Why the discourse on sustainable intensification needs to change

Excellent commentary, expansion, critique and discussion of our recent paper by Joern, colleagues, and commenters.

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

Just a couple of days ago, we highlighted a new paper we published in Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment on the topic of “sustainable intensification”. By coincidence, two new papers on sustainable intensification landed on my desk today. One, a paper by Charles Godfray and Tara Garnett in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, and two, a report by the RISE Foundation called “The sustainable intensification of European Agriculture“. I guess it is fair to say that it is papers such as these two that motivated us in the first place to critically re-appraise sustainable intensification. For those who haven’t read our Frontiers paper: in a nutshell, we argue that intensification without addressing the issue of who benefits from it, and who is involved in the process, cannot legitimately claim to be “sustainable”. The latest two papers I flagged above are emblematic of an analytical frame…

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