Sustainable agriculture is an important component of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon by the UN in 2015. However, the trend in agriculture is moving in a non-sustainable direction. Agriculture is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss. Next to biodiversity loss due to habitat destruction by conversion of natural lands into agriculture, intensification of agriculture has led to a strong decline of specific farmland biodiversity. Furthermore, many agricultural landscapes face pollution by pesticides and fertilisers and encounter depleted soils and erosion due to unsustainable farming practices. This is threatening biodiversity, complete ecosystems and the ecosystem services on which agriculture itself depends. Moreover, the pressure of feeding an increasing number of people in combination with a change in diets towards more animal protein puts a lot of additional pressure on the current available agricultural lands and nature areas. We propose an holistic approach for sustainable agriculture that contributes to the development and implementation of sustainable practices in dairy production that make use and support biodiversity and ecosystem services. A dairy production system based on the full potential of (functional agro) biodiversity provides opportunities to create a resilient system.
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Taal van het document: Engels
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Keywords in English: agriculture, biodiversity, sustainability, ecosystem services, conceptual framework