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Considering agro-ecosystems as ecological funds for collective design: New perspectives for environmental policy

Abstract : Enhancing agro-ecosystem sustainability raises difficult challenges for environmental policy: it requires both increasing knowledge on these complex systems to design effective solutions and coordinating stakeholders with diverging interests. However, most existing environmental policies consider ecosystems’ desirable properties as given, leading ecosystem managers to favor “turnkey” solutions. How could public policy better support local collective initiatives aiming at reconciling agriculture and the environment? This paper presents an empirical case study from western France, in which a partnership between an agricultural cooperative and an ecological research center resulted in a collective design initiative. We conceptually model this initiative drawing upon recent design theories and Georgescu-Roegen’s ‘fund-flow’ model, defining ‘ecological funds’ as the starting point of a collective design process. The results highlight the importance of developing policy instruments that can better support local innovation processes through greater democratization. Adopting a design approach to sustainable agricultural landscape management could be particularly fruitful in situations where collective action is necessary but where there is no common good recognized as such, and no existing community identified.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01305924
Contributor : Elsa Berthet <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 22, 2016 - 5:06:12 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 3:10:20 AM

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Elsa Berthet, Blanche Segrestin, Gordon Hickey. Considering agro-ecosystems as ecological funds for collective design: New perspectives for environmental policy. Environmental Science and Policy, Elsevier, 2016, 61, pp.108-115. ⟨10.1016/j.envsci.2016.04.005⟩. ⟨hal-01305924⟩

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