, depending on the supplier and consumer of the good, as well as its nature. We emphasize the wide range of actors who are and potentially could become involved in conservation through the use of a wide range of mechanisms that go well beyond the traditional concepts of conservation activities. A key theme throughout our discussion has been the importance of recognizing human knowledge as a key component of agricultural biodiversity and, thus, the necessity of incorporating means for knowledge preservation as much as the physical conservation of agricultural biodiversity.

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