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This paper outlines the challenges and trade-offs involved in redesigning food systems to restore biodiversity and/or prevent further biodiversity loss, and presents recommendations for action.

The paper introduces three ‘levers’ for reducing pressures on land and creating a more sustainable food system. The first is to change dietary patterns to reduce food demand and encourage more plant-based diets. The second is to protect and set aside land for nature, whether through re-establishing native ecosystems on spared farmland or integrating pockets of natural habitat into farmland. The third is to shift to more sustainable farming. All three levers will be needed for food system redesign to succeed.

The recommendations for action are based around a series of major summits and conferences on food systems, climate, biological diversity, nutrition and related areas scheduled in 2021. These offer a unique opportunity for a ‘food systems approach’ to become embedded in international policy processes.

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