Fao biofuels and food security,botanic gardens belfast food festival 2014,sarah's food baby video - Downloads 2016

Author: admin, 27.11.2013. Category: What Is Organic Food

This event primarily brought together research experts from the public and private sectors as well as global research organisations in advance of the larger Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice event in Dublin Castle. Food Security Futures sought to examine the contribution that public research must make to food security and nutrition, natural resource management, and climate change in order to meet the challenges of the coming years. While some commentators were quite optimistic about the possibilities of increasing production to meet demand, others were concerned about the type of food produced (Terri Raney, FAO), the climate change implications, and also the resource implications (Frank Place, ICRAF and Alexandre Meybeck FAO). For Place and Meybeck the key natural resource challenges for food security are inequitable distribution, accessibility and optimising resource use for food security.
Each of the main resource areas present challenges  There is little suitable new land, while much of what is currently available is degraded and under-performing  There are severe water stresses, which pressurise irrigated agriculture in particular.
By many measures, the places most in need of increased food production were the ones with the most challenges in terms of resources. Resources such as land and water are not evenly distributed, while adequate management requires difficult to find investment. The poorest and the more vulnerable, women, indigenous people, fisherfolk, are the most at risk of not having or losing access to resources.
For solutions, the authors point to the fact that resource efficiency needs to be improved at all levels, from field to landscape, along the supply chain and at the levels of diet and trade.
Improved dissemination systems that encompass experiential learning and sharing of knowledge. A food chain approach, involving all economic and policy actors, needs to happen, incorporating locally relevant programmes.
Agricultural ecosystems provide humans with food, forage, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals and are essential to human wellbeing. Agriculture is a dominant form of land management globally, and agricultural ecosystems cover nearly 40 per cent of the terrestrial surface of the Earth (FAO 2009). Traditionally, agroecosystems have been considered primarily as sources of provisioning services, but more recently their contributions to other types of ecosystem services have been recognized (MEA 2005). Management practices also influence the potential for ‘disservices’ from agriculture, including loss of habitat for conserving biodiversity, nutrient runoff, sedimentation of waterways, and pesticide poisoning of humans and non-target species (Zhang et al. Agroecosystems can provide a range of other regulating and cultural services to human communities, in addition to provisioning services and services in support of provisioning.
Around the world, agricultural ecosystems show tremendous variation in structure and function, because they were designed by diverse cultures under diverse socioeconomic conditions in diverse climatic regions. Globally, most landscapes have been modified by agricultural activities and most natural, unmanaged ecosystems sit in a matrix of agricultural land uses. The second step of valuation of ecosystem services typically includes both market and non-market valuation. Non-market valuation methods have been used for many years to measure both the use value and the non-use value of various environmental amenities (Mendelsohn & Olmstead 2009). The overarching goal of measuring and valuing ecosystem services is to use that information to shape policies and incentives for better management of ecosystems and natural resources. One approach to incentives is to provide payments for environmental services, through government programmes or private sector initiatives (Swinton 2008).
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is an international effort designed to integrate science, economics and policy around biodiversity and ecosystem services. The production of agricultural goods is highly dependent on the services provided by neighbouring natural ecosystems, but only recently have there been attempts to estimate the value of many of those services to agricultural enterprises. Biological control of pest insects in agroecosystems is an important ecosystem service that is often supported by natural ecosystems. Because the ecosystem services provided by natural enemies can substitute directly for insecticides and crop losses to pests can often be measured, the economic value of these services is more easily estimated than many other services. Pollination is another important ecosystem service to agriculture that is provided by natural habitats in agricultural landscapes. New research shows that India, China, and speculators are not the culprits in the food price explosion. Global food prices have exploded since early 2007, causing major social, political, and macroeconomic disruption in many poor countries and adding to inflationary pressure in the richer parts of the world.1 Concerns about high food prices have been expressed at the highest political level, including during the recent G8 summit on Hokkaido. Newspapers have cited an internal World Bank document as having found that 75% of the price increase was due to biofuels.
