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Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: Towards a new paradigm of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes

Ecoagriculture Partners, Washington, DC 20001, USA.
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 6.31). 03/2008; 363(1491):477-94. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2007.2165
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The dominant late twentieth century model of land use segregated agricultural production from areas managed for biodiversity conservation. This module is no longer adequate in much of the world. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment confirmed that agriculture has dramatically increased its ecological footprint. Rural communities depend on key components of biodiversity and ecosystem services that are found in non-domestic habitats. Fortunately, agricultural landscapes can be designed and managed to host wild biodiversity of many types, with neutral or even positive effects on agricultural production and livelihoods. Innovative practitioners, scientists and indigenous land managers are adapting, designing and managing diverse types of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes to generate positive co-benefits for production, biodiversity and local people. We assess the potentials and limitations for successful conservation of biodiversity in productive agricultural landscapes, the feasibility of making such approaches financially viable, and the organizational, governance and policy frameworks needed to enable ecoagriculture planning and implementation at a globally significant scale. We conclude that effectively conserving wild biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will require increased research, policy coordination and strategic support to agricultural communities and conservationists.

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Available from: Jeffrey Mcneely, Aug 19, 2015
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    • "However, soil organisms can improve the resistance and resilience of soil against disturbance, for instance by enhancing soil structure (Brussaard et al. 2007). It has therefore been suggested that agricultural practices that stimulate soil biodiversity, such as increased crop diversity, reduced tillage and continuous soil cover, could help mitigate the effects of climate change (de Vries et al. 2012; Scherr and McNeely 2008). Among the enormous variety of life forms in soil, anecic earthworms may be particularly important in ameliorating the effects on soil and plants of intense rains. "
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    • "Rapid alteration of natural habitats, driven by the ever-increasing demand for agricultural land, adds a significant component of habitat variability to tropical environments. Human population-driven habitat alteration is a trend particularly evident in developing countries, where more humans are dependent on the environment for basic survival and where land management practices are relatively poor (Smart et al. 2005; Scherr and McNeely 2008). The loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats through *Corresponding author. "
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