Transition of Ecosystem Services Based on Urban Agro Ecology

Transition of Ecosystem Services Based on Urban Agro Ecology

José G. Vargas-Hernández
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3576-9.ch002
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This chapter analyzes the implications of the transition of ecosystem services based on urban agro-ecology. It advances on the debate over the negative effects of the traditional and industrial-oriented agricultural production on the ecosystem services, food systems, climate change, etc. and analyses the principles, methods, and some practices that support the transition to urban agro-ecology. The method employed is the analytical of the theoretical and empirical literature review. It concludes that a transition from traditional and industrial-oriented agriculture towards more urban agro-ecology is inevitable to improve the ecological and environmental services, the economic efficiency, the social equity and justice, and the environmental sustainability of cities.
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Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are “the direct and indirect contributions of nature to human wellbeing” (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) 2010). Urban agro ecology has direct impacts on ecosystem services, environmental sustainability, food security and socio economic development in urban and peri-urban areas. The impact of urban agro ecology in the ecosystem services in urban environment, economic viability and productivity has been given little attention by organizations and institutions than the peri-urban commercial farms. Agro ecological techniques can improve yields and increase productivity while improving the supply of critical natural resources and environmental services (Pretty et al. 2006).

To enhance this situation, it is recommended to provide more extension, education, training and support for the agro economic services. The urban economies benefit from urban agro ecology if local governments develop institutions with a policy framework to provide agro ecological services, promote sustainable urban development and urban food security aimed to enable urban agro ecological participants to unlock supporting financial and technical services.

The analysis of agro ecology theory and practice may contribute to the discussion to pursue to the institutionalization of agro ecological development based on a farm system with investments and services supported by networking interactions between the state, society and inclusive participatory organizations. A multilevel methodology to analyze the impact of agro ecological practices on environmental services flows and processes to assess the feasibility of the agro ecological transition.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Agro-Ecology: The discipline that is responsible for administering the ecological principles of the production of food, fuels, fibers and pharmaceuticals. This encompasses a wide range of approaches and they consider it a science and a way of seeing life, whether organic, conventional, intensive or extensive.

Food System: Refers to food produced, processed, distributed and consumed locally.

Urban Agro-Ecology: Covers agroecological practices that are developed in or near cities. ... Urban agroecology usually develops on the roofs of buildings, on the walls of houses and on the balconies and terraces of buildings.

Ecosystem Services: These are resources or processes of natural ecosystems (goods and services) that benefit human beings. It includes products such as clean drinking water and processes such as waste decomposition.

Environmental Development: An economic and social development that respects the environment. The objective of sustainable development is to define viable projects and reconcile the economic, social, and environmental aspects of human activities; It is about making progress in these areas without having to destroy the environment.

Transition: Step or change from one state, way of being, etc., to another. Intermediate state between an older one and another that is reached in a change.

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