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Aligning research with policy and practice for sustainable agricultural land systems in Europe

Scown, Murray W. LU ; Winkler, Klara J. LU and Nicholas, Kimberly A. LU (2019) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(11). p.4911-4916
Abstract

Agriculture is widely recognized as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have multiple, often conflicting yet poorly documented priorities on how agriculture could or should support achieving the SDGs. Here, we assess consensus and divergence in priorities for agricultural systems among research, policy, and practice perspectives and discuss the implications for research on trade-offs among competing goals. We analyzed the priorities given to 239 environmental and social drivers, management choices, and outcomes of agricultural systems from 69 research articles, the SDGs and four EU policies, and seven agricultural sustainability assessment tools aimed at... (More)

Agriculture is widely recognized as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have multiple, often conflicting yet poorly documented priorities on how agriculture could or should support achieving the SDGs. Here, we assess consensus and divergence in priorities for agricultural systems among research, policy, and practice perspectives and discuss the implications for research on trade-offs among competing goals. We analyzed the priorities given to 239 environmental and social drivers, management choices, and outcomes of agricultural systems from 69 research articles, the SDGs and four EU policies, and seven agricultural sustainability assessment tools aimed at farmers. We found all three perspectives recognize 32 variables as key to agricultural systems, providing a shared area of focus for agriculture's contribution to the SDGs. However, 207 variables appear in only one or two perspectives, implying that potential trade-offs may be overlooked if evaluated from only one perspective. We identified four approaches to agricultural land systems research in Europe that omit most of the variables considered important from policy and practice perspectives. We posit that the four approaches reflect prevailing paradigms of research design and data analysis and suggest future research design should consider including the 32 shared variables as a starting point for more policy- and practicerelevant research. Our identification of shared priorities from different perspectives and attention to environmental and social domains and the functional role of system components provide a concrete basis to encourage codesigned and systems-based research approaches to guide agriculture's contribution to the SDGs.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Codesigned research, Communication, Farming systems, Science policy, Trade-offs
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
volume
116
issue
11
pages
6 pages
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062832237
ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1812100116
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0e0b67e2-528b-46ad-81d0-838abdcb5e01
date added to LUP
2019-03-21 14:18:43
date last changed
2019-04-23 04:47:17
@article{0e0b67e2-528b-46ad-81d0-838abdcb5e01,
  abstract     = {<p>Agriculture is widely recognized as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have multiple, often conflicting yet poorly documented priorities on how agriculture could or should support achieving the SDGs. Here, we assess consensus and divergence in priorities for agricultural systems among research, policy, and practice perspectives and discuss the implications for research on trade-offs among competing goals. We analyzed the priorities given to 239 environmental and social drivers, management choices, and outcomes of agricultural systems from 69 research articles, the SDGs and four EU policies, and seven agricultural sustainability assessment tools aimed at farmers. We found all three perspectives recognize 32 variables as key to agricultural systems, providing a shared area of focus for agriculture's contribution to the SDGs. However, 207 variables appear in only one or two perspectives, implying that potential trade-offs may be overlooked if evaluated from only one perspective. We identified four approaches to agricultural land systems research in Europe that omit most of the variables considered important from policy and practice perspectives. We posit that the four approaches reflect prevailing paradigms of research design and data analysis and suggest future research design should consider including the 32 shared variables as a starting point for more policy- and practicerelevant research. Our identification of shared priorities from different perspectives and attention to environmental and social domains and the functional role of system components provide a concrete basis to encourage codesigned and systems-based research approaches to guide agriculture's contribution to the SDGs.</p>},
  author       = {Scown, Murray W. and Winkler, Klara J. and Nicholas, Kimberly A.},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  keyword      = {Codesigned research,Communication,Farming systems,Science policy,Trade-offs},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {4911--4916},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  title        = {Aligning research with policy and practice for sustainable agricultural land systems in Europe},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1812100116},
  volume       = {116},
  year         = {2019},
}