What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System

Dicks, Lynn V., Bardgett, Richard D., Bell, Jenny, Benton, Tim G., Booth, Angela, Bouwman, Jan, Brown, Chris, Bruce, Ann, Burgess, Paul J., Butler, Simon J., Crute, Ian, Dixon, Frances, Drummond, Caroline, Freckleton, Robert P., Gill, Maggie, Graham, Andrea, Hails, Rosie S., Hallett, James, Hart, Beth, Hillier, Jon G., Holland, John M., Huxley, Jonathan N., Ingram, John S. I., King, Vanessa, MacMillan, Tom, McGonigle, Daniel F., McQuaid, Carmel, Nevard, Tim, Norman, Steve, Norris, Ken, Pazderka, Catherine, Poonaji, Inder, Quinn, Claire H., Ramsden, Stephen J., Sinclair, Duncan, Siriwardena, Gavin M., Vickery, Juliet A., Whitmore, Andrew P., Wolmer, William and Sutherland, William J. (2013) What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System. Sustainability, 5 (7). pp. 3095-3115.

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Abstract

Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural capital stocks. We convened a group of 29 'practitioners' and 17 environmental scientists with direct involvement or expertise in the environmental sustainability of agriculture. The practitioners included representatives from UK industry, non-government organizations and government agencies. We collaboratively developed a long list of 264 knowledge needs to help enhance the environmental sustainability of agriculture within the UK or for the UK market. We refined and selected the most important knowledge needs through a three-stage process of voting, discussion and scoring. Scientists and practitioners identified similar priorities. We present the 26 highest priority knowledge needs. Many of them demand integration of knowledge from different disciplines to inform policy and practice. The top five are about sustainability of livestock feed, trade-offs between ecosystem services at farm or landscape scale, phosphorus recycling and metrics to measure sustainability. The outcomes will be used to guide ongoing knowledge exchange work, future science policy and funding.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
Uncontrolled Keywords: agriculture,environment,knowledge gaps,sustainability,farming,retail,food
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2014 11:38
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2019 15:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/47252
DOI: 10.3390/su5073095

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