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What is Sustainable Intensification?

 

Operationalizing Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Pathways in Europe (SIPATH)

 

Sustainable Intensification of agriculture (SI) is advocated by both, scientists and policy makers, as a solution for the dilemma between the need to increase agricultural production and the need to reduce the environmental burden which intensification historically entailed. Yet it is largely unclear, if and how this potential win-win situation can be realized. The overall objective of SIPATH is to operationalize the somewhat fuzzy concept of SI. We will establish a strong conceptual framework on agricultural intensification, which we will confront

  1. with empirical data to understand the mechanisms of agricultural development in Europe over the past decades,
    and
  2. with mega-trends, including climatic, societal and technological developments that are likely to affect the future of agriculture in Europe.

Based on the improved understanding gained, the goal is then to identify potential pathways of SI at the continental, but regionally differentiated scale.