"Can Enhancing Diversity Help Scale Up Agriculture's Benefits to People and the Environment?"
Diversity matters. Diversity in colour, gender, culture, and ideas is what make our world interesting and beautiful. In recent years, diversity in our agricultural systems has been rapidly changing. Two existing SESYNC projects aim to understand the political drivers of this change and its impacts on human nutrition. Our project aims to complement, and work with, these existing projects by laying the groundwork for operationalizing a monitoring network for assessing the benefits and costs of agricultural diversification with respect to the Food-Energy- Water nexus. To do this, our project will analyze and synthesize data from our network’s existing empirical projects in North America, South America and Africa. Each of these projects works with multiple farms arrayed across local and landscape-scale gradients of diversification. We will couple these analyses with a coordinated mapping effort to synthesize large-scale data sets and classifications of agricultural diversity patterns. We will then integrate these data to (1) undertake trade-off and multifunctionality analysis, (2) identify key gaps in currently linking social and environmental outcomes in survey instruments, and (3) devise a common protocol for operationalizing assessments of agricultural landscape diversity and outcomes over time.
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