Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences | Geography Department | Biogeography | News_folder | A land system perspective on sustainable intensification

A land system perspective on sustainable intensification


Allison M. Thomson, Erle C. Ellis, Héctor Ricardo Grau, Tobias Kümmerle, Patrick Meyfroidt, Navin Ramankutty, Gete Zeleke


Summary: How to intensify land systems while lowering the environmental impact of land use is a daunting challenge. A new paper, led by Allison Thomson from the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and just published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, discusses how a land system perspective can help to identify sutstainable intensification pathways.



Abstract: Sustainable intensification of agricultural production is expected to be an important pathway for achieving future food security while protecting the environment. Recognizing that there is no single answer to how different dimensions of intensification can be achieved sustainably, we identify opportunities for research across spatial scales. We focus specifically on research questions around advances in technology and management and suggest that progress on these questions can be made by (i) improving understanding of trade-offs, especially across scales, (ii) recognition of the context-specificity of how agricultural intensification can become more sustainable, and (iii) development, access and wider use of global datasets for integrative research.


Link to the manuscript: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2019.04.011


Citation: Thomson, A.M., Ellis, E., Ramankutty, N., Kuemmerle, T., Zeleke, G., Grau, H.R., Meyfroidt, P. (2019): Sustainable intensification in land systems: trade-offs, scales, and contexts. Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability, 38, 37-43.


Photo: Tobias Kümmerle