A widely held view has it that rapidly growing food demand in the emerging economies is pushing up global food prices. The OECD has carefully looked at market developments and analysed the implications of biofuel support policies. Results were published recently in the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook, a paper on the causes and consequences of rising food prices, and a report on the economic assessment of biofuel support policies. Market panic, and more specifically “speculation”, may well have played a role on derivative markets for agricultural commodities. Yet, there is no hard evidence that “speculation” has added much to the price increase on spot markets.
A different type of panic, though, has without doubt contributed to food price inflation – the barriers to exports that some food exporting countries have imposed in order to keep domestic food prices under control. OECD analysis clearly shows that two factors external to agriculture and food have had, and will continue to have in the years to come, a significant impact on the rise of global food prices. The rapid increase in crude oil prices and energy prices more generally has significantly raised the costs of producing and shipping agricultural products.
The weak dollar has contributed to driving up dollar-denominated commodity prices in international trade. But there is also one policy-made ingredient in the story – the high and growing level of support provided to the production and consumption of biofuels. The use of agricultural products, in particular maize, wheat, and vegetable oil, as feedstock for biofuel production has expanded dramatically in recent years. In a situation of depleted stocks and very low demand and supply elasticities, this gap between use and output growth has pushed prices up very strongly. With this perspective on what has happened in the recent past, it is clear that some of the factors identified will continue to play an important role in future developments on agricultural markets.
The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook expects prices on international agricultural markets will not remain at the extremely elevated level seen in the first half of 2008. The contributions that individual factors are expected to make to this higher level of prices are clarified in the Agricultural Outlook through scenario analysis, the results of which are shown in Figure 1.
It is worth noting that the baseline for these projections does not even include the impacts of more recent biofuels policy initiatives such as the Energy Independence and Security Act of the United States and the European Union’s Directive on Renewable Energy. 1 See Esther Duflo on winners and losers from high food prices, Arvind Subramanian on policy responses, and Guillermo Calvo on the causes of commodity price increases.
It is only in the last decade that bioenergy has been addressed with the rigour and care that is necessary for such a complex matter, and worries still abound that increased reliance on biofuels will put pressure on food systems. Can you begin by explaining the role the Energy Group has in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)? The Energy Group of FAO addresses all the issues related to the energy needed to supply the agrifood chain. Energy is, of course, required for every stage of the agrifood chain, from land preparation to cooking – so that’s an obvious link. Words like renewable, sustainable and green mean different things to different people, but most scientists agree that pioneering research at both small and large scales is necessary to ensure the safety of the planet and its inhabitants.
International Innovation is a global dissemination resource that provides insight and analysis on current scientific research trends, as well as funding and policy issues.
The global meat supply has failed to keep up with increased demand, especially from consumers in developing nations. People wonder what has been happening recently, with wildly gyrating financial markets and government debt problems. There are many reasons to believe that at least part of our continuing recessionary problem has to do with oil prices. We also know, based on logic, that recession is likely to arise from a spike in oil prices.
It is logical to expect that at some point, oil prices would become more expensive, even after inflation adjustment. Economists tell us that with oil, we should expect that either (1) or (2) will resolve the shortage situation. As an example of how high-priced oil can lead to cutbacks in employment, suppose the price of asphalt is too high for a state to repave the same number of miles as in the past. As another example, customers are faced with high oil prices for commuting as well as high food prices, and as a result, cut back in going out to restaurants. Thus, high oil prices tend to lead to economic contraction affecting other variables of the economy, such as employment.
At the time oil prices hit their peak and started declining in mid-2008, US government debt levels began rising rapidly (Figure 3), because of higher “entitlement” spending and stimulus payments. We don’t think about it, but economic growth is important in the ability of borrowers to repay debt with interest.
