Public Release:  Tools to measure and restore connectivity in agricultural landscapes

USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station

Symposium:

Taming Agroindustry?
Saturday, February 17, 2007
8:00 - 11:00 a.m. PST
Hilton San Francisco, 4th Floor
Union Square 19-20

The symposium was organized by Daniel Curtis Nepstad, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA ; Jason Clay, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC; Eric Atlas Davidson, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

Symposium synopsis:

Lending institutions, consumers, and trading companies are demanding better social and environmental performance of food and fiber producers. These economic signals are stimulating adoption of "best management practices," including integrated pest management, low-tillage production, natural habitat protection, and progressive relations with laborers. But in the absence of widely-accepted, standardized criteria and indicators of social and environmental performance, the impact of these market signals on agroindustry has fallen short of its potential. Some of the previous attempts to develop such criteria and indicators have had limited success because of their focus on the management practices themselves instead of the performance of these practices in protecting environmental quality and social well-being. In this symposium, speakers will analyze and discuss indicators of agroindustrial performance related to soil fertility, streamwater quality, the maintenance of native habitat, agrochemical contamination, and labor relations. They will provide a critical review of previous efforts to develop indicators and will propose indicators that could be implemented internationally, with standardized protocols. A clear statement of such indicators has the potential to substantially reduce the negative effects of agroindustry.

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Michele Schoeneberger is project leader of the National Agroforestry Center, a partnership of the US Forest Service Southern Research Station and the USDA National Resources Conservation Service. For more information: http://www.unl.edu/nac/

For more information: Michele Schoeneberger at 402-437-5178 x21 or mschoeneberger@fs.fed.us

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