Scherr,+2008+_Roy+Soc_ - Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A....

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Unformatted text preview: Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A. McNeely Ecoagriculture Reprint Series Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 2008. 363: 477-94 Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of ecoagriculture landscapes 730 11th Street NW, Suite #301, Washington, DC 20001, USA Phone: +1 (202) 393 5315 Fax: +1 (202) 393-2424 info@ecoagriculture.org www.ecoagriculture.org Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of ecoagriculture landscapes Sara J. Scherr 1 and Jeffrey A. McNeely 2, * 1 Ecoagriculture Partners, Washington, DC 20001, USA 2 World Conservation UnionIUCN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland 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. Keywords: ecoagriculture; landscape; biodiversity conservation; agricultural production; rural livelihoods 1. INTRODUCTION The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) docu- mented the dominant impacts of agriculture on terrestrial land and freshwater use, and the critical importance of agricultural landscapes in providing products for human sustenance, supporting wild species biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services ( MA 2005 ). Yet global demand for associated agricultural products is projected to rise at least 50% over the next two decades ( UN Millennium Project 2005 ). The need to reconcile agricultural production and production-dependent rural livelihoods with healthy ecosystems has prompted widespread inno- vation to coordinate landscape and policy action ( Breckwoldt 1983 ; Jackson & Jackson 2002 ; McNeely & Scherr 2003 ; Acharya 2006 ). However, the dominantnational and global institutionsfor policy, business, conservation, agriculture and researchhave...
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Scherr,+2008+_Roy+Soc_ - Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A....

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