Article

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.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Jeffrey Mcneely, Jun 20, 2015
1 Follower
 · 
83 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The significant role that agricultural lands play in the conservation of global biodiversity is increasingly being recognized. Migratory birds, with their wide distributions, high mobility and ability to track variable resources, are common in many agri-cultural habitats. Although presence alone does not guarantee that agroecosystems provide the same benefits to birds as natural habitats, some agroecosystems are considered to have become important for the maintenance of migratory bird populations. In this study we carried out an extensive literature review to examine the presence of migrants in the principal productive habitats of Colombia and Latin America, and we undertook surveys in little studied agricultural habitats in Colom-bia. We found that 87% of the migratory species reported in Colombia occur in agroecosystems either in the country or in Latin America. Shade-grown coffee, cacao and silvopasture supported the highest species richness and abundance of mi-grants. According to the literature, the value of these agroforestry systems increases with increasing shade cover, tree diver-sity and complexity of vegetation structure. Landscape scale effects are also important, like the presence of surrounding nat-ural habitats and of elements that promote connectivity. Field observations revealed that irrigated rice fields contained im-portant numbers of migratory waterbirds (29% of the species considered in this study). Conversely, the richness and abun-dance of migratory birds in maize and teak plantations were much lower, presumably due to the reduction in vegetation complexity and structure found in these monocultures.
    Ornitologia Colombiana 12/2014; 14:3-23.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Convention on Biological Diversity advocates the use of landscape and ecosystem approaches for managing biodiversity, in recognition of the need for increased regional cooperation. In this context, ICIMOD and regional partners have evolved Transboundary Landscape concept to address the issues of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and systems (e.g., biodiversity, rangelands, farming systems, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, etc.). This concept defines the landscapes by ecosystems rather than political/administrative boundaries. The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is extremely heterogeneous, with complex inter linkages of biomes and habitats as well as strong upstream-downstream linkages related to the provisioning of ecosystem services. Seven such transboundary landscapes, identified across west to east extent of HKH, have been considered for programmatic cooperation, include: Wakhan, Karakoram-Pamir, Kailash, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Brahmaputra-Salween, and Cherrapunjee-Chittagong. The approach is people centered and considers the cultural conservation as an essential first step towards resource conservation efforts in the region. Considering the multi-scale requirements of study, the geospatial technology has been effectively adopted towards: (i) understanding temporal changes in landscapes, (ii) long term ecological and social monitoring, (ii) identifying potential bio corridors, (iii) assessing landscape level vulnerability due to climatic and non-climatic drivers, and (iv) developing local plans on extractions of high value economic species supporting livelihoods, agroforestry system and ecotourism, etc. We present here our recent experiences across different landscapes on assessment of three decadal changes, vegetation type mapping, assessment of socio-ecological drivers, corridor assessment, ecosystem services assessment, models for optimal natural resource use systems and long term socio-ecological monitoring.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: KEY WORDS: Transboundary landscape, remote sensing GIS, ecological monitoring, landscape assessment, ecosystem services The Convention on Biological Diversity advocates the use of landscape and ecosystem approaches for managing biodiversity, in recognition of the need for increased regional cooperation. In this context, ICIMOD and regional partners have evolved Transboundary Landscape concept to address the issues of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and systems (e.g., biodiversity, rangelands, farming systems, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, etc.). This concept defines the landscapes by ecosystems rather than political/administrative boundaries. The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is extremely heterogeneous, with complex inter linkages of biomes and habitats as well as strong upstream-downstream linkages related to the provisioning of ecosystem services. Seven such transboundary landscapes, identified across west to east extent of HKH, have been considered for programmatic cooperation, include: Wakhan, Karakoram-Pamir, Kailash, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Brahmaputra-Salween, and Cherrapunjee-Chittagong. The approach is people centered and considers the cultural conservation as an essential first step towards resource conservation efforts in the region. Considering the multi-scale requirements of study, the geospatial technology has been effectively adopted towards: (i) understanding temporal changes in landscapes, (ii) long term ecological and social monitoring, (ii) identifying potential bio corridors, (iii) assessing landscape level vulnerability due to climatic and non-climatic drivers, and (iv) developing local plans on extractions of high value economic species supporting livelihoods, agroforestry system and ecotourism, etc. We present here our recent experiences across different landscapes on assessment of three decadal changes, vegetation type mapping, assessment of socio-ecological drivers, corridor assessment, ecosystem services assessment, models for optimal natural resource use systems and long term socio-ecological monitoring.
    ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 12/2014; Volume XL-8:1309-1317. · 2.90 Impact Factor