The role of agroecology in sustainable intensification

NH Lampkin, Bruce D Pearce, Henry E Creissen, CL Gerrard, Robbie D Girling, S Lloyd, S Padel, J Smith, Laurence Smith, Martin S Wolfe

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned report


‘Sustainable intensification’ is now often used to describe the future direction for agriculture and food production as a way to address the challenges of increasing global population, food security, climate change and resource conservation. While sustainable intensification is interpreted by some to relate to increasing production, with more efficient but potentially increased use of inputs and technology, there is also a need to consider environmental protection, including the conservation and renewal of natural capital and the output of ecosystem services. There is a growing consensus that sustainable intensification should
not only avoid further environmental damage, but actively encourage environmental benefits. This includes addressing issues of consumption (including diets), waste, biodiversity conservation and resource use, while ensuring sufficient overall levels of production to meet human needs.
‘Agroecology’ is also now receiving increasing attention as an approach to agriculture that attempts to reconcile environmental, sustainability and production goals by emphasising the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of agricultural systems. Agroecology can be seen as part of a broader approach to sustainable intensification focusing on ecological (or eco-functional) and knowledge intensification alongside technological intensification.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyScottish Natural Heritage
Number of pages163
Publication statusPrint publication - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Agroecology


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