If the future is better than to day, it makes sense to borrow, even if the borrower has to repay the loan with interest. If we start reaching a situation where the future is no better than,  or worse than, the present (Scenario 2 of Figure 4), then the existence of debt makes much less sense, because there are fewer investment opportunities, and because debt repayment is likely to be much more difficult. If we look at what has actually happened to the amount of US debt outstanding (Figure 5), loans in the private sector have fallen since the time oil prices hit their high in 2008, at the same time that governmental debt has risen.
Increasing debt is beneficial because it helps enable job growth and economic growth in general.
If individuals and businesses fail to take out additional new loans, and instead repay (or default on) old loans, the lower level of debt will further add to the drag on the economy that high oil prices provide. There are really two ways of slowing the economy–(1) high oil prices and (2) less debt availability.
What seems to happen is that initially, oil prices rise in response to rising oil demand and limited supply. In 2008-2009, the recession was resolved when oil prices dropped low enough that the economy could start expanding at least a little. Now, in 2011, high oil prices and reduced reported economic growth make it look as though we are again bouncing against an economic growth ceiling caused by oil price limits. The debt deleveraging issue discussed above has the potential to be much worse this time around, now that governments have nearly reached the limit of debt they can take on.
We don’t know how all of these issues will play out, but between high oil prices and deleveraging, the evidence would seem to suggest the possibility of an even-worse recession in 2011-2012 than the last time around.
The opinions of the contributors to Financial Sense® do not necessarily reflect those of Financial Sense, its staff, or its parent company, PFS Group. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations recently published updated data on the global wood products industry that shows wood pellet production set a new record in 2014. According to the report, wood pellet production grew by approximately 17 percent in 2014, reaching 26 million metric tons, up from 23 million metric tons in 2013. The report indicates that approximately 15 million metric tons were traded internationally.
The report notes that production and consumption of wood pellets in Asia more than doubled in 2014.


This is a consequence of expected continued improvements in productivity and of a slowdown in demand growth. Presently, per capita consumption of meat in the developed countries is 65 kg, compared to 27 kg in the other countries.
The latter, organised by Irish Aid and the Mary Robinson Climate Justice foundation, included representatives of civil society and the global south, politicians and Al Gore. The conference was organised by FAO and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Competition for land, water and food could lead to greater poverty and hunger if not properly addressed now, with potentially severe environmental impacts. Likewise distribution does not always favour the countries that are relying more on natural resources for their growth.
This is amplified by price spikes or general increases, when production can rise to meet shortages and population-driven demand. Resources need to be assessed, measured, governed and sometimes transferred in a more optimum manner. Collaboration across sectors for effective management all important resources for food production and ecosystem services should be promoted.
More efficient, food, input and credit markets are needed and supporting infrastructure development, as well as long term commitment to natural resource management (NRM) objectives. These systems rely on ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems, including pollination, biological pest control, maintenance of soil structure and fertility, nutrient cycling and hydrological services.
Impacts of farm management and landscape management on the flow of ecosystem services and disservices to and from agroecosystems.
Influenced by human management, ecosystem processes within agricultural systems can provide services that support the provisioning services, including pollination, pest control, genetic diversity for future agricultural use, soil retention, regulation of soil fertility and nutrient cycling. Regulating services from agriculture may include flood control, water quality control, carbon storage and climate regulation through greenhouse gas emissions, disease regulation, and waste treatment (e.g. Functioning agroecosystems include, among others, annual crop monocultures, temperate perennial orchards, grazing systems, arid-land pastoral systems, tropical shifting cultivation systems, smallholder mixed cropping systems, paddy rice systems, tropical plantations (e.g. The conversion of undisturbed natural ecosystems to agriculture can have strong impacts on the system's ability to produce important ecosystem services, but many agricultural systems can also be important sources of services.
Valuing the provisioning services that derive from agriculture is relatively straightforward, since agricultural commodities are traded in local, regional or global markets.
Non-market valuation can be based on revealed preference (behaviour expressed through consumer choices) or stated preference (e.g. One of the inherent difficulties of managing ecosystem services is that the individuals who control the supply of such services, such as farmers and other land managers, are not always the beneficiaries of these services.
