June 3, 2016

What We’re Reading: Major report says it is time to move on from industrial ag

The EditorsEcoAgriculture Partners

Our favorites from the week of May 30th:

How to leave industrial agriculture behind – IPES Food

EcoAgriculture Partners board member Emile Frison is lead author on a new report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems that says a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build longterm fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems,’ is required to solve the long-term problems generated by industrial agriculture.

We also loved this op-ed by Emile and IPES-Food co-chair and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier DeSchutter that appeared on Food Tank.

Actionable knowledge for ecological intensification of agriculture – Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

This article by Willemien Geertsema, Walter A.H. Rossing, Douglas A. Landis, Felix J.J.A. Bianchi, Paul C.J. van Rijn, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Teja Tscharntke, and Wopke van der Werf lurks behind a paywall, but its main takeaways make it worth finding access. The authors summarize:

  • The industrialization of agriculture has resulted in a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in many parts of the world
  • Ecological intensification of agriculture (EI) aims to develop agricultural production systems with improved ecosystem services
  • We present three case studies from which we develop four principles to further guide the effective development of actionable knowledge for EI: knowledge that informs stakeholder decision making to support sustainable use of ecosystem services
  • Effective implementation of EI requires the inclusion of researchers in social networks of stakeholders

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