Globalizing Conservation Efforts to Save Species and Enhance Food Production

If the growing needs of humans are to be met, food production must increase; however, increasing food production will further compromise biodiversity. Can this seemingly irreconcilable conflict be mitigated? The solutions proposed so far include reducing food waste and closing yield gaps. Here, we investigate an alternative approach to reducing the impact of agricultural expansion on biodiversity without compromising food production by combining two strategies: taking agricultural production into consideration to solve the biodiversity crisis and promoting the definition of protected areas on the basis of a globalized blueprint. We found that combining these strategies could result in a 78% reduction in the agricultural opportunity costs incurred in the implementation of protected areas. Furthermore, a 30% increase in biodiversity protection could be achieved. We show that the movement toward global governance of natural resources would lead to reduced conflict between the needs of food production and biodiversity conservation.