Historically, the US has provided support for soil conservation investments and other readily observable practices to maintain or enhance certain ecosystem services. A recent report for policy-makers highlights the link between poverty and the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, with the intent of facilitating the development of effective policy in this area (ten Brink 2009). Some services are more easily quantified than others, to the extent that they are essential to crop production or they substitute directly for purchased inputs. Non-crop habitats provide the habitat and diverse food resources required for arthropod predators and parasitoids, insectivorous birds and bats, and microbial pathogens that act as natural enemies to agricultural pests and provide biological control services in agroecosystems (Tscharntke et al. For example, an analysis of the value of natural enemy suppression of soya bean aphid in soya bean indicated that this ecosystem service was worth a minimum of US$239 million in four US states in 2007–2008 alone (Landis et al. Approximately 65 per cent of plant species require pollination by animals, and an analysis of data from 200 countries indicated that 75 per cent of crop species of global significance for food production rely on animal pollination, primarily by insects (Klein et al.
Biofuels were a significant element in the 2005-2007 food price surge as they accounted for 60% of the growth in global consumption of cereals and vegetable oils. The analytical framework used is a large-scale partial equilibrium model of agricultural commodity markets in all major countries and at the international level, with detailed representation of the multitude of policy instruments affecting these markets, including those targeting biofuels. The amount of capital invested and the number of transactions observed in these markets has increased very significantly in recent times. After all, it is only when “speculators” actually buy produce on the spot market that they can drive up the price, and this would have to be reflected in growing stock levels – but stocks appear to have declined throughout the period of rising prices. Yet, the precise effect that this form of government panic has had on short-term price movements is very difficult to quantify. As a large part of the use expansion was due to biofuels, there cannot be any doubt that biofuels were a significant element in the rise of food prices. However, prices are not expected to fall back to the low levels observed before the price hike either. If the further expansion of biofuels production and use due to these initiatives were included, the impact of biofuels on global agricultural prices would be even higher. In addition, it also explores the challenging subject of the extent to which energy can actually be produced by the agrifood sector.
Then there is the connection between energy costs and food costs, as well as the issue of linkages between water use, energy production and use, and food production – something that is now referred to as the water-energy-food nexus. This issue showcases the technological innovations and environmental ideas that are ensuring a better future for everyone. Focusing on environmental science, technology, healthcare, social sciences and regional research, we work with researchers to capture the essence of their project to transform complex science and technology into digestible, design-rich and impactful articles.
Even with record-high global prices, the supply response has been dampened by a variety of factors, including high grain prices, lack of adequate pastureland and limited water resources. It seems to me that we are bumping up against an economic growth ceiling, brought on by a limited supply of cheap oil. We are now reaching a reality check, with the recent severe recession and the economy’s apparent inability to rebound from that recession. For one thing, we know that food prices tend to rise with oil prices (Figure 1), and that food is a major expenditure for much of the world’s population. This happens because people’s salaries generally don’t rise when oil prices rise and, as mentioned previously, food prices tend to rise at the same time as oil prices.
World oil production in million barrels per day, versus Brent oil price, based on EIA data. What happens with growing crops is that the yield is reduced, if there is a shortage of an essential nutrient.
If a baker discovers that he has only three cups of flour, and a chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for four, he finds a need to make a smaller batch. We can think of this economic contraction at high oil prices providing a ceiling on economic growth. This increase in spending mitigated the immediate crisis, but in practice, moved quite a few of the oil-induced problems from the private sector to the governmental sector. Average quarterly oil price and US Federal External Debt, based on EIA and Federal Reserve data. As a result of this increased spending in 2008-2011, governments are now finding themselves dealing with debt downgrades, fights over debt limits, and a need for raising taxes or cutting benefits.
Because of this relationship, if we hit a ceiling on economic growth for any reason, debt deleveraging is likely to quickly become a problem.
