Sustainable Agriculture: Tracking the Indicators for Australia and New Zealand - SCARM report No 51 (Paperback)Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management (author)
Paperback 76 Pages / Published: 01/12/1993
- Not available
This book identifies practical indicators which can be used by decision makers to evaluate the sustainability of agricultural systems at regional and national scales in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries have the nationally-stated objectives, for agricultural sustainability of economic viability, maintenance of the resource base and minimising the impact of agriculture on other ecosystems. Key issues in the concept of agricultural sustainability are the links between socio-economic and biophysical aspects, including the off-site effects of agriculture. Indicators that reflect such linkages require a conceptual framework and the development of an accepted methodology which goes beyond the existing measures of profitability and success and allows the status of the resource base to be reflected in the overall worth of the industry. While the overall goal is maximising the net social benefit derived from the resource base, the authors have identified improvement in management practices as the most significant factor needed to achieve this. The book emphasises that the attributes selected as descriptors of the key indicators are put forward as suggestions at this stage. In some areas there is a lack of established methodology and professional consensus as to the most appropriate attributes which can only be rectified with further testing and analysis. This report is viewed as part of a dynamic process with continuing review and evaluation of indicators and their attributes. Because assessment of the indicators themselves will reveal improvements and gaps, and because the conditions under which agriculture operates changes over time, the process of feed-back should have a beneficial effect on the sustainability of agriculture in the future. The authors do not anticipate change in the declining terms of trade for agriculture or the lessening of fiscal protection. However, they do see an increasing expectation from society for natural resources to be fully considered in valuations, and for the influence of agriculture on other ecosystems to be taken into account.
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Number of pages: 76
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