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Agriculture and Biodiversity

Developing Indicators for Policy Analysis

Agriculture and Biodiversity by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Zurich, Switzerland, November 2001

What are the impacts on biodiversity of current farm policies and potential reduction of subsidies to agriculture? Are international interests in biodiversity and trade liberalization complementary or in conflict? The OECD is developing a set of agri-biodiversity indicators as a tool for policy makers and other stakeholders to help answer these questions. This project is part of a wider OECD activity to develop agri-environmental indicators.

To help further advance work on agri-biodiversity indicators, the OECD organised an expert meeting. It was held in Zurich-Reckenholz in November 2001 and hosted by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture. This book provides a selection of the 34 papers presented at the meeting by authors from OECD member countries and a range of international organizations. The full set of meeting papers is available on the OECD website (see below). 

A key outcome of the meeting was to establish a common agri-biodiversity framework that helps understand the complexity of agri-biodiversity linkages and identifies suitable indicators to track trends. The framework and indicators depict agriculture in terms of a three-tier hierarchical structure. First are the agricultural genetic resources and life support systems from soil biodiversity. The second tier comprises the structural elements that affect a farm’s ability to support a rich biodiversity, such as how the farm is managed. And the third tier assesses the quality of the farming system by determining how many wild species use farmed habitats.


This book is part of a series of expert meetings (e.g. soil biodiversity, soil organic carbon, landscape) and volumes on Environmental Indicators for Agriculture. Further information on these meetings and related OECD publications are available at: 

French, German and Spanish translations of the Summary and Recommendations are available for free on the OECD Online Bookshop ( and at

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2003
279 pages; ISBN 9789264199217
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Title: Agriculture and Biodiversity
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development