A number of tools and models have been developed to assess farm-level sustainability. However, it is unclear how well they potentially incorporate ecosystem services (ES), or how they may contribute to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Understanding how farm-level assessment tools and models converge on these new paradigms of sustainability is important for drawing comparison on sustainability performances of farming systems, conducting meta-analyses and upscaling local responses to global driving forces. In this study, a coverage analysis was performed for several farm-level sustainability assessment (SA) tools (SAFA, RISE, KSNL, DLG) and models (MODAM, MONICA, APSIM), in regard to their potential for incorporating ES and contribution to attaining the SDGs. Lists of agricultural-relevant CICES classes and SDG targets were compiled and matched against the indicators of the tools and models. The results showed that SAFA possessed the most comprehensive coverage of ES and SDGs, followed by RISE and KSNL. In comparison to models, SA tools were observed to have a higher degree of potential for covering ES and SDGs, which was attributed to larger and broader indicators sets. However, this study also suggested that, overall, current tools and models do not sufficiently articulate the concept of ecosystem services.
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