11 Chapters
Medium 9781780640884

9 Managing Agroecosystem Services

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9

Managing Agroecosystem Services

Devra I. Jarvis,1* Elizabeth Khaka,2† Petina L. Pert,3

Lamourdia Thiombiano4 and Eline Boelee5

1Bioversity

International, Rome, Italy; 2United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya; 3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research

Organisation (CSIRO), Cairns, Queensland, Australia; 4Central Africa Bureau, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Libreville, Gabon; 5

Water Health, Hollandsche Rading, the Netherlands

Abstract

Agriculture and ecosystem services are interrelated in various ways. Payments for ecological services (PES) and innovative methods of agricultural management, including ecological agriculture, conservation agriculture and the management of biological diversity are options for enhancing ecosystem services in agroecosystems while sustaining or increasing productivity.

Successful actions will depend on strong supporting policies and legal frameworks, as well as on developing the knowledge and leadership capacity in farming communities to evaluate the potential benefits. The maintenance of ecosystem services and the long-term productivity and stability of agriculture ecosystems requires a paradigm shift in agriculture that moves away from single solutions to production problems towards a portfolio approach that supports multiple ways to better use soil, water and biotic resources to enhance ecosystem services.

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7 Wetlands

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7

Wetlands

Max Finlayson,1* Stuart W. Bunting,2† Malcolm Beveridge,3

Rebecca E. Tharme4 and Sophie Nguyen-Khoa5

1Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), Charles Sturt University, Albury, New

South Wales, Australia; 2Essex Sustainability Institute, University of Essex, Colchester,

UK; 3WorldFish, Lusaka, Zambia; 4The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Buxton, UK;

5World Water Council (WWC), Marseille, France

Abstract

After commencing with a summary of the current status, importance and productivity of natural wetlands, the chapter reviews the contribution of wetland ecological functions to sustaining vital ecosystem services. Wetlands are vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic pressures, notably land use change, disruption to regional hydrological regimes as a result of abstraction and impoundment, pollution and excessive nutrient loading, the introduction of invasive species and overexploitation of biomass, plants and animals. Natural wetlands have often been modified to accommodate agricultural and aquaculture production, or wetlands may be created in the process of establishing farming systems. Prospects for established practices, such as culturing fish in rice

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5 Water Use in Agroecosystems

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5

Water Use in Agroecosystems

Renate Fleiner,1* Delia Grace,2 Petina L. Pert,3 Prem Bindraban,4

Rebecca E. Tharme,5 Eline Boelee,6 Gareth J. Lloyd,7 Louise Korsgaard,7

Nishadi Eriyagama8 and David Molden1

1International

Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu,

Nepal; 2International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya;

3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Cairns,

Queensland, Australia; 4World Soil Information (ISRIC) and Plant Research

International, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 5The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Buxton,

UK; 6Water Health, Hollandsche Rading, the Netherlands; 7UNEP–DHI Centre for

Water and Environment, Hørsholm, Denmark; 8International Water Management

Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka

Abstract

The integrated role of water in ecosystems and, in particular, in agroecosystems, as well as the multiple uses of water – across various sectors that have increasing demands, have been widely recognized. But regions and institutions are still struggling to resolve issues around water – be it scarcity, accessibility or degradation. Mostly, they are caught in conventional institutional and policy frameworks that have been set up based more on sectoral than on cross-sectoral principles, thus preventing them from achieving the ultimate goal of sustainability. This chapter analyses the current and future challenges related to water availability and water use for agriculture from this perspective. It looks at water quantity and quality, water infrastructure, and related governance and institutional aspects, using case studies from basins in different geographic regions.

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11 Management of Water and Agroecosystems in Landscapes for Sustainable Food Security

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11

Management of Water and

Agroecosystems in Landscapes for Sustainable

Food Security

Eline Boelee,1* Sara J. Scherr,2 Petina L. Pert,3 Jennie Barron,4

Max Finlayson,5 Katrien Descheemaeker,6 Jeffrey C. Milder,2 Renate

Fleiner,7 Sophie Nguyen-Khoa,8 Stefano Barchiesi,9

Stuart W. Bunting,10 Rebecca E. Tharme,11 Elizabeth Khaka,12

David Coates,13 Elaine M. Solowey,14 Gareth J. Lloyd,15 David Molden7 and Simon Cook16

1Water

Health, Hollandsche Rading, the Netherlands; 2EcoAgriculture Partners,

Washington, DC, USA; 3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research

Organisation (CSIRO), Cairns, Queensland, Australia; 4Stockholm Environment

Institute, University of York, UK and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm

University, Stockholm, Sweden; 5Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), Charles

Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia; 6Plant Production Systems,

Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 7International Centre for

Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal;

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10 Water Management for Ecosystem Health and Food Production

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10

Water Management for Ecosystem Health and Food Production

Gareth J. Lloyd,1* Louise Korsgaard,1† Rebecca E. Tharme,2 Eline

Boelee,3 Floriane Clement,4 Jennie Barron5 and Nishadi Eriyagama6

1UNEP–DHI

Centre for Water and Environment, Hørsholm, Denmark; 2The Nature

Conservancy (TNC), Buxton, UK; 3Water Health, Hollandsche Rading, the

Netherlands; 4International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Kathmandu, Nepal;

5Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, UK and Stockholm Resilience

Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; 6International Water Management

Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka

Abstract

The integrated, efficient, equitable and sustainable management of water resources is of vital importance for securing ecosystem health and services to people, not least of which is food production. The challenges related to increasing water scarcity and ecosystem degradation, and the added complexities of climate change, highlight the need for countries to carefully manage their surface water and groundwater resources. Built upon the principles of economic efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability, integrated water resources management (IWRM) can be shaped by local needs to maximize allocative efficiency and better manage water for people, food, nature and industry. However, the flexibility of the approach means that it is interpreted and applied in ways that prioritize and address immediate challenges created by demographic, economic and social drivers, often at the expense of environmental sustainability – and hence also of long-term food security. The need to more explicitly include ecosystems in water management practices and safeguard long-term food security can be addressed partly by refining the notion of ‘water for food’ in IWRM as ‘water for agroecosystems’. This would also serve to eliminate much of the current dichotomy between ‘water for food’ and ‘water for nature’, and deliver a more balanced approach to ecosystem services that explicitly considers the value and benefits to people of a healthy resource base. The adoption of an ecosystem services approach to IWRM, and incorporation of environmental flows as a key element, can contribute to longterm food security and ecosystem health by ensuring more efficient and effective management of water for agroecosystems, natural systems and all its other uses.

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