Specialization, intensification and spatial separation of crop, livestock and forestry production systems have contributed to climate change and biodiversity loss. Circularity in integrated crop-livestock-forestry production systems may reduce the environmental impact of agricultural production systems through strategies that mitigate GHG emissions and increase resource use efficiency. However, a clear picture of potential synergies and trade-offs is required before prioritizing solutions. The SENSE project develops a matrix of (existing) indicators for effective quantification of the status of circularity within case studies of integrated systems (in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom). Contrasting scenarios of carbon, nutrients, water, and biomass flows are simulated in the case studies through process-based models such as Manure-DNDC. We test a novel digital Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MVR) system developed by the James Hutton Institute (project leader) and its application in quantifying and mitigating GHG emissions. This helps to develop potential scenarios at farm level to redesign systems towards more complete local circularity within integrated crop-livestock-forestry systems. We evaluate and compare the circularity scenarios according to (i) their potential for mitigating GHG emissions, (ii) their resilience, using a probabilistic risk analysis approach, and (iii) their side effects on other societal goals based on multidimensional sustainability assessment tools. We compare and discuss our cases together with farmers through circularity, ecological functioning and socio-economic indicators to discover general lessons for enhancing effective circularity at the farm level. SENSE contributes to the European Farm to Fork Strategy and to cross-cutting actions of the European Circular Economy Action Plan. Namely, we will provide guidance for informed circularity decisions at farm level that consider the trade-offs with other sustainability goals. Translated into policy briefs, this information will help to design an enabling environment that effectively supports farmers to enhance circularity in their farming systems in a meaningful way.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/21 → 28/02/25|