Viable intensification of agricultural production through sustainable landscape transition


Duration: 01.05.2016 – 30.04.2019


Client: Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.


Contact person: Anita Beblek, Katharina Schmidt


Europe will face increasing pressure on agricultural systems due to increasing global food demands, competing claims on land resources and decreasing possibilities to displace production outside Europe. Moreover, increasing societal demands for a wide range of ecosystem services and biodiversity protection call for transitions towards intensive agricultural systems that have minimal detrimental environmental effects. As a response to these major societal challenges, sustainable intensification (SI) is gaining attention. SI cannot be implemented through a generic, single development pathway for all agricultural systems. Alternative trajectories and actions to achieve SI depend on the local and contextual agronomic, environmental and socio-economic conditions. The project VITAL explores transition processes of European agricultural systems towards sustainably intensified production. VITAL identifies how differences in agricultural systems, their spatial frameworks and the role of actors, lead to, or inhibit, alternate transition processes of SI. The feasibility of different SI pathways is upscaled across Europe, hence moving beyond the level of individual farms and regions. Suitable spatial configurations of SI across land use systems are identified, accounting for the landscape and regional context.For vital, agrathaer implements and enhances the science-practice dialogue throughout the project to forster and transfer knowledge in sustainable intensification pathways for future innovation. Therefore, agrathaer follows the project development from the Stakeholder perspectives to identify possible gaps (e.g. according to aspects like need-orientation or simply to draw on real world conditions). The Stakeholder perspectives will be repeatedly reflected to the project partners and implemented in the process to ensure qualitative project improvement. Also agrathaer provides strategies, methods and formats for customized dissemination of the project results.


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