E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alexander Wezel

Professor for Agroecology and Landscape Ecology, Directeor of the Department Agroecology and Environment, ISARA-Lyon, 23, rue Jean Baldassini, 69364 Lyon, France
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +0033-427-85-85-84
Interests: agroecology; biodiversity managment in agroecosystems; result-oriented agri-environment measures; management of drinking water catchments; fish ponds
Guest Editor
Mr. Stéphane Bellon

INRA SAD, Avignon, France
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +0432722583
Interests: dynamics and knowledge in agroecology; organic and ecologically based agricultures; functional biodiversity; systems design and management; research policies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agroecology has gradually developed in the last two decades, but has only recently been more strongly promoted by different movements, organization, institutions, different farmer groups, and also research. Whereas the development of agroecology was very strong from the beginning in Latin America, not enough is known, thus far, for the case of Europe. There are different evolutions in agroecology as a science, movement and practice, but no substantial documentation exists for this for different regions and countries in Europe. Additionally, in relation to policies, only one country, France, has, so far, a policy for developing agroecology in practice, science, and education. Other countries might have elements in their national policies, but not yet clearly defined. The same applies for the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. Thus, there is a lack of knowledge regarding these agroecology related policies.

We invite to contribute to this Special Issue that provide new insights, developments, applications, and policies related to agroecology in different countries and regions in Europe to get an enlarged and improved view about the development of sustainable agriculture and agroecology in Europe. This includes also the food systems approach in agroecology, as well as historical evolutions in different countries.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Wezel
Mr. Stéphane Bellon
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 monthly 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 1400 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

  • agroecological practices
  • agroecology
  • collective action
  • farmers’ movements
  • historical developments of agroecology
  • management of agroecosystems
  • agricultural and environmental policy
  • sustainable agriculture

