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Article

An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification

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CREA, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, via della Navicella 2-4, 00184 Rome, Italy
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INRAE-Eco-Innov, F-78850 Thiverval, Grignon, France
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Université de Lorraine, INRAE, LAE, F-68000 Colmar, France
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Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Department of Socioeconomic Sciences, Ackerstrasse 113 CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland
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Centre wallon de Recherches agronomiques, CRA-W, 9 Rue de Liroux, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
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Chamber of Agriculture Lower Saxony, Nienburg office, Vor dem Zoll 2, 31582 Nienburg, Germany
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Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture des Pays de la Loire CRA-PDL 9, Rue André Brouard 49000 Angers, France
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Fondazione italiana per la ricerca in agricoltura biologica e biodinamica, FIRAB, Via Pio Molajoni 76, 00159 Rome, Italy
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CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Via Libertà, 203 90143 Palermo, Italy
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CREA Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, Corso Savoia 190, 95024 Acireale, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135434
Received: 5 June 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Biodiversity 2020: Agriculture, Environment and Wellbeing)
Crop diversification represents a key lever to support the development of sustainable agri-food systems. Knowledge on trade-offs and carry over effects from different crop diversification strategies is essential to inform agricultural stakeholders of potential costs and benefits. This knowledge is limited by existing data and performance measures predominantly focused on single crops, rather than complete rotations. Moreover, sustainability performance indicators are often used for assessment purposes, rather than supporting stakeholder learning and actions. A new set of 32 indicators was developed to address these needs, and used to evaluate the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the diversified agricultural systems highlighted in the case studies, which are often characterized by data availability constraints. This approach was tested in France, Germany and Italy to determine a critical ex-post diagnosis of the existing systems, and for the assessment of ex-ante innovative scenarios. The results will be used to support these case studies in the identification and design of more sustainable agricultural systems. Although the framework is based on feasible and proxy indicators, the assessment outcomes have allowed local actors to reflect on the effects generated by the implemented crop diversification strategies. Key issues include trade-offs occurring between optimizing economic and environmental performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: evaluation; performance indicator; participatory research; sustainability; trade-off evaluation; performance indicator; participatory research; sustainability; trade-off
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MDPI and ACS Style

Iocola, I.; Angevin, F.; Bockstaller, C.; Catarino, R.; Curran, M.; Messéan, A.; Schader, C.; Stilmant, D.; Van Stappen, F.; Vanhove, P.; Ahnemann, H.; Berthomier, J.; Colombo, L.; Dara Guccione, G.; Mérot, E.; Palumbo, M.; Virzì, N.; Canali, S. An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5434. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135434

AMA Style

Iocola I, Angevin F, Bockstaller C, Catarino R, Curran M, Messéan A, Schader C, Stilmant D, Van Stappen F, Vanhove P, Ahnemann H, Berthomier J, Colombo L, Dara Guccione G, Mérot E, Palumbo M, Virzì N, Canali S. An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5434. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135434

Chicago/Turabian Style

Iocola, Ileana, Frederique Angevin, Christian Bockstaller, Rui Catarino, Michael Curran, Antoine Messéan, Christian Schader, Didier Stilmant, Florence Van Stappen, Paul Vanhove, Hauke Ahnemann, Jérémy Berthomier, Luca Colombo, Giovanni Dara Guccione, Emmanuel Mérot, Massimo Palumbo, Nino Virzì, and Stefano Canali. 2020. "An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5434. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135434

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