Investment opportunities are likely to look good, and even with interest, debt repayment is likely not  to be a problem (Figure 4, Scenario 1). The Wall Street Journal recently showed this graph (Figure 6) showing that investors are now demanding higher yields to invest in commercial mortgage-backed securities. Wall Street Journal graph showing that investors are now demanding higher yields, in order to offer securitized mortgage-backed loans. For example, if a person takes out a car loan to buy a new car, this loan helps make possible the employment of  people in the automobile manufacturing sector. What seems to have happened in 2008 and may be happening now in 2011 is that there is a “hand-off” between the two.
But in not too long, high oil prices start interfering with the credit market–causing more debt defaults, and causing lenders to become more cautious in making loans and buyers to be more cautious about buying big new purchases.
Prices seem to have reached a maximum in April or early May, and if the 2008 pattern repeats itself, we will soon be headed deep into recession. Governments are sufficiently in debt themselves that they find it difficult to add more debt. Europe accounted for 61 percent of pellet consumption, or 16 million metric tons, and 79 percent of consumption. Lain America, Caribbean and Africa produced a combined 1 percent of the world’s pellets, or 100,000 metric tons.
The Republic of Korea became the world’s fourth largest wood pellet importer, driving up wood pellet production in the region, particularly in Vietnam, China and Thailand.
Canada and Latvia are also the largest pellet exporters, joined by the Russian Federation and Portugal. Total consumption in these countries amounted to 14 million metric tons, or 55 percent of total global consumption. Together, these five countries imported 11 million metric tons of wood pellets, up 29 percent from 2013, and accounting for 79 percent of global imports.
Prices for the main products - cereals, oilseeds, sugar, meat, dairy, fish, biofuels and cotton - will increase less than inflation, i.e.
However beneficial this is for ensuring an adequate food supply, it also means harsh conditions for animals.
And these figures are expected by the report to increase further in the coming ten years - see chart below. This is the question Frank Place (ICRAF) and Alexandre Meybeck (FAO) posed at the Food Security Futures conference, held in Dublin as part of the Irish EU presidency.
So the planet now faces a confluence of pressures on fragile soils, supplies of water and competing demands for land. Biodiversity above and below ground is vitally important, yet about 900 cultivated plant species and 22% of the more than 8000 animal breeds are threatened by extinction. They suggest promoting a wide practice of integrated natural resource management from field to landscape, including soil conservation, minimum tillage, use of organic nutrients, agroforestry, rainwater harvesting, micro-irrigation, integrated crop-livestock, rotational grazing, watershed protection, biodiversity corridors. More attention is also required to NRM-related policy instruments such as property rights, rewards for environmental services, longer term finance, and improved investments in research in agriculture and NRM. Preliminary assessments indicate that the value of these ecosystem services to agriculture is enormous and often underappreciated. Humans value these systems chiefly for their provisioning services, and these highly managed ecosystems are designed to provide food, forage, fibre, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals.
Whether any particular agricultural system provides such services in support of provisioning depends on management, and management is influenced by the balance between short-term and long-term benefits. Since agricultural practices can harm biodiversity through multiple pathways, agriculture is often considered anathema to conservation. Indeed, agricultural land use can be considered an intermediate stage in a human-impact continuum between wilderness and urban ecosystems (Swinton et al. Ecologists and other natural scientists have been engaged in enhancing our understanding of how ecosystem services are produced for over a decade (e.g.
Some ecosystem services provide an essential input to agricultural production, and their value can be measured by estimating the change in the quantity or quality of agricultural production when the services are removed or degraded.


In the US, the Conservation Security Program of the 2002 farm bill established payments for environmental services, and many European countries have also provided governmental support for environmentally sound farming practices that support ecosystem services. Another approach is the establishment of markets for pollution credits, including the growing global carbon market operating under various cap and trade initiatives, such as the European Union Emission Trading System. There cannot be any doubt that biofuels were a significant element in the rise of food prices. China, for example, has been a consistent and growing net exporter of cereals (including rice). Activity on futures markets may, to some limited extent, have spilled over into spot markets.
