Wittman, H. Chappell, M.J. Abson, D.J., Bezner Kerr, R., Blesh, J. Hanspach, J. Perfecto, I.2017. A social–ecological perspective on harmonizing food security and biodiversity conservation." Regional Environmental Change 17.5: 1291-1301.

Research Keywords: 

The major challenges of improving food security
and biodiversity conservation are intricately linked. To
date, the intersection of food security and biodiversity
conservation has been viewed primarily through an agricultural
‘‘production lens’’—for example, via the land
sparing/sharing framework, or the concept of sustainable
intensification. However, a productionist perspective has
been criticized for being too narrow, and failing to consider
other relevant factors, including policy, equity, and diversity.
We propose an approach that conceptualizes rural
landscapes as social–ecological systems embedded within
intersecting multi-scalar processes. Based on such a
framing, empirical research can be more clearly set in the
context of system properties that may influence food
security, biodiversity conservation, or both. We illustrate
our approach through a description of contrasting agricultural
systems within Brazil’s Cerrado region. We emphasize
the need for new empirical research involving
systematic comparisons of social–ecological system properties
in landscapes threatened by food insecurity and
ecosystem degradation