Published Papers (11 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-11
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082751
Received: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroecology has gradually developed in recent decades, but has only recently been more strongly promoted by different movements, organizations, institutions, farmer groups, and scholars[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Agroecology in Mediterranean Europe: Genesis, State and Perspectives
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082724
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mediterranean agro-food systems need to be properly managed. A promising pathway is the transition towards more sustainable food systems through agroecology, which represents the ecology of food systems. In this paper, the state-of-the-art of agroecology is described for three representative euro-Mediterranean countries:
[...] Read more.
The Mediterranean agro-food systems need to be properly managed. A promising pathway is the transition towards more sustainable food systems through agroecology, which represents the ecology of food systems. In this paper, the state-of-the-art of agroecology is described for three representative euro-Mediterranean countries: Italy, Greece, and Spain. The analysis has been partly based on results of a dedicated literature search and partly on grey literature and expert knowledge. After an overview of the history of agroecology, targeted research and education, collective action (political and social), and some agroecological practices in the three countries are presented. These countries share a rather similar use of the term “agroecology”, but they differ regarding (i) the existence/extent of strong civil and social movements; (ii) the type of study/educational programmes, and the relative importance of different scientific disciplines and their evolution; (iii) the development of political support and legal frameworks; and (iv) the elaboration of concepts to rediscover traditional practices and apply new ones, often taken from the organic agriculture sector. Agroecology is an emerging concept for the Mediterranean agricultural sector, with huge potential due to the peculiar socio-cultural, bio-physical, and political-economic features of the region. To boost agroecology in Mediterranean Europe, better networking and engagement of different actors within a coherent institutional framework supporting the transition is strongly needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Generative Potential of Tensions within Belgian Agroecology
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2094; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062094
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food crises and ecologization have given rise to a Belgian dynamic that does not behave according to the conventional tripod of agroecology: practitioners, social movement, and scientists. Instead of simply recounting the history of Belgian agroecology, the authors trace the history and dynamics
[...] Read more.
Food crises and ecologization have given rise to a Belgian dynamic that does not behave according to the conventional tripod of agroecology: practitioners, social movement, and scientists. Instead of simply recounting the history of Belgian agroecology, the authors trace the history and dynamics in Belgium), a journey along six strands that weave themselves into a Belgian tapestry: Genetically modified crop commandos, a scientific paradigm shift, hybrid expertise opening the Northern route that intersects with a Southern political route, an original non-institutional dynamic in the French-speaking part of Belgium and an institutional initiative that led to a rift in Flanders. In the following section, we identify, emerging from those six strands, four tensions that create a space of innovations, namely, politically differentiated discourses, land access, fair price, and epistemic tensions. We discuss then the generative potential of the 4 tensions and describe the potential of reconfigurations generated by boundaries organizations, food justice and transdisciplinarity. We conclude that the concept of agroecology continues to have transformative potential in Belgium today. However, no one can predict the course of such a largely non-institutional dynamic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Challenges and Action Points to Amplify Agroecology in Europe
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051598
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agriculture in Europe results in the production of food for both the European population and for the export sector. Significant environmental and social problems have emerged with the intensification of European agriculture. These include the loss of biodiversity, the contamination of soils, water,
[...] Read more.
Agriculture in Europe results in the production of food for both the European population and for the export sector. Significant environmental and social problems have emerged with the intensification of European agriculture. These include the loss of biodiversity, the contamination of soils, water, and food with pesticides, and the eutrophication of water bodies. Industrialized agricultural and food systems are also a major contributing factor in the decline of farm numbers, and the high use of antibiotics has led to serious human health problems. In this respect, agroecology can provide insights into important pathways and guide the design, development, and promotion of the transition towards sustainable farming and food systems. An analysis of the major challenges for the amplification of agroecology in Europe was carried out by 310 stakeholders in a World Café exercise and 23 sessions and workshops during the Agroecology Europe Forum 2017. The different challenges that were identified can be grouped into seven categories: (1) definition and concepts; (2) education, training, and knowledge sharing; (3) research approach and funding; (4) policies; (5) productivity and practices; (5) food systems and consumer awareness; and (6) co-optation. To address these challenges, the following key actions are recommended: (1) to develop a common understanding of agroecology; (2) to enhance education in agroecology and knowledge exchange; (3) to invest in agroecological research; (4) to develop policies enhancing agroecology; (5) to support new and existing agroecological practices; (6) to transform food systems; and (7) to strengthen communication and alliances. In this paper we present and discuss these recommendations for pathways and actions to develop sustainable agro-food systems in Europe through agroecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication Institutionalizing Agroecology in France: Social Circulation Changes the Meaning of an Idea
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051380
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroecology has come a long way. In the past ten years, it has reappeared in France throughout the agricultural sector and is now included in public and private strategies and in supportive policies, with collateral interest effects. Is a new “agro-revolution” taking place?
[...] Read more.
Agroecology has come a long way. In the past ten years, it has reappeared in France throughout the agricultural sector and is now included in public and private strategies and in supportive policies, with collateral interest effects. Is a new “agro-revolution” taking place? To address this issue, using a methodology mixing hyperlink mapping and textual corpora analysis, we focus here on the trajectory of agroecology in various worlds: that of academia, social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote international solidarity, research and training institutions and public policies. This trajectory intertwines actors and time lines, with periods in which certain actors play a specific role, and others in which interactions between actors are dominant in terms of coalition advocacy. Some actors play a major role in circulating agroecology as they belong to several different social worlds (e.g., academia and NGO), present high occupational mobility (from politician to scientist and vice versa), are charismatic or have an irradiating aura in the media, and can articulate and circulate ideas between different social arenas (including between countries). The stabilization of networks of actors is interpreted as the institutionalization of agroecology, both within social movements as well as because of its integration into a policy aimed at an ecological modernization of agriculture. The international positioning of many actors anchors national and regional initiatives more strongly. It is also a prerequisite for the amplification and development of agroecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Agroecology in Europe: Research, Education, Collective Action Networks, and Alternative Food Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041214
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroecology is considered with different focus and weight in different parts of the world as a social and political movement, as science, and as practice. Despite its multitude of definitions, agroecology has begun in Europe to develop in different regional, national and continental
[...] Read more.
Agroecology is considered with different focus and weight in different parts of the world as a social and political movement, as science, and as practice. Despite its multitude of definitions, agroecology has begun in Europe to develop in different regional, national and continental networks of researchers, practitioners, advocates and movements. However, there is a lack of a comprehensive overview about these different developments and networks. Therefore, this paper attempts to document and provide a mapping of the development of European agroecology in its diverse forms. Through a literature review, interviews, active conference participation, and an extensive internet search we have collected information about the current state and development of agroecology in Europe. Agroecological research and higher education exist more in western and northern Europe, but farm schools and farmer-to-farmer training are also present in other regions. Today a large variety of topics are studied at research institutions. There is an increasing number of bottom-up agroecological initiatives and national or continental networks and movements. Important movements are around food sovereignty, access to land and seeds. Except for France, there are very few concrete policies for agroecology in Europe. Agroecology is increasingly linked to different fields of agri-food systems. This includes Community Supported Agriculture systems, but also agroecological territories, and some examples of labelling products. To amplify agroecology in Europe in the coming years, policy development will be crucial and proponents of agroecology must join forces and work hand-in-hand with the many stakeholders engaged in initiatives to develop more sustainable agriculture and food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Open AccessArticle We Don’t Want to Be Officially Certified! Reasons and Implications of the Participatory Guarantee Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041142
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Official organic regulation in Europe is based on the third-party certification system to guarantee organic products. Many critics and dissatisfactions have motivated the emergence of other guarantee systems, based on an intense implication of producers and, in some cases, consumers and other local
[...] Read more.
Official organic regulation in Europe is based on the third-party certification system to guarantee organic products. Many critics and dissatisfactions have motivated the emergence of other guarantee systems, based on an intense implication of producers and, in some cases, consumers and other local actors, involved in localised agri-food systems. They are called Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), and are not recognised as valid guarantee systems by the official organic regulation. In the present paper, we analyse the main differences between the PGS and the third party certification system, deepening on their differentiated social and political implications. We conclude that the procedures behind PGS generate numerous positive impacts in the territories related to local producers (and consumers) empowerment and localised agri-food systems drive, while their implications make them not considered as a substitute to third party certification system, unless certain conditions of social consolidated groups and agroecological and food sovereignty perspective of food system take place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Scheme 1

