REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0405.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Systematic Review; Sustainable Agriculture; Climate Change; Resilience; Agro-Systems
Online: 27 February 2020 (12:23:04 CET)
In the last few decades, a lot has been written on the use of sustainable agriculture to improve ecosystem services for resilience to climate change. However, no tangible and systematic evidence exists on how this would participate in alleviating impacts on vulnerable rural communities. This paper provides a narrative systematic review (SR) integrated with a bibliometric analysis and a concept network analysis to understand how, in a changing climate, sustainable agriculture builds the resilience of agro-systems. The search was set from the date of the first relevant article until the end of 2018. Results generated have demonstrated that: a. Only single practices and methods have been studied to assess impacts on single ecosystem services. b. Soil quality and health are considered a key indicator of sustainable agriculture. c. Albeit the assessed practices and methods have shown to improve the biodiversity of agro-systems, which makes them more resilient to extreme climate events, we are still far from reaching interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional agriculture which integrates all management aspects and generates a full range of ecosystem services. In conclusion, the study addressed the following recommendations for the scientific community and for decision-makers to orient future research strategies and efforts: a. Integration of all agro-systems services into sustainable management using an ecosystem-based approach on a life-cycle basis using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method; b. Improving the scientific understanding of traditional knowledge for higher synergies and for further integration; c. Unification of assessment methods and indicators for the quantification of impacts; d. Creation of a platform to share, monitor, screen, and approve assessments and evaluations of sustainable agriculture by region.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0397.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sugarcane, impacts, ecosystem services, human well-being, agro-systems, sustainability
Online: 27 February 2020 (10:56:50 CET)
Since the 1950s sugarcane production has grown rapidly from less than 0.5 billion tonnes in the late 50s to reach over 1.9 billion tonnes in 2012 on about 27 million hectares of agricultural land. This expansion has been boosted by the high demand for bioethanol promoted as a sustainable bioenergy source which accounted in 2010 for the biggest share of the global biofuel market. Despite its benefits, the scientific debate on sugar is growing especially that counterarguments are so many, including negative impacts on different interacting ecosystems and human well-being, e.g. bigger stress on land and water resources, environmental externalities on air, a harmful impact on the biodiversity and endemic species, negative environmental externalities, health, and socio-economic aspects. This paper provides a narrative systematic review (SR) of the impacts of sugarcane production on these different ecosystems employing the ecosystem services framework for its acceptance by policy-makers. The references included for the SR were 163 and results showed that the majority of the studies are from Brazil, Australia, South Africa and the USA (≈ 75% of the literature), most of them were from peer-reviewed journals (85%), and most of the case studies adopted a quantitative research approach (93%). The literature assessed showed that sugarcane, like all agro-systems, depends on the practices and techniques to transform negative impacts into positive externalities on ecosystems and human well-being. However, the literature studied failed to include the inter-linkage in sugarcane production impacts’ and therefore to evaluate the related ecosystem services with respect to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) framework to account for existing trade-offs. Therefore, the findings are addressed to the scientific community and decision-maker for an intensification of interdisciplinary and integrated research based on the MA framework to cover all ecosystem services, for sustainable development of the sugarcane sector.