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Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. November 2002

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o...this book is an important contribution.o --Ecology


Although food production systems for the world's rural poor typically have had devastating effects on the planet's wealth of genes, species and ecosystems, that need not be the case in the future. In this work, two experts on conservation and development examine the idea that agricultural landscapes can be designed more creatively to take the needs of human populations into account while also protecting, or even enhancing, biodiversity. They present a thorough overview of the innovative concept of "ecoagriculture" - the management of landscapes for both the production of food and the conservation of wild biodiversity. The book: examines the global impact of agriculture on wild biodiversity; describes the challenge of reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural goals; outlines and discusses the ecoagriculture approach; presents diverse case studies that illustrate key strategies; and explores how policies, markets, and institutions can be re-shaped to support ecoagriculture.

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Ecological Agriculture: A look inside the alternative 24. Februar 2005
Von Jameson F. Chace - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Ecoagriculture effectively addresses the ever-demanding needs of the world's population while incorporating strategies to conserve wild biodiversity. McNeely and Scherr assert, "the impressive gains for our species have often come at the expense of other species with whom we share our planet," and therefore, one of their goals tackles the process by which ecological agriculture can not only reverse, but also prevent such negative impacts. The book explores key social and ecological issues by extensively exploring the different approaches to ecological agriculture. Anyone new to the issues could easily become familiar with hot topics in ecoagriculture after reading this book.

McNeely and Scherr describe six strategies for the implementation of ecological agriculture while increasing food production. They divide them into two groups; three of them make space for wildlife within agricultural landscapes while the other three enhance the habitat value of productive areas. These strategies are described with a reasonable amount of detail and are followed by a total of 36 case studies. The strategies that are outlined include:

1. Creating biodiversity reserves that also benefit farming communities

2. Develop habitat networks in non-farmed areas

3. Reduce the conversion of wild lands to agriculture by increasing farm productivity

4. Minimize agricultural pollution

5. Modify the management of soil, water, and vegetation resources, and

6. Modify farming systems to mimic natural ecosystems.

The authors do a good job in providing examples from a variety of locations throughout the developing and developed world.

Despite successfully providing an introduction to the complex subject of ecological agriculture, McNeely and Scherr do a poor job of explaining the cause and effect of their strategies for ecological agriculture nor do they adequately address arguments of its skeptics. One obvious omission is a discussion of genetic modification technology. As well, many of the case studies presented in the book were not explained thoroughly and no negative effects were discussed. Often times the strategies employed in the case studies contradicted each other - for example at once advocating grass-fed livestock and silage-fed livestock. Obviously, there are many trade-offs in a subject as complex as ecoagriculture, but McNeely and Scherr never provide a matrix for evaluating these trade-offs.

The authors finish by laying out policies for implementing their six strategies. However, these suggestions are vague and overly optimistic. McNeely and Scherr's reliance on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to implement their strategies ignores the difficulty of combining these strategies with existing NGO programs. Since the issue of the environment and food security is such a divisive topic, a more pragmatic book would discuss ways of building consensus towards environmentally sustainable agriculture solutions.

Reviewed by: Jessica DeLisi, Alan Heck, Matt Ortynsky, Rollie Berry, Kristin Hamilton, Kevin Waters, and Sarah Bauerle (Students in Environmental Issues Seminar, Villanova University)
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Yes, great idea, but ... 3. Januar 2009
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The team from Villanova University, PA, did such a thorough and accurate job of reviewing the book that there can hardly be much to add apart from an endorsement or the other.
So I will endorse it - but with caveats. I think the concepts presented are part of "the key" to sustainability and I appreciated a healthy emphasis on the tropics - where biodiversity vs. agriculture issues are severe.
However, I found the book somewhat dissatisfying. After a careful and thorough reading of it I still feel I have a poor understanding of Ecoagriculture (I know I'm not dumb). Perhaps the writing style is a little too "free" for my personal benefit?
As a community development worker in the wet tropics for the last 23 years, even as one so deeply sold on the need for "real" environmental sustainability in development and agriculture, I constantly found myself responding to the authors' words with, "Yeah, right!" I strive to not become cynical but I can't help feeling that Drs. McNeely and Scherr are wearing rose-colored glasses. For example, strengthening institutions as they suggest is not just as simple as they make it sound - corruption is synonymous with environmental destruction and endemic where these institutions are needed most. Is there a successful strategy for combating such corruption? Then I think of my friends out in the villages - how do we present it so that they understand that sustainable agriculture is more beneficial to them than a sudden windfall, let alone how wild biodiversity is of value to them or anyone else. I know the authors are well aquainted with those sorts of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
So, yesterday when I put the book down I really didn't know what to think about it. Today I'm ready to do some more searching and learning - so I've added to my wish list Scherr & McNeely's "Farming with Nature: The Science and Practice of Ecoagriculture", hoping for a more detailed account, one that is less wordy but with as much substance.
Anyway, if you're a sustainable development consultant or work in any sort of development or agricultural service, especially in the tropics, you should read this book. And if you get to their other book before I can afford to buy it, I'll look forward to reading your review on its page.
The Practical Side to Ecoagriculture 25. Januar 2014
Von Amazonia Reforestation - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book is more for the layman looking to implement ecoagriculture practices in their farm or plantation, by the same authorus who wrote Farming with Nature. I have it as a ready reference on my book shelf at our tropical plantation, and I have no qualms about recommending this book to others.
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