A typology for schematising the degree of ecological friendliness in farming

Authors: Maria Luisa Paracchini*, European Commission - Joint Research Centre, Carlo Rega, European Commission - Joint Research Centre, Davy McCraken, Scotland's Rural College - Hill & Mountain Research Centre, Matteo Zavalloni, University of Bologna - Department of Agricultural Sciences
Topics: Europe, Land Use, Sustainability Science
Keywords: agroecology, environment, farming system, typology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Though not formally adopted in EU policy, agroecology is gaining momentum as an option to a more sustainable way of managing, preserving and enhancing natural resources. We present preliminary results achieved in the LIFT (Low Input Farming and Territories) project (EU Horizon 2020), aiming at understanding the mechanisms driving the adoption of ecological practices in Europe. This first part of the analysis focuses on framing the actual situation. How can we schematize the existing farming systems according to the degree of adoption of ecological practices? No established framework exists, and the nomenclature used to describe farming practices is extremely various. The degree of nature-friendliness in farming systems ranges across a continuum, spanning from conventional, high input management, to a full agroecological approach to farming. Moreover, there is the need to agree on how to characterize the latter. A literature review was conducted to identify existing categorisations of farm types based on the degree of uptake of ecological approaches to farming and related practices. The search returned 2403 documents that were screened for relevance. 203 documents were retained. Stemming from this literature corpus, we propose a farming systems typology and an associated clustering of farming practices. Within the same process we derive a definition of agroecology, synthetizing the current views that are consolidating in the European context. Lastly, the point is made on availability of data to assess the degree of uptake of ecological practices, by screening EU data collections supporting the policy implementation process. Gaps in information availability are highlighted.

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