More specifically, in North America and Europe biofuels cannot be produced, and would be very little used, in the absence of government support through subsidies, tax breaks, tariffs, and use mandates. For the 2008-17 period, average prices for major agricultural products are projected to remain some 10% to 50% higher in real terms than on average over the past ten years. In the absence of further growth in biofuels production (not to speak of a decline), international market prices of wheat, maize, and vegetable oil could be some 6%, 12% and 15% lower than projected under baseline assumptions. The association between oil prices and food prices arises partly because oil is used to grow and transport food.
Since food and commuting expenses are necessities,  workers tend to cut back on discretionary spending when oil prices rise. When we hit this ceiling, the economy tends to bounce back downward, until equilibrium is again reached. Fewer loans lead to less building of new cars, and thus less employment, and less “economic growth,” as it is calculated in GDP. If we look at US Consumer Credit Outstanding, we find that it peaked in the same month that oil prices hit their maximum, that is July 2008 (Figure 7). At some point, oil prices may become too high for people to afford, but too low to cover the costs of the companies extracting the oil.
North America accounted for 33 percent of consumption, or 8.8 million metric tons, and 13 percent of consumption.
Together, these five countries exported 9 million metric tons, or 58 percent of global exports, in 2014. Climate change and rising demand for biofuels provide additional instability in global food systems. Assessment measurement and monitoring of resources needs to be improved, as does dissemination. Agroecosystems also produce a variety of ecosystem services, such as regulation of soil and water quality, carbon sequestration, support for biodiversity and cultural services. In turn, agroecosystems depend strongly on a suite of ecosystem services provided by natural, unmanaged ecosystems. However, appropriate management can ameliorate many of the negative impacts of agriculture, while largely maintaining provisioning services.
Cultural services may include scenic beauty, education, recreation and tourism, as well as traditional use.
This variety of agricultural systems results in a highly variable assortment and quantity of ecosystem services. This approach has been used to estimate the value of pollination services and biological control services (e.g.
In contingent valuation surveys, for example, consumers are asked what they would be willing to pay for the ecosystem service. While farmers do benefit from a variety of ecosystem services, their activities may strongly influence the delivery of services to other individuals who do not control the production of these services.
Agri-environment schemes are intended to moderate the negative environmental effects of intensive agriculture by providing financial incentives to farmers to adopt environmentally sound agricultural practices. These biological control services can reduce populations of pest insects and weeds in agriculture, thereby reducing the need for pesticides. Since this is an estimate of the value of suppressing a single pest in one crop, the total value of biological control services is clearly much larger.
Of the most important animal-pollinated crops, over 40 per cent depend on wild pollinators, often in addition to domesticated honeybees.
Since new research also shows that biofuel support policies are disappointingly ineffective on environmental grounds, governments should reconsider them. The Agricultural Outlook expects China’s net cereals exports to decline only very gradually in the coming decade.
Global output of cereals and vegetable oil did not decline during that period, but just grew slower than the rapid expansion of use. In other words, biofuel support policies have contributed greatly to the rise in global food prices.
The OECD’s recent report on the economic assessment of biofuel support policies has clearly shown that their effectiveness is disappointingly low, with public support costing between $960 and $1700 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions saved. Debt deleveraging can be expected to play an important role as well, and may cause this recession to be much worse than the last one. Now that food is being used to produce biofuels, there is a connection in the opposite direction as well: high demand for oil tends to lead to high demand for food crops that substitute for oil, thus further acting to raise food prices. Even broadly defined oil supply (including natural gas liquids, biofuels, coal-to-liquid, and gas-to-liquid) is not, in practice, adding enough to world fuel supply to keep prices down (Figure 2, below). So if the baker was planning to use a full package of chocolate chips, for example, he finds he has some left over. Thus, the issue is more one of a shortage of cheap oil, than it is one of a shortage of oil in general.
