Agricultural ecosystems and their services: the vanguard of sustainability?

An interesting recent article takes a new perspective on the role of agriculture in managing for sustainability.

Agricultural landscapes provide a unique opportunity for addressing many of the environmental and development objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Agricultural systems are simultaneously dependent on and providers of ecosystem services with long histories of interventions and direct management. In this paper the authors present a framework for operationalizing ecosystem services and resilience based approaches to address landscape management challenges. The authors present five core principles to guide the research and application of ecosystem service and resilience approaches in agricultural ecosystems and landscapes. These principles emphasize the need for the consideration of 1) people, particularly the poor or disadvantaged; 2) the relationship between people and nature; 3) cross-scale and cross-level interactions; 4) governance; and 5) building resilience.



DeClerck, F. A. J., Jones, S. K., Attwood, S., Bossio, D., Girvetz, E., Chaplin-Kramer, B., Enfors, E., Fremier, A. K., Gordon, L. J., Kizito, F., Lopez Noriega, I., Matthews, N., McCartney, M., Meacham, M., Noble, A., Quintero, M., Remans, R., Soppe, R., Willemen, L., Wood, S. L. R. and Zhang, W. 2016. Agricultural ecosystems and their services: the vanguard of sustainability?’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 23, pp. 92–99. doi: link.

PECS - Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University
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The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), is a core project of Future Earth. It aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social–ecological system and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality and poverty.