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Title: A framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making

Abstract

Responding to future challenges and societal needs, various actions are taken in agriculture to evolve towards more sustainable farming practices. These actions imply strategic choices and suppose adequate sustainability assessments to identify, measure, evaluate and communicate sustainable development. However, literature is scarce on the link between strategic decision making and sustainability assessment. As questions emerge on how, what and when to measure, the objective of this paper is to construct a framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making. Qualitative research on own experiences from the past and a recent project revealed four categories of actual needs farmers, advisors and experts have regarding sustainability assessment: context, flexibility, focus on farm and farmer and communication. These stakeholders' needs are then incorporated into a two-dimensional framework that marries the intrinsic complexity of sustainability assessment tools and the time frame of strategic decision making. The framework allows a farm-specific and flexible approach leading to harmonized actions towards sustainable farming. As this framework is mainly a procedural instrument to guide the use of sustainability assessment tools within strategic decision making, it fits to incorporate, even guide, future research on sustainability assessment tools themselves and on their adoption on farms. - Highlights: •more » How to link sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making is unclear. • Two-dimensional framework incorporating stakeholders' needs regarding sustainability assessment • Linking complexity of sustainability assessment tools and the time frame of strategic decision making • Farm-specific and flexible approach to harmonize action towards sustainable farming.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]; ;  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO)-Social sciences Unit, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115, box 2, 9820 Merelbeke (Belgium)
  2. (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22589252
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 60; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AGRICULTURE; DECISION MAKING; FARMS; SUSTAINABILITY; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Citation Formats

Coteur, Ine, E-mail: ine.coteur@ilvo.vlaanderen.be, Marchand, Fleur, University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Management Research Group and IMDO, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Debruyne, Lies, Dalemans, Floris, Lauwers, Ludwig, and University of Ghent, Department of Agricultural Economics, Coupure Links 53, 9000 Ghent. A framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.04.003.
Coteur, Ine, E-mail: ine.coteur@ilvo.vlaanderen.be, Marchand, Fleur, University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Management Research Group and IMDO, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Debruyne, Lies, Dalemans, Floris, Lauwers, Ludwig, & University of Ghent, Department of Agricultural Economics, Coupure Links 53, 9000 Ghent. A framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making. United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.04.003.
Coteur, Ine, E-mail: ine.coteur@ilvo.vlaanderen.be, Marchand, Fleur, University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Management Research Group and IMDO, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Debruyne, Lies, Dalemans, Floris, Lauwers, Ludwig, and University of Ghent, Department of Agricultural Economics, Coupure Links 53, 9000 Ghent. 2016. "A framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making". United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.04.003.
@article{osti_22589252,
title = {A framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making},
author = {Coteur, Ine, E-mail: ine.coteur@ilvo.vlaanderen.be and Marchand, Fleur and University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Management Research Group and IMDO, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk and Debruyne, Lies and Dalemans, Floris and Lauwers, Ludwig and University of Ghent, Department of Agricultural Economics, Coupure Links 53, 9000 Ghent},
abstractNote = {Responding to future challenges and societal needs, various actions are taken in agriculture to evolve towards more sustainable farming practices. These actions imply strategic choices and suppose adequate sustainability assessments to identify, measure, evaluate and communicate sustainable development. However, literature is scarce on the link between strategic decision making and sustainability assessment. As questions emerge on how, what and when to measure, the objective of this paper is to construct a framework for guiding sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making. Qualitative research on own experiences from the past and a recent project revealed four categories of actual needs farmers, advisors and experts have regarding sustainability assessment: context, flexibility, focus on farm and farmer and communication. These stakeholders' needs are then incorporated into a two-dimensional framework that marries the intrinsic complexity of sustainability assessment tools and the time frame of strategic decision making. The framework allows a farm-specific and flexible approach leading to harmonized actions towards sustainable farming. As this framework is mainly a procedural instrument to guide the use of sustainability assessment tools within strategic decision making, it fits to incorporate, even guide, future research on sustainability assessment tools themselves and on their adoption on farms. - Highlights: • How to link sustainability assessment and on-farm strategic decision making is unclear. • Two-dimensional framework incorporating stakeholders' needs regarding sustainability assessment • Linking complexity of sustainability assessment tools and the time frame of strategic decision making • Farm-specific and flexible approach to harmonize action towards sustainable farming.},
doi = {10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.04.003},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
number = ,
volume = 60,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}
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