Open AccessArticle The Coexistence of Multiple Worldviews in Livestock Farming Drives Agroecological Transition. A Case Study in French Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Cheese Mountain Areas
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041097
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Livestock systems contribute significantly to environmental issues and need to undergo an agroecological transition. This transition is not only technical, but also involves an evolution of farmers’ ways of seeing and interpreting the world, i.e., worldviews. We investigate livestock farmers’ worldviews and their
[...] Read more.
Livestock systems contribute significantly to environmental issues and need to undergo an agroecological transition. This transition is not only technical, but also involves an evolution of farmers’ ways of seeing and interpreting the world, i.e., worldviews. We investigate livestock farmers’ worldviews and their relationships with farming practices (grazing and mowing management) in three Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese areas in the French mountains. The study is based on quantitative and comprehensive qualitative surveys in 37 farms. We identify entities typically considered by farmers and the kind of relations they have with these entities, as well as the ontological background, sources of knowledge, and worlds of justifications. Four ideal-typical worldviews emerge: Modern; Traditional; Ecological Intensive; Holist. These four worldviews coexist in each area and also at the farm scale. Three selected farmer monographs illustrate this complexity in detail. The four worldviews are consistent with other typologies in literature. Both Ecological Intensive and Holist worldviews can be considered as “agroecological”; however, they correspond to very different conceptions of agroecology. Different worldviews imply different sustainability indicators and pathways, as well as alternative knowledge-management systems. Finally, the coexistence of multiple worldviews is a key driver of the agroecological transition, which can be enhanced by facilitating confrontation and exchanges between worldviews. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Agroecology Development in Eastern Europe—Cases in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051311
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroecology is a discipline of science that is based on several disciplines, primarily ecology and agronomy. Although the first mention of agroecology was more than 100 years ago, it has recently been more intensely developed throughout Eastern European countries, beginning in the 1990s.
[...] Read more.
Agroecology is a discipline of science that is based on several disciplines, primarily ecology and agronomy. Although the first mention of agroecology was more than 100 years ago, it has recently been more intensely developed throughout Eastern European countries, beginning in the 1990s. Basically, such interest developed due to the intensification of agriculture in the second half of the 20th century, which was based on the premise of agricultural research, and related specifically to production. Agroecology is also strongly associated with sustainable agricultural activities, especially organic farming, which began to develop in Eastern European countries around 1990. Due to the unique environment of Eastern European countries, and a combination of several disciplines within them as well as other factors, agroecology in these differing countries can be perceived as somewhat different from one another. This overview focuses on the current state of agroecology in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Development of the Concept of Agroecology in Europe: A Review
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041210
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of Agroecology is still not widely discussed in European countries. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present a qualitative and quantitative mixed analysis of this conceptualization based on research papers to provide initial answers to the following questions: How
[...] Read more.
The concept of Agroecology is still not widely discussed in European countries. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present a qualitative and quantitative mixed analysis of this conceptualization based on research papers to provide initial answers to the following questions: How has the agroecology been used in terms of social movement, science and agricultural practice in the European countries? At which scales has it been applied? Which factors have influenced its application? Speech analysis and multivariable techniques are applied to systematized information. According to found results, the concept of agroecology is mainly conceived as science, then as practice and to a lesser degree as a social movement. There is a predominance of studies at plot level, with a tendency to include physical-biological factors; and at agroecosystem, regional and agri-food system levels, including designers, landscapes and consumers. There is a conceptual evolution in extensive quantitative and intensive qualitative standings when the agroecology incorporates more factors, such as economic, social, and, to a lesser extent, cultural and political, and becomes more transdisciplinary as a response to more complex phenomena that support the genesis and development of this concept. In this regard, a greater balance between its conceptions (science, practice and social movement) is recommended to achieve a better dialogue between abstract and empirical levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122267
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures) in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of
[...] Read more.
This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures) in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
Back to Top