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Avenues for improving farming sustainability assessment with upgraded tools, sustainability framing and indicators. A review

Chopin, Pierre and Mubaya, Chipo P. and Descheemaeker, Katrien and Öborn, Ingrid and Bergkvist, Göran (2021). Avenues for improving farming sustainability assessment with upgraded tools, sustainability framing and indicators. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 41 , 19
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Abstract

The sustainability of agriculture is questioned due to major negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts. To improve the state of agriculture, various management changes have been proposed. Different tools, with varying characteristics, sustainability framing and indicators, have been used to evaluate the impact of these changes on sustainability. Here, we review 119 tools for farm sustainability assessment and compare their use, sustainability dimensions, themes and types of indicators used for biodiversity conservation, farm viability and gender equity. Our main findings are that (1) tools could be classified into five groups that differ in stakeholder participation and model used for calculating sustainability, (2) seven different sustainability framings are used and (3) only two out of 29 indicators screened address impacts of farming system while the others address drivers, pressures or states of the system. The tools were grouped in "Long-term monitoring of farm activities" (11%), "Ex-ante assessment of sustainability with bioeconomic models" (9%), "Survey- and indicator-based assessment of tools" (41%), "Consultation-based assessment" (25%) and "Active engagement of stakeholder-based assessment" (14%). The "classical view of sustainability", with the economic, social and environmental pillars, was used in 61% of the papers. Based on these findings, we suggest (1) development of temporal dynamic assessment of farm sustainability with active involvement of stakeholders in the framing of sustainability and design of indicators to achieve reliable and relevant assessment outcomes. We recommend (2) adoption of more complex sustainability framings dealing with emerging system properties, namely resilience, viability and stability. In these, (3) governance/institutional dimensions should be emphasised, and social themes targeting farmers' characteristics should be included. Finally, (4) use of impact indicators in farm sustainability assessments is critical, and they should be designed to contribute to scientifically rigorous and relevant assessments of farming system sustainability.

Authors/Creators:Chopin, Pierre and Mubaya, Chipo P. and Descheemaeker, Katrien and Öborn, Ingrid and Bergkvist, Göran
Title:Avenues for improving farming sustainability assessment with upgraded tools, sustainability framing and indicators. A review
Series Name/Journal:Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:41
Article number:19
Number of Pages:20
Publisher:SPRINGER FRANCE
ISSN:1774-0746
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Household livelihood, Eco-efficiency, Farming practices, Integrated assessment, Bioeconomic model, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability assessment tool, Sustainability indicators, Farm resilience, Farming system design
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111409
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111409
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s13593-021-00674-3
Web of Science (WoS)000625480000002
ID Code:23259
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Apr 2021 19:03
Metadata Last Modified:01 Aug 2021 16:23

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