ENSC 301: Sustainable Development Series

ENSC 301: Sustainable Development Series

Multifunctional agricultural landscapes in the urban fringe Christopher Ling John Antill Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC Multi-functionality an integration of different functions within the same or overlapping land unit, at the same or overlapping in time (Brandt, Trees, & Tress, 2000, p.159) Multi-functionality in agriculture the existence of multiple commodity and non-commodity outputs that are jointly produced by agriculture; and (OECD, 2001)

Multi-functional agricultural landscapes producing food, sustaining rural landscapes protecting biodiversity generating employment contribution to the vitality of rural areas Adapted from: Potter and Burney (2002) Question How do farmers perceive the multi-functionality of their farms? What relevance do those perceptions have for

landscape assessment and management? Case Studies 68 acre dairy farm 27 acre organic mixed vegetable and fruit, chicken eggs and cereals 31 acre mixed organic vegetable and fruit farm Data collection Sequential exploratory strategy (SES) Qualitative Data: Importance of onfarm landscape features and associated benefits Quantitative Data: Evaluated agricultural multi-functionality Qualatative

Quality of Life Capital Approach (Natural England, 2008) What Matters and Why? in the Landscape. A framework for integrated assessment of attributes and functions within the landscape Quantitative Likert scale evaluation by farmers of: Ecological function Production function Economic function Cultural function Social function Of each landscape unit Quality of Life Capital (Natural England 2008) What Matters and Why? in the Landscape.

A framework for integrated assessment of attributes and functions within the landscape Matrix of benefits (Farm 3) Landscape features/land use system Functional Benefit Importance of benefit (H, M, L)a Vegetable stand area Economic Social Culture Production

H H M H Upper-fields (vegetable and sunflower patches, fruit trees) Production Economic Ecological Ecological, Production, Social Production, Economic, Ecological H H

L H L L H H L Northern wooded area Ecological Water supply system Production Leaf composting area Front fields to lower field (vegetable, cereal & flower patches, and orchard) Mid farm wooded corridor and pond

Scale of benefit (H, M,L) Farm Region Prov H H L H L L H M


L H H L L Functional evaluation (Farm 3) Functional benefits Vegetable stand area Leaf compost

area Front and lower field Forested areas Upper fields Water supply system Ecological 13 14

20 20 18 15 Productive 17 18 20 16 19

19 Economic 20 11 20 10 20 20 Cultural 16

9 13 15 19 12 Social 12 8 15 14

17 13 Total 78 60 88 75 93 79 Functional evaluation (Farm 1)

Is the agri-tourism on the farm more important that the farming? Ecological Social Cultural Productive Economic Functional evaluation (Farm 1) Functional evaluation (Farm 2) Important supplier to local restaurants, and partly forested landscape Ecological

Social Productive Cultural Economic Functional evaluation (Farm 2) Functional evaluation (Farm 3) Long established community farm supplying local community Ecological Social

Productive Cultural Economic Functional evaluation (Farm 2) Components of functionality Maintains on-farm biodiversity Sustaining capacity Supports biodiversity through connectivity to off-farm habitat

Ecology Presence of endangered species Conservation value Contributes to the ecological health of the farm Components of functionality Diversified agricultural products Ecological coherence

Commodities tuned to ecosystem health Production Sound natural resource management Production efficiency Efficiency and high production Components of functionality Specialized and highly demanded commodity

Specialized crops Independence of external support for production Economic Access commercially viable markets Profitability Profitability of products Components of functionality Observed and adapted traditional

knowledge about on-farm natural resources Heritage Relevant historical heritage, buildings and infrastructures Cultural Adaptability of the farm in the face of unknown future challenges Knowledge, skills developing technical and

scientific knowledge about farming the land Components of functionality Contribution to the surrounding community Welfare & social integration Supply of socially appreciated goods and services Social Potential for alternate land use Strategic land use

Contribution to the public understanding of local agriculture Conclusion Current planning policies and land assessment focus almost exclusively on the production aspects of farm landscapes rather than the multiple functions identified by famers Understanding multi-functionality at the farm scale can help to create a framework in which a variety of outcomes and policy objectives can be implemented and examined Agricultural land impacts community vitality in many more ways that in areas of food sovereignty and farm livelihoods

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