Resilience Thinking and theSustainability of Agricultural SystemsChristo Fabricius & Brian Walker
Structure of our presentation
1. Our numbers and global Co2“We can no longer assume that our collective actions will not trigger tipping points asenviro...
2. Uneven distribution of per capita food productionChanges in per capita food production, 1960-2010.From Pretty et al 201...
The crisis of African food securityChanges in net per capita agricultural production in Africa (1960 = 100%)From Pretty et...
6. Population growthSub-Saharan AfricaGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012
Per capita GDPPer capita GDPFoodconsumptionFoodexpenditureshareThe relation between GDP anda) food consumption and(b) food...
4. Global demand for meat & fuelFoley 2013 in litt* People are moving ‘up the food chain’* Tug of war between car owners, ...
Biofuels: the big unknownHervé et al. 2011 in Economic Effects of Biofuel Production. Intech
Land and water availabilityFrom Rulli et al in press, PNAS• Ground water and soil depletion in many ‘grabbing’ countries• ...
• 66 countries are not self-sufficient- land or water constraintsFrom Fader et al. 2013 Environ. Res. Lett. 8% of popln de...
Extent and modification of hydrological flows have increasedover the past centuriesGordon et al. 2008
Identified regime shifts related to agriculture and the hydrological cycleEVAPORATION & LEAF AREAWet savanna -> dry savann...
CONSUMPTION-meat&fuel(richoldmillions)FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY(poor young billions)HighHighLowA safe operating space for the ...
“the capacity to absorb disturbance and re-organise so as toretain essentially the same function, structure and feedbacks ...
resilience, per se, is neither ‘good’nor ‘bad’undesirable states of systems canbe very resilient (dictatorships,saline lan...
• most losses in resilience are unintendedconsequences of processes beyond the scaleof focus• in particular, failure to re...
The shape and size of the basin can change– thresholds move, and so resilience changes
Alternate stable states of a rangeland in western NSWGrassy state Shrubby statecritical feedback loopamount of shrubs  am...
Thresholds & tipping pointsCOSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ecosystem services management)YIELDperHectareDroughtsFuel price...
Thresholds & tipping pointsCOSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ecosystem services management)YIELDperHectareDroughtsCheap impo...
Transformability• preparedness to change• getting beyond the state of denial• options for change• new ‘trajectories’ - eme...
Just LOOKING at the problemwill not solve it
Social-ecological systems frameworkGoulburn Broken Catchment Management Plan, Australiahttp://www.gbcma.vic.gov.auWith par...
Innovation: no holy cows anymoreGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012
Investing in APPROPRIATE research & extension servicesGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012Returns to investment in research, and...
Innovation• The promise of cooperatives– Milk production: Indian NationalDairy Development Corporation– Agri-cooperatives•...
The Fort Hare Agri-park, South AfricaOver time a range of economic activities and developments will occur, towards expande...
Working with farmers to incorporate local knowledgeIs the perception that it is getting drier true?Enfors and Gordon, 2007...
What promotes resilience thinking and practice?1. foster an understanding of SES as complex adaptive systems2. maintain di...
Social transformation• From only productivity-focused to usinga resilience lens• Diversification• Looking across scales an...
Resilience resources:-www.resalliance.org-information and news- workbooks (free, downloadable)-Ecology and Society-www.eco...
http://islandpress.org/ip/books/book/islandpress/R/bo8070201.htmlIsland Press
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Resilience thinking and the sustainability of agricultural systems

1,397 views
1,146 views

Published on

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,397
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
57
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Resilience thinking and the sustainability of agricultural systems

