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Policy Sciences

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 51–67 | Cite as

Sustainable intensification and ecosystem services: new directions in agricultural governance

  • Robert FishEmail author
  • Michael Winter
  • Matt Lobley
Article

Abstract

Reconciling environmental objectives for land use with the need to produce more food is a prominent concern of scientific and policy discourses on sustainable agriculture. The idea of sustainable intensification has emerged as one prominent framing of this challenge. In this paper we elaborate this idea from an ecosystem services perspective to natural resource management, with particular reference to developments in the UK. The paper considers the general origins and attributes of the perspective and how the challenge of sustainable intensification would be conceptualized and approached through it. While efforts to link analysis of ecosystem services to policy development and delivery in the UK are revealed as consistent with prevailing, and often long standing, approaches to sustainable agriculture, the marketization of environmental assets is highlighted as a distinguishing feature of current policy applications. The character and limitations of this facet of the ecosystem services agenda are discussed. The need to animate ecological issues of sustainable intensification through frames of reference other than those of economic valuation is emphasized.

Keywords

Food security Sustainable intensification Ecosystem services UK land economy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Rural Policy ResearchCollege of Social Sciences and International StudiesExeter, DevonUK

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