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Conceptual frameworks for defining agricultural sustainability at multiple levels

Theme 1 - Pilot Activity

Conceptual frameworks for defining agricultural sustainability at multiple levels, led by New Zealand

Theme Lead: Richard McDowell


To investigate whether sustainability frameworks, metrics, tools and their implementation can be enhanced to future-proof agricultural decision making at multiple levels and scales.




Current work includes:
  • Creating an inventory of sustainability assessment tools within agriculture
  • Developing tools for weighting indicators for multi-criteria assessments of temperate agriculture sustainability

This work will deliver clarity on the compatibility of indicators  at multiple levels (for farm, industry, policy, and other stakeholders) and is expected to result in a 10% increase in the state of agreed indicators of sustainability across scales for member countries by 2025.

Next steps of the activity involve:
  • Looking at external drivers influencing sustainability indicators, such as environmental, social, cultural, economic, and governance
  • Developing one common factor encompassing all these drivers and a threshold normalised against different stakeholders groups and across different spatial scales


Network Themes

Resilient agricultural production systems in multiple spatio-temporal levels
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Optimal land management for food production and other ecosystem services
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Sustainable improvement of food productivity in the farm and enterprise level
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Food losses and waste
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Synthesis and foresight analysis
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