Special Issue "New Challenges for the Sustainability and Competitiveness of Agricultural Systems: Bioeconomy Strategies Focused on Soil Management, Use of Natural Resources and Climate Change Mitigation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alejandro Rescia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040-Madrid, Spain
Interests: landscape ecology; social-ecological resilience; biodiversity conservation; spatial analysis; agricultural landscape
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Samir Sayadi Gmada
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Agri-Food Chain Economics, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA), 18080 Granada, Spain
Interests: agricultural residues; waste and byproduct sustainable management; circular bioeconomy; landscape and ecosystem services valuation; multifunctionality of agriculture; sustainable rural development; sustainable agri-food value chain and labels; new consumers/social demands and concerns; sustainable tourism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In a world of limited resources subject to global pressures such as climate change, land and ecosystem degradation and growing population, there is an urgent need to find new ways of producing and consuming sustainably, i.e. respecting the ecological limits of the planet. At the same time, the need to achieve sustainability constitutes a strong incentive to modernize human activities and strengthen the position of the different productive sectors in the context of a highly competitive global economy and with the objective of ensuring the socio-economic well-being of the population. This requires improving and innovating the way food, products and materials are produced and consumed while maintaining the resilience of ecosystems (in this case, the flow of goods and services they provide) through a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Bioeconomy encompasses all sectors and systems based on biological resources (animals, plants, micro-organisms and derived biomass, including organic waste), their functions and principles. It includes, as a link between them, terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the services they provide; all primary production sectors that use and produce biological resources (agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture); and all economic and industrial sectors that use biological resources and processes to produce food, feed, bioproducts, energy and services. Bioeconomy must be built around sustainability and circularity or, in other words, a sustainable bioeconomy is the renewable segment of the circular economy. It can transform bio-waste, waste and discards into valuable resources and generate innovations and incentives to help reduce, even in the short term, certain food wastes safely, respecting applicable standards and legal requirements.

A long-term sustainable circular bioeconomy in agricultural and food production systems (terrestrial and aquatic) must address challenges such as food waste, losses and by-products (including nutrient recycling), resilience, the need for more nutritionally sensitive food production. In addition, it should undertake bio-innovations aimed at developing new chemicals, processes and value chains for bioproduct markets in rural areas, encouraging the participation of primary producers and increasing their profits. Faced with these challenges, it is essential to maximize the impact of research and innovation to generate results that will address these challenges and take advantage of cross-cutting opportunities in the bioeconomy. For this Special Issue, we welcome conceptual and empirical studies that propose concrete actions to promote rural development so that the benefits of a competitive and sustainable bioeconomy are more equitably distributed among value chains and territories, mutually reinforcing their economic prosperity and ecosystem resilience.

Prof. Dr. Alejandro Rescia
Prof. Dr. Samir Sayadi Gmada
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Circular economy and bioeconomy for agricultural competitiveness.
  • Landscape, biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment.
  • Sustainable management of agriculture waste, by-products, residues and biomass.
  • Sustainable management of natural resources and agro-ecology principles.
  • Sustainable agri-food, value chain and labels, short trade market and competitiveness.
  • Sustainable rural development
  • Innovative solutions and case studies of successful business circular economy and bioeconomy models in agriculture.
  • Bioinnovation and green infrastructures in agricultural systems.
  • Spatial resilience of rural landscapes.
  • Ecological resilience for a sustainable bioeconomy.
  • Future scenarios for sustainable and profitable agricultural systems.
  • Farmers work-related information to sustainable and circular bioeconomy.
  • DNA barcoding and biological pest control.
  • New plant varieties and precision farming.
  • Climate-smart agriculture, ecological intensification and regenerative agriculture.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Impacts of Erosion on the Sustainability of Organic Olive Groves: A Case Study (Estepa Region, Southwestern Spain)
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147983 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Spain has more than 2.5 M ha of olive groves, with 60% of this area (i.e., 1.5 M ha) concentrated in the region of Andalusia (Southern Spain). Assuming the socio-ecological characteristics of these crops, of which their contribution to ecosystemic services (ES) is [...] Read more.
Spain has more than 2.5 M ha of olive groves, with 60% of this area (i.e., 1.5 M ha) concentrated in the region of Andalusia (Southern Spain). Assuming the socio-ecological characteristics of these crops, of which their contribution to ecosystemic services (ES) is fundamental for society, it is highly relevant to direct their management towards practices that guarantee their durability. Organic management of olive groves constitutes a multifunctional model that contributes to ensuring its sustainability and represents 2.4–3.5% of the olive grove area in Spain. Taking the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Estepa (Southwestern Spain) as a study model, where organic olive groves are novel, a study of the impacts of erosion on the economic, social, and environmental factors associated with this management was carried out in addition to estimating its impacts. The results showed how organic management promotes edaphic fertility, keeping the levels of diffuse pollution under the legislative limits. Although the increase in erosion has negative effects on the sustainability/durability of agricultural holdings, organic management consolidates a sustainable model that satisfies farmers’ demands. Therefore, organic farming is a model that focuses on the correct use of natural resources associated with the geographical region of study, and contributes to increasing the sustainability of olive groves. Full article
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Article
A Market-Based Economic Instrument to Better Use Water in Agriculture
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041473 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 733
Abstract
The paper presents a market-oriented system of returnable guarantees that can be combined with tradable permits to encourage farmers to use alternative sources of water instead of the regular watering network, or to steer the farming system toward environmentally-friendly systems like low tillage [...] Read more.
The paper presents a market-oriented system of returnable guarantees that can be combined with tradable permits to encourage farmers to use alternative sources of water instead of the regular watering network, or to steer the farming system toward environmentally-friendly systems like low tillage and/or organic farming. Factual data from real farming were bootstrapped to test whether or not a set of farms could save water and reduce chemical input due to the higher cost of maintaining the status quo. Based on interactions between water, pesticides, fertilizers, and crops, the system of returnable guarantee determines the farmers to reduce the amount of water harvested from aquifers, generates benefits for the most environmentally-friendly farmers, and stimulate conversion to organic farming. Full article
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