This interference with credit, and the resulting deleveraging, helped act to bring oil prices down, and continued the recession. When this happens, we will have a real problem, because it will no longer make economic sense to continue extracting oil. The fact that economic growth rates seem to be down long-term may add further to deleveraging.
Depending on management practices, agriculture can also be the source of numerous disservices, including loss of wildlife habitat, nutrient runoff, sedimentation of waterways, greenhouse gas emissions, and pesticide poisoning of humans and non-target species. Supporting services include genetic biodiversity for use in breeding crops and livestock, soil formation and structure, soil fertility, nutrient cycling and the provision of water. Agricultural places or products are often used in traditional rituals and customs that bond human communities. Just as the provisioning services and products that derive from these agroecosystems vary, the support services, regulating services and cultural services also differ, resulting in extreme variation in the value these services provide, inside and outside the agroecosystem. Just as conversion from natural ecosystems to agriculture can reduce the flow of certain ecosystem services, the intensification of agriculture (Matson et al. Another approach is to ask producers—in this case farmers—what they would be willing to accept to supply the ecosystem service (Swinton et al. Examples include the impact of farming practices on downstream water supply and purity and regional pest management. For India, the picture is similar, though there was significant variability in its net trade position in the past. In a situation like that, governments have good reasons to reconsider their biofuel support policies if they want to help to calm food prices down. This occurs because world oil production, however defined, is close to flat, regardless of price. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor). Oil prices won’t be able to drop low enough, for long enough, to get us out of the recession. The tradeoffs that may occur between provisioning services and other ecosystem services and disservices should be evaluated in terms of spatial scale, temporal scale and reversibility. Regulating services may be provided to agriculture by pollinators and natural enemies that move into agroecosystems from natural vegetation. Conservation of biodiversity may also be considered a cultural ecosystem service influenced by agriculture, since most cultures recognize appreciation of nature as an explicit human value. In maximizing the value of provisioning services, agricultural activities are likely to modify or diminish the ecological services provided by unmanaged terrestrial ecosystems, but appropriate management of key processes may improve the ability of agroecosystems to provide a broad range of ecosystem services.
1997) or the conversion of agroecosystems to urban or suburban development can further degrade the provision of beneficial services. Basic knowledge about ecosystem structure and function is increasing at a rapid pace, but we know less about how these factors determine the provision of a complete range of ecosystem services from an individual ecosystem (NRC 2005).
The challenge is to use emerging information about ecological production functions and valuation to develop policies and incentives that are easily implemented and adaptable to changing ecological and market conditions.
This estimate is based on the value of crop losses to insect damage as well as the value of expenditures on insecticides.
In short, growing food demand in the major emerging countries cannot be held responsible for the rise in world market prices for cereals. At the same time, demand from China, India, and countries that export oil, like Saudi Arabia, is increasing rapidly.
As more effective methods for valuing ecosystem services become available, the potential for ‘win–win’ scenarios increases. Natural ecosystems may also purify water and regulate its flow into agricultural systems, providing sufficient quantities at the appropriate time for plant growth. In return, biodiversity can contribute a variety of supporting services to agroecosystems and surrounding ecosystems (Daily 1997). In practice, most studies focus on estimating the provision of one or two well understood ecosystem services. Values for such services can also be estimated by measuring replacement costs, such as pesticides replacing natural pest control and hand-pollination or beehive rental replacing pollination. Studies suggest that insect predators and parasitoids account for approximately 33 per cent of natural pest control (Hawkins et al. Under all scenarios, appropriate agricultural management practices are critical to realizing the benefits of ecosystem services and reducing disservices from agricultural activities. Better understanding of the processes that influence ecosystem services could allow us to predict the outputs of a range of ecosystem services, given particular ecosystem characteristics and perturbations to those ecosystems.
A recent evaluation of over 200 paired fields in five European countries indicated that agri-environment programmes had marginal to moderate positive impacts on biodiversity, but largely failed to benefit rare or endangered species (Kleijn et al. Despite recent advances, this is an area of research that still needs considerable attention.



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