Agricultural practices, ecosystem services and sustainability in High Nature Value farmland: Unraveling the perceptions of farmers and nonfarmers

Alberto Bernués, Elena Tello-García, Tamara Rodríguez-Ortega, Raimon Ripoll-Bosch, Isabel Casasús

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our aim was to examine the perceptions of farmers and nonfarmers regarding the relationships between agriculture and the environment in High Nature Value (HNV) farmland. We performed content analysis of information obtained from five focus groups to derive key items (recording units such as words, phrases and concepts) and classify the derived items into a set of themes: agricultural practices, ecosystem services, and economic and social sustainability. We established the relative importance of each item and the relationships among the items. The farmers were very knowledgeable of ecosystem services (particularly regulation), the interactions among them, and their relationships with agricultural practices, particularly grazing management. Nonfarmers were less knowledgeable of ecosystem services, particularly regulation, and identified fewer relationships with agricultural practices. However, nonfarmers were highly concerned about the provision of quality food products and several cultural ecosystem services, which were discussed in bundles. The provisioning of food with particular quality attributes was revealed to be important for participants and a distinctive feature of HNV farmland. Ecosystem services were frequently interwoven with broad issues of economic and social sustainability. Therefore, a systemic view should be considered when designing agri-environmental policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-142
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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