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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1238; doi:10.3390/su8121238

Social Farming in the Promotion of Social-Ecological Sustainability in Rural and Periurban Areas

1
Madrid Institute for Rural, Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDRA), Ctra. Madrid-Barcelona (N-II), KM. 38.200, 28802 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
2
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge, 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Opsdam
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [464 KB, uploaded 29 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Rural areas are facing a spectrum of landscape changes and vulnerability as a consequence of financial and environmental crises. Innovative approaches are required to maintain the provision of social services and manage ecosystem services in these areas. We explore the capacity of social farming to create viable and sustainable rural and periurban areas according to a social-ecological perspective. We use the key elements of social-ecological systems under social farming practices to analyse (1) the role of local communities and non-formal institutions; (2) the involvement of target stakeholders; and (3) the explicit connection between agroecosystems and human wellbeing. To do so, we selected and described four cases of local social farming initiatives in terms of the key elements of social-ecological systems and conducted a literature review to provide an overview of the explicit impact of social farming on the quality of life. We found that social farming illustrates hybrid governance solutions beyond market instruments that could be applied for the governance of agroecosystems. It can also provide a range of other wellbeing and cultural ecosystem services to rural and urban inhabitants. Greater cooperation between social farming and ecosystem service science could rebound in rural landscape sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecosystem; community-based governance; ecosystem service; farming for health; innovation; social service; vulnerable people agroecosystem; community-based governance; ecosystem service; farming for health; innovation; social service; vulnerable people
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

García-Llorente, M.; Rossignoli, C.M.; Di Iacovo, F.; Moruzzo, R. Social Farming in the Promotion of Social-Ecological Sustainability in Rural and Periurban Areas. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1238.

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