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Food security and biodiversity: can we have both? An agroecological analysis

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  • Michael Chappell

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  • Liliana LaValle
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    Abstract

    We present an extensive literature review exploring the relationships between food insecurity and rapid biodiversity loss, and the competing methods proposed to address each of these serious problems. Given a large and growing human population, the persistence of widespread malnutrition, and the direct and significant threats the expanding agricultural system poses to biodiversity, the goals of providing universal food security and protecting biodiversity seem incompatible. Examining the literature shows that the current agricultural system already provides sufficient food on a worldwide basis, but in doing so methodically undermines the capacity of agroecosystems to preserve biodiversity. However, the available evidence emphasizes the interdependence of biodiversity and agriculture, and the important role each plays in the maintenance of the other. Thus, our review supports the claim that the solutions to the problems of widespread food insecurity and biodiversity loss need not be mutually exclusive, and that it may be possible to address both using appropriate alternative agricultural practices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-009-9251-4
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 3-26

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:28:y:2011:i:1:p:3-26

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Agroecology; Alternative agriculture; Biodiversity; Conservation; Food security; Organic agriculture; Political ecology;

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    Cited by:
    1. Robert Fish & Michael Winter & Matt Lobley, 2014. "Sustainable intensification and ecosystem services: new directions in agricultural governance," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 51-67, March.
    2. Carrie Furman & Carla Roncoli & Donald Nelson & Gerrit Hoogenboom, 2014. "Growing food, growing a movement: climate adaptation and civic agriculture in the southeastern United States," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 69-82, March.
    3. Kristina Marquardt & Rebecka Milestad & Lennart Salomonsson, 2013. "Improved fallows: a case study of an adaptive response in Amazonian swidden farming systems," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 417-428, September.
    4. Alison Alkon & Teresa Mares, 2012. "Food sovereignty in US food movements: radical visions and neoliberal constraints," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 347-359, September.

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