Normative, systemic and procedural aspects: a review of indicator‐based sustainability assessments in agriculture
Several methods for assessing the sustainability of agricultural systems have been developed. These methods do not fully: (i) take into account the multi‐functionality of agriculture; (ii) include multidimensionality; (iii) utilize and implement the assessment knowledge; and (iv) identify conflicting goals and trade‐offs. This paper reviews seven recently developed multidisciplinary indicator‐based assessment methods with respect to their contribution to these shortcomings. All approaches include (1) normative aspects such as goal setting, (2) systemic aspects such as a specification of scale of analysis, (3) a reproducible structure of the approach. The approaches can be categorized into three typologies. The top‐down farm assessments focus on field or farm assessment. They have a clear procedure for measuring the indicators and assessing the sustainability of the system, which allows for benchmarking across farms. The degree of participation is low, potentially affecting the implementation of the results negatively. The top‐down regional assessment assesses the on‐farm and the regional effects. They include some participation to increase acceptance of the results. However, they miss the analysis of potential trade‐offs. The bottom‐up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary approaches focus on a regional scale. Stakeholders are included throughout the whole process assuring the acceptance of the results and increasing the probability of implementation of developed measures. As they include the interaction between the indicators in their system representation, they allow for performing a trade‐off analysis. The bottom‐up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary approaches seem to better overcome the four shortcomings mentioned above.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:miscpa:117651. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.