Sustainable agricultural intensification: indicators and metrics for multi-scale modeling.

I Mouratiadou, (submitter)


Agricultural production is expected to provide food security, respect the environment, sustain rural communities and cover an increasing demand for the bioeconomy. In order to simultaneously address these objectives, sustainable agricultural intensification is seen as a promising strategy that could allow satisfying growing demands for agricultural food and non-food products, while reducing environmental impacts and maximizing resource use efficiency. However, the quantification and ex ante evaluation of sustainable intensification options and their associated trade-offs with respect to the various sustainability dimensions remain a challenge.This study aims to address this challenge by presenting a framework for measuring sustainable intensification. First, we reviewed literature on sustainability criteria for agriculture, biomass and bioenergy production, and metrics and frameworks for measuring sustainable intensification. Second, we developed a framework for quantifying sustainable intensification via transparent, clear and relevant indicators that allow the analysis and weighing of trade-offs across sustainable intensification options and scales. Third, we contrasted the metrics of the developed framework to typical outputs of a number of biophysical and economic models of agricultural systems, across different scales including the field, farm, regional, EU and global levels, in order to evaluate typical modeling capabilities to quantify sustainable intensification.This talk will present the findings of this exercise, demonstrate the operationalization of the framework for the assessment of the dual production of food and non-food products, and propose an approach for further improving the presented sustainable intensification metrics via stakeholder involvement.

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