Can innovative approaches to knowledge transfer strengthen both the supply of and demand for ecosystem services on agricultural lands?
In mature sectors such as agriculture, visionary efforts and dialogues around ecosystem services are springing up around the world. For instance, many are experimenting with ways to disconnect production from consuming ever more arable land; others are working to reduce pre- and post-harvest waste. Some are using mobile technology to disseminate best farming practices to smallholder farmers in developing countries; others have found innovative ways to connect verifiable changes in water usage or farming practices to new sources of revenue.
But to displace ineffective approaches and successfully invoke real change, we need to seed ideas broadly and strategically. When I speak with farmers who need and want to be empowered to strengthen or conserve ecosystem services, I am reminded that we still haven’t answered the fundamental questions - Why should I do it? How do I do it? What am I trying to achieve? Despite good intentions, knowledge isn’t flowing between practitioners, scientists, and policymakers let alone to agricultural land owners. Can innovative approaches to knowledge transfer strengthen both the supply of and demand for ecosystem services on agricultural lands?
The fundamental questions need to be addressed and the answers communicated with landowners in an efficient and culturally acceptable way. What are your thoughts on the following……
- What are we ultimately trying to achieve?
- What is the “baseline” for adequate supply of and/or demand for ecosystem services?
- How can tools and resources be developed for and disseminated to those who need them most?
- What novel approaches to communication with landowners might work best across multiple scales?