  1. 1. Resilience Thinking and theSustainability of Agricultural SystemsChristo Fabricius & Brian Walker
  2. 2. Structure of our presentation
  3. 3. 1. Our numbers and global Co2“We can no longer assume that our collective actions will not trigger tipping points asenvironmental thresholds are breached, risking irreversible damage to bothecosystems and human communities”. Ban Ki-moon High-Level Panel on GlobalSustainability400 ppm?219 000 new people every day
  4. 4. 2. Uneven distribution of per capita food productionChanges in per capita food production, 1960-2010.From Pretty et al 2011 International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 9
  5. 5. The crisis of African food securityChanges in net per capita agricultural production in Africa (1960 = 100%)From Pretty et al 2011 International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 9
  6. 6. 6. Population growthSub-Saharan AfricaGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012
  7. 7. Per capita GDPPer capita GDPFoodconsumptionFoodexpenditureshareThe relation between GDP anda) food consumption and(b) food as a share of totalexpenditureab3. Uneven incomedistribution: a driver offood consumption andaffordabilityFrom Cirera & Masset 2010 PhilTrans Royal Soc 365
  8. 8. 4. Global demand for meat & fuelFoley 2013 in litt* People are moving ‘up the food chain’* Tug of war between car owners, meat eaters and the world’s poor
  9. 9. Biofuels: the big unknownHervé et al. 2011 in Economic Effects of Biofuel Production. Intech
  10. 10. Land and water availabilityFrom Rulli et al in press, PNAS• Ground water and soil depletion in many ‘grabbing’ countries• Cheap land in Africa; failed states, weak land rights
  11. 11. • 66 countries are not self-sufficient- land or water constraintsFrom Fader et al. 2013 Environ. Res. Lett. 8% of popln dependent onimported food“available [land] per capita hasshrunk from 13.5 ha/person in1950 to 3.2 ha/person in 2005, andis projected to diminish to 1.5ha/person in 2050” United NationsPopulation Fund 2007But evidence of bans on exports (Earth Policy Institute)
  12. 12. Extent and modification of hydrological flows have increasedover the past centuriesGordon et al. 2008
  13. 13. Identified regime shifts related to agriculture and the hydrological cycleEVAPORATION & LEAF AREAWet savanna -> dry savannaCloud forests -> WoodlandForest -> savannaMonsoons -> No monsoonGordon, et al. 2008RUN-OFF QUANT, QUALEutrophicationHypoxic zonesRiver channel changeINFILTRATION, MOISTURESalinisationVegetation patternsSoil structureAtmosphereAquaticSoil
  14. 14. CONSUMPTION-meat&fuel(richoldmillions)FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY(poor young billions)HighHighLowA safe operating space for the world’s food systems?
  15. 15. “the capacity to absorb disturbance and re-organise so as toretain essentially the same function, structure and feedbacks –to have the same identity”involves three, intertwined concepts:1. Thresholds (specified resilience)2. Adaptability (general resilience)3. Transformability (capacity to become a different system)Resilience
  16. 16. resilience, per se, is neither ‘good’nor ‘bad’undesirable states of systems canbe very resilient (dictatorships,saline landscapes)a system state that once wasdesirable can become ‘undesirable’through changes in externalconditions (context)
  17. 17. • most losses in resilience are unintendedconsequences of processes beyond the scaleof focus• in particular, failure to recognise cross-scaleand cross-domain feedbacks
  18. 18. The shape and size of the basin can change– thresholds move, and so resilience changes
  19. 19. Alternate stable states of a rangeland in western NSWGrassy state Shrubby statecritical feedback loopamount of shrubs  amount of grass (fuel load)  intensity offire  shrub mortality
  20. 20. Thresholds & tipping pointsCOSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ecosystem services management)YIELDperHectareDroughtsFuel priceOvergrazing Infrequent firesMeatdemand
  21. 21. Thresholds & tipping pointsCOSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ecosystem services management)YIELDperHectareDroughtsCheap importsOver-investment Ecosystem mismanagementDemandfor dairyproductsRecessionOver-pumping
  22. 22. Transformability• preparedness to change• getting beyond the state of denial• options for change• new ‘trajectories’ - emerge from support for experiments,novelty, continual learning• capacity to change• levels of capitals (including ‘social capital’), higher-scalesupport - governanceCapacity to make use of ‘windows of opportunity’Folke et al. 2009 In: Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Springer
  23. 23. Just LOOKING at the problemwill not solve it
  24. 24. Social-ecological systems frameworkGoulburn Broken Catchment Management Plan, Australiahttp://www.gbcma.vic.gov.auWith participation and empowerment at every level and in every sphere
  25. 25. Innovation: no holy cows anymoreGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012
  26. 26. Investing in APPROPRIATE research & extension servicesGlobal Harvest Initiative 2012Returns to investment in research, and extension,respectively is 43% and 49% (Alston 2000; Global HarvestInitiative 2012)
  27. 27. Innovation• The promise of cooperatives– Milk production: Indian NationalDairy Development Corporation– Agri-cooperatives• BUT require– Governance– Trust– Leadership
  28. 28. The Fort Hare Agri-park, South AfricaOver time a range of economic activities and developments will occur, towards expanded and holistic enhancementof local livelihoods, led in the longer term by organized, capacitated, self-representing and flourishing communitiesFEEDER PLOT co-owned bycommunity members in collective/cooperative structureIndependent localproducersAGRO-PROCESSINGFACILITY co-ownedwith community members-workersNURSERY - Co-operatively ownedsupplying planting material to localproducersPublic SectorMarkets- Schools (SNP)- Hospitals & Clinics- Other publicestablishmentsPrivateSectorMarketsdomestic andinternationalR&D, capacity-building and other development support by university,departments and other institutionsDepotDepotCourtesy of Prof Jan Raats
  29. 29. Working with farmers to incorporate local knowledgeIs the perception that it is getting drier true?Enfors and Gordon, 2007Not for seasonal rainfall..…but dryspells are increasing
  30. 30. What promotes resilience thinking and practice?1. foster an understanding of SES as complex adaptive systems2. maintain diversity and redundancy3. manage connectivity4. manage slow variables and feedbacks5. encourage learning and experimentation6. broaden participation7. promote distributed systems for decision making at multiplelevelsBiggs et al. 2012. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37
  31. 31. Social transformation• From only productivity-focused to usinga resilience lens• Diversification• Looking across scales and knowledgesystems. From policy reform to localuse of technology• Linking ecosystems, society, economicsystems and governance• “Novel social infrastructure” built ontrust• “Collaborative resilience”: privatesector, governments, farmers• Empowerment of women– Farming is an excellent entry point
  32. 32. Resilience resources:-www.resalliance.org-information and news- workbooks (free, downloadable)-Ecology and Society-www.ecologyandsociety.org-Twitter:@christofab@resilienceSci
  33. 33. http://islandpress.org/ip/books/book/islandpress/R/bo8070201.htmlIsland Press

×