A Multifunctional Solution for Wicked Problems: Value-Chain Wide Facilitation of Legumes Cultivated at Bioregional Scales Is Necessary to Address the Climate-Biodiversity-Nutrition Nexus

Pietro PM Iannetta, Cathy Hawes, Graham S Begg, Henrik Maass, Georgia Ntatsi, Dimitrios Savvas, Marta Vasconcelos, Karen Hamann, Michael Williams, David Styles, Luiza Toma, Shailesh Shrestha, Balint Balazs, Eszter Kelemen, Marko Debeljak, Aneta Trajanov, Rodger Vikers, RM Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Well-managed legume-based food systems are uniquely positioned to curtail the existential challenge posed by climate change through the significant contribution that legumes can make toward limiting Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. This potential is enabled by the specific functional attributes offered only by legumes, which deliver multiple co-benefits through improved ecosystem functions, including reduced farmland biodiversity loss, and better human-health and -nutrition provisioning. These three critical societal challenges are referred to collectively here as the “climate-biodiversity-nutrition nexus.” Despite the unparalleled potential of the provisions offered by legumes, this diverse crop group remains characterized as underutilized throughout Europe, and in many regions world-wide. This commentary highlights that integrated, diverse, legume-based, regenerative agricultural practices should be allied with more-concerted action on ex-farm gate factors at appropriate bioregional scales. Also, that this can be achieved whilst optimizing production, safeguarding food-security, and minimizing additional land-use requirements. To help avoid forfeiting the benefits of legume cultivation for system function, a specific and practical methodological and decision-aid framework is offered. This is based upon the identification and management of sustainable-development indicators for legume-based value chains, to help manage the key facilitative capacities and dependencies. Solving the wicked problems of the climate-biodiversity-nutrition nexus demands complex solutions and multiple benefits and this legume-focus must be allied with more-concerted policy action, including improved facilitation of the catalytic provisions provided by collaborative capacity builders—to ensure that the knowledge networks are established, that there is unhindered information flow, and that new transformative value-chain capacities and business models are established.

Original languageEnglish
Article number692137
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Volume5
Early online date23 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 23 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • food system
  • legumes (Fabaceae)
  • nutrition
  • value chain

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Multifunctional Solution for Wicked Problems: Value-Chain Wide Facilitation of Legumes Cultivated at Bioregional Scales Is Necessary to Address the Climate-Biodiversity-Nutrition Nexus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this