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Spare me - Share me : The role of stakeholders, scale and institutions in ensuring biodiversity's benefits to resilience in agricultural landscapes

Bazile D., Torquebiau E., De Clerck F., Botta A., Louafi S.. 2014. In : Resilience and development: mobilising for transformation. Villeurbanne : Centre pour la Communication Scientifique Directe, p. 65-65. Resilience Alliance 2014, 2014-05-04/2014-05-08, Montpellier (France).

There is ample ecological evidence that biodiversity contributes to ecosystem resilience buffering the impacts of internal and external shocks to the system. In natural systems, this resilience is a function of multiple processes, including complementary effects of species interactions and sampling effect where the increasing species richness simply increases the probability of including species able to tolerate the shock in question. Harnessing biodiversity's contribution to resilience in agricultural landscapes however has been more elusive largely due to significant trade-offs between production and conservation functions. Production functions are typically favored when risk is low, and vice versa. We recognized that biodiversity per se highlights notions of resilience, maintaining a system within certain bounds, and increasing the predictability of system performance and reducing risk. As with stock portfolios however, the reduced risk is traded for rapid transformation. A central question is whether scenarios were possible where the resilience function can be maintained while fostering transformation. In this case, transformation should be expressed within the three dimensions of sustainability and must be simultaneous. In considering these scenarios, scale and institutions became central issues. A central question thus becomes how to harness the value of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes while reducing the trade-off between risks and opportunities. This can be exemplified by considering the role of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes at different scales and the question of where mixed approaches (sharing) or disaggregated approaches (sparing) fall along the risk and opportunity trade-off space. We recognized that what is largely missing from the discussion on sharing and sparing is the role of institutions. More specifically, under a gradient from sharing to sparing, how do institutions contribute to the pillars of sustainability? During the session, we propose elaboration of a conceptual framework, key ideas and questions that addresses these issues notably consideration of the risks and opportunities afforded by specific institutional regimes in coordination with adaptive and transformative capacities. What are the characteristics of institutions that work to avoid collapse (reduce risk), and how do these institutions further contribute to increasing opportunities specific to the context of sharing and sparing scenarios. We propose a Dialog Session that would present this contextual framework, would include a panel of experts (scientists and/or practitioners) with direct experiences in the role of institution in supporting sharing or sparing frameworks. These experts would be asked to: 1) Identify the contribution of agrobiodiversity to stability/risk of the systems Which attributes to achieve what? How do we weigh the risk and opportunities of the different scenarios from a risk perspective? 2) System trajectory and the role of agrobiodiversity in this transition? If you can identify the status quo, what changes are needed at the institutional level? Which governance, institutions are required? Output: a multi-authored paper for a special issue of Ecology and Society. (Texte integral)...

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