The global challenges of food security and biodiversity are rarely addressed together, though recently there has been an increasing awareness that the two issues are closely related. The majority of land available for agriculture is already used for food production, but despite the productivity gains, one in nine people worldwide are classified as food insecure. There is an increasing risk that addressing food insecurity through methods such as agricultural expansion or intensification could lead to biodiversity loss through destruction of habitats important for conservation.
This analysis uses various indicators of biodiversity at a global scale, including biodiversity hotspots, total species richness, and threatened and endemic species richness. Areas where high biodiversity coexists with high food insecurity or a high risk of agricultural expansion, were examined and found to mainly occur in the tropics, with Madagascar standing out in particular. The areas identified are especially at risk of biodiversity loss, and so are global priorities for further research and for policy development to address food insecurity and biodiversity loss together