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dc.contributor.authorDarnhofer, Ika
dc.contributor.authorFairweather, John
dc.contributor.authorMoller, Henrik
dc.identifier.citationDarnhofer, I., Fairweather, J., & Moller, H. (2010). Assessing a farm’s sustainability: insights from resilience thinking. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 8(3), 186–198. doi:10.3763/ijas.2010.0480en
dc.description.abstractResearch on sustainability in agriculture often focuses on reducing the environmental impacts of production systems. However, environmentally friendly production methods may not be sufficient to ensure the long-term economic and social sustainability of a farm. Taking a systems approach to sustainable farming, we turn to resilience thinking with its focus on the interdependence of social and ecological systems. We apply this approach to farming by conceptualizing a farm as being part of a set of systems spanning several spatial scales and including agro-ecological, economic and political-social domains. These subsystems interact and are subjected to their own complex dynamics. Within such a complex adaptive system, farm sustainability can only be achieved through adaptability and change. To be ready for the inevitable periods of turbulent change, a farmer needs to retain diversity and redundancy to ensure adaptability. Resilience is thus more likely to emerge when farmers hone the capacity to transform the farm, when farm production is attuned to the local ecological carrying capacity, and when learning and innovation are targeted outcomes. This article shows how resilience theory applied to farming may provide a more comprehensive route to achieving sustainability and offers rules of thumb as guides to building farm resilience.en_NZ
dc.publisherTaylor & Francisen_NZ
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainabilityen_NZ
dc.subjectadaptive managementen_NZ
dc.subjectcomplex adaptive systemsen_NZ
dc.subjectfarming systemsen_NZ
dc.subjectsocial–ecological resilienceen_NZ
dc.titleAssessing a farm's sustainability: insights from resilience thinkingen_NZ
dc.typeJournal Articleen_NZ
otago.schoolCentre for Sustainabilityen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Onlyen_NZ
dc.rights.statement© 2010 Earthscanen_NZ
dc.description.refereedPeer Revieweden_NZ
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