Thursday, 1 December 2016

Introducing the Lexicon of Sustainability (video)

Community Supported Agriculture, by The Lexicon of Sustainability

As well as serious and weighty books and articles, I sometimes like to feature lighter, shorter material including video on The Digest. Here's just one from the many great short films produced by the Lexicon of Sustainability Project that I hope will inspire you to explore more of their great work, and share it with colleagues, friends and family.

Agroecology enhances climate change resilience (online)

Climate Change: Agroecological approaches to enhance resilience to climate change

The Green Revolution has performed well in areas with a stable climate, adequate water supply and access to inputs and cheap energy. But the necessary fertilizers, pesticides, farm equipment and fuel are derived from dwindling and ever more expensive fossil fuels. At the same time, climatic extremes are becoming more frequent and intensive agricultural systems show a lower resistance and higher vulnerability to such fluctuations. Fortunately, there are alternatives that enhance resilience and ensure high yields.

Agroecology at territorial scale (journal)

Agroecology territories: places for sustainable agricultural and food systems and biodiversity conservation

The development of sustainable agricultural and food systems is so far almost exclusively proposed either at the scale of specific agricultural systems or for selected supply chains. Strongly neglected is the development of sustainable systems at a territorial scale. We, therefore, present here the concept of agroecology territories. We define agroecology territories as places where a transition process toward sustainable agriculture and food systems is engaged. Three major domains must be considered for the transition to take place: adaptation of agricultural practices; conservation of biodiversity and natural resources; and development of embedded food systems. Stakeholder group strategies, developed by those who actively engage in these three domains and are themselves actors in the transition, are integral to agroecology territories.

Agroecology and the Sustainable Development Goals (online)

Agroecology contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals

A meta-analysis of 50 case studies from 22 African countries shows the contribution of agroecology to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The trends revealed here make clear the potential of agroecology to sustainably increase food sovereignty while conserving biodiversity and respecting indigenous farmers’ knowledge and innovations.

Polyculture trials 2014-16 (online)

Balkan Ecology Project's polyculture trials 2014-16

For three years Balkan Ecology Project have been testing the practice of growing vegetables and herbs in polycultures (or what is known as guilds within permaculture circles). They have been using their home garden for these tests and recording the inputs and outputs from the growing seasons. Their aim is to discover whether or not growing in polycultures offers benefits over conventional methods of growing, and to see to what degree they can obtain good yields of nutrient dense food whilst providing habitat for garden wildlife. Here they present a description of the garden layout and planting scheme, an overview of their cultivation practices, the results from year three of the study, their record keeping methods, and some notes and observations from this year.

Functional Ecolgy special issue free online


To celebrate 30 years of Functional Ecology current journal Editors Charles Fox, Alan Knapp, Craig White and Ken Thompson have each chosen their favourite papers from our back catalogue. We asked the Editors to choose papers they feel have had a major impact on their field and that continue to be relevant today. The resulting eclectic selection spans the full history and broad scope of the journal. All 17 papers are free to access.

Engaging the public in community carbon reduction (#journal)

“The Good Life”: Engaging the public with community-based carbon reduction strategies

In recent years the UK has positioned itself to become a global leader in addressing climate change, including an increasing emphasis on the role of communities to facilitate, increase and sustain carbon reduction practices. Previous research into community-based carbon reduction projects has highlighted the difficulty of engaging the public in community initiatives and sustaining pro-environmental behaviours. We need an understanding of how individuals respond to, and engage with, (or even ignore) community-based carbon reduction strategies. The paper presents findings from focus groups in three urban communities and investigates individual engagements with community-based carbon reduction strategies. The paper discusses what people know, feel and do about addressing climate change at the community level. An “information-vacuum” is reported that leads to an “awareness-involvement gap” that inhibits sustained engagement. The paper advances a new theoretical framework and a “what works” approach for community-based initiatives attempting to meaningfully engage the public.