The agriculture industry arguably relies more heavily on healthy ecosystems (including clean water and soil fertility) than any other sector. However, ever increasing intensification of farming practices has resulted in large scale biodiversity loss across the globe. This loss of semi-natural habitats and associated biodiversity from agricultural landscapes negatively impacts ecological functions and associated ecosystem services that support agricultural production, such as pollination and natural pest control. Intensive cropping practices and high agrochemical inputs frequently result in negative environmental impacts, including runoff of sediments or agrochemicals to surface waters, and carbon and nitrogen loss from soils. In many parts of the world, climate change exacerbates these conditions with extreme weather events that can lead to increased supply chain risks.
As a result, the sector is taking initiatives to make farming practices more sustainable. A natural capital approach based on context-specific risk and opportunity assessment facilitates identification of the right landscape measures to reduce impacts, and increase biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Arcadis utilizes a pragmatic approach to identify those landscape measures to provide benefits to both the farmer and society.
Arcadis is demonstrating the benefits of Multi-Functional Field Margins (MFFMs) for supporting biodiversity, but also to outline additional natural capital benefits that MFFMs provide to the farmer and to society. Benefits include reducing water runoff and soil erosion, increasing natural predator abundance and pollinators, supporting yield sustainability and the value of promoting higher stewardship objectives to the supply chain and consumers. Read more about assessing how integrating MFFMs provides natural and social capital benefits in this whitepaper, a joint report between Syngenta and Arcadis with support from Bioversity International on science-based inputs and guidance.
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