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Open AccessArticle

Linking Ecosystem Services and the SDGs to Farm-Level Assessment Tools and Models

1
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Muencheberg, Germany
2
Faculty of Landscape Management and Nature Conservation, University for Sustainable Development (HNEE), Schickler Straße 5, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6617; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166617
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 31 July 2020 / Accepted: 12 August 2020 / Published: 15 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; SA; ecosystem services; SDGs CICES; tools; models; coverage analysis agriculture; SA; ecosystem services; SDGs CICES; tools; models; coverage analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

MacPherson, J.; Paul, C.; Helming, K. Linking Ecosystem Services and the SDGs to Farm-Level Assessment Tools and Models. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6617.

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