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Adaptive farming systems – a position paper
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8626-7288
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the 8th European IFSA Symposium: Empowerment of the rural actors, a renewal of farming systems perspectives, IFSA , 2008, 339-351 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the last decades, there have been profound changes in the understanding of farming systems, in particular regarding their need for on-going adaptation to an ever-changing environment. Indeed, the rapid pace of change and its often unforeseeable direction requires farmers to keep their farms flexible and adaptive. We thus need to understand the attitudes, structures and activities that build and sustain the ability of farmers and of farming communities to cope with change and to use the opportunities offered by change. The approach we propose is based on an understanding of the workings of complex systems and entails another viewpoint on system properties, boundaries and dynamics. It focuses on ensuring sufficient room to manoeuvre, identifying transition capabilities and extending the degrees of freedom. It emphasises the need to ensure that farmers are prepared for turbulences by increasing their adaptive capacity. The concepts of flexibility, resilience and adaptive management may help in learning how to make constructive use of unforeseen change. Indeed, changes are the triggers for experimentation, for the reorganisation of resources, for the renewal of systems capable of learning and adapting. In particular, we will examine the factors that may support the capacity of farming systems to create, test and maintain an adaptive design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IFSA , 2008. 339-351 p.
Keyword [en]
adaptive farm management, resilience, adaptive capacity, evolutionary approach, complex dynamic systems
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72764OAI: diva2:488040
the 8th European IFSA Symposium
QC 20120222Available from: 2012-02-01 Created: 2012-02-01 Last updated: 2012-02-22Bibliographically approved

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ReferencesLink to record
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