Looking through an ecosystem services lens
If we are to meet future goals for minimizing hunger, poverty, inequity and environmental damage, we must make sustainable agricultural intensification the cornerstone of our agricultural systems, writes CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems Director Andrew Noble earlier this month.
This requires us to radically shift our mindset to view our agricultural production systems as wholly owned subsidiaries of the ecosystems and natural capital on which they depend.
Over the past month, the Agriculture and Ecosystems blog has highlighted WLE’s approach to agricultural development through an ecosystem services lens. Throughout the month we reached over 5,000 visitors with 14 blog posts and generated over 10,000 pageviews and over 50 comments.
This month-long focus on ecosystem services kicked off with a post launching WLE’s Ecosystem Services and Resilience Framework, which was presented at the Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference. The Framework provides a lens to reconsider development challenges by accounting for ecosystem-scale processes, external shocks and inevitable change.
WLE scientists and partners contributed blog posts throughout the month to better illustrate ecosystem services approaches.
Here are some of the cases and services we’ve highlighted:
- Pest control provided by ladybeetles in China and by birds in Costa Rica
- Decreased pest and disease damage from multiple varieties of a specific crop
- Pollination services provided by bees
- Treated wastewater supports recreation area and carbon sequestration
- Ecosystem services for disaster risk management
- Resilience in socio-ecological landscapes and urbanized landscapes
- Traditional rice farming system provides a bundle of services for resilience
- Poverty reduction and conservation of ecosystem services through rewards for ecosystem services schemes
- Soil and water interventions to deal with water shortages
- Tradeoffs of building dams for ecosystem services and the livelihoods they support
- Sharing or sparing land for nature - bridging agriculture and conservation
We encourage you to comment and engage in discussions on the posts above. Let us know what you think about our ecosystem services approaches!
Keep your eyes out for next month’s focal month: Restoring landscapes