Showing results for: Ecosystem services
The planetary boundaries concept provides a theoretical upper limit on human activity which the planet is able to sustain without major perturbation to the current ‘Earth system’. Previously, nine planetary boundaries (PBs) have been proposed and recently Steffen et al. (2015) have updated these boundary definitions and assessed the current state of the position of human activity with respect to each boundary. In this article, researchers from a number of food, climate change, agricultural and environmental research institutions around the world build on this work by assessing the impact of agriculture on each PB status, based on a detailed literature review of the available research.
This new handbook, edited by Danny Hunter, Luigi Guarino, Charles Spillane and Peter C. McKeown, presents a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the current knowledge of agricultural biodiversity.
In this article a group of American researchers provide commentary on how sustainable applications of integrated agricultural systems (IAS) can be designed to enhance all ecosystem services, without compromising the land’s resilience. The authors describe IAS as an interactive and synergistic resource transfer between multiple agricultural enterprises over space and/or time.
Planetary health is a new approach that broadens health research to include the health of human civilisations and the natural (external) systems on which they depend. In a new journal, alongside The Lancet Public Health and The Lancet Global Health, The Lancet Planetary Health will explore the links between planetary and human health and how we can protect the environment on which we depend and develop sustainable systems that support human health.
In this Nature commentary Jess Davies from Lancaster Environment Centre discusses the urgent need to deal with the degradation of our soils, focusing on the need for the private sector to take this sustainability threat seriously by taking action on soil. Today one-third of all soils and more than half of agricultural soils are moderately or highly degraded.
In this Nature Comment article, Elena Bennett of the McGill School of Environment and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Québec, argues against the underlying premise of the ‘land-sparing’ vs ‘land-sharing’ debate that has dominated the agriculture-environment discourse for decades, and advocates a new and more holistic approach that focuses on maximising human well-being.
The journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy features a number of articles devoted to the topic of biodiversity policy and economics in its Spring 2012 edition.
This report details the results of a study commissioned by Natural England – it looks at how some of the options under the UK’s Environmental Stewardship scheme provide various ecosystem services which are important to agricultural production and productivity.
A new report published by UNEP argues that the world needs to focus on maintaining and boosting the underlying ecological foundations that support food production to help ensure food security for a growing population.
A paper in Science reports on a study which finds a correlation betweeen species diversity and multifunctionality – ie the number of ecosystem services it performs. The study focuses on drylands on all continents except Antarctica. It concludes that plant biodiversity is crucial to buffering the negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.
This interesting paper by FCRN mailing list member John Ingram, makes the important (but often neglected) point that food security is not just an issue of production, but rather an outcome of multiple social, economic and environmental factors, operating at different scales.