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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Conserving land, protecting water.

Book cover for Conserving land, protecting water.


This volume follows from a project of the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture that brought together experts in fields ranging across the social sciences, ecology, agricultural sciences, soil and water science, political science and development studies to examine examples of success in reversing land degradation, understand their importance, and explore the essential relatio...


Chapter 14 (Page no: 205)

Ecosystem benefits of 'bright' spots.

Bright spots are, by definition, cases where local food production has been improved primarily through resource-conserving agricultural techniques, which inlude: integrated pest management, integrated nutrient management, conservation tillage, agroforestry, aquaculture, water harvesting and livestock integration into farming systems. This paper provides a summary of the results of the analyses of global bright spots by Pretty et al. [See Environmental Science and Technology (2006) 40 (4), 1114-1119]. These analyses focused on: (1) water productivity as a case of local resource use efficiency; (2) pesticide use as an external input factor with direct relevance to human health and environment; and (3) carbon sequestration giving rise to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions as an example of a global ecosystem benefit. An expanded view of the variety of ecosystem benefits (soil quality, water productivity, low external inputs, integrated pest management, water cycling, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and social capital) that are possible from bright spot cases based on resource-conserving agricultural practices is also provided. The benefits are illustrated through descriptive case study examples in China, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil, India, Honduras and Thailand, and a qualitative assessment of their ecosystem benefits.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Learning from bright spots to enhance food security and to combat degradation of water and land resources. Author(s): Vries, F. P. de Acquay, H. Molden, D. Scherr, S. Valentin, C. Cofie, O.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 20) Land degradation and water productivity in agricultural landscapes. Author(s): Bossio, D. Noble, A. Molden, D. Nangia, V.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 33) Land degradation, ecosystem services and resilience of smallholder farmers in Makanya catchment, Tanzania. Author(s): Gordon, L. J. Enfors, E. I.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 51) The political ecologies of bright spots. Author(s): Geheb, K. Mapedza, E.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 69) Large-scale fluxes of crop nutrients in food cause environmental problems at sources and at sinks. Author(s): Vries, F. P. de
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 83) Carbon sequestration, land degradation and water. Author(s): Trabucco, A. Bossio, D. Straaten, O. van
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 107) Local innovation in 'green water' management. Author(s): Critchley, W. Negi, G. Brommer, M.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 120) Sustainability and resilience of the urban agricultural phenomenon in Africa. Author(s): Drechsel, P. Cofie, O. Niang, S.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 129) Safeguarding water resources by making the Land Greener: knowledge management through WOCAT. Author(s): Liniger, H. Critchley, W.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 149) Bright basins - do many bright spots make a basin shine? Author(s): Gichuki, F. Molden, D.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 163) The influence of plant cover structures on water fluxes in agricultural landscapes. Author(s): Ryszkowski, L. Kędziora, A.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 178) Investments in collective capacity and social capital. Author(s): Pretty, J.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 191) Bright spots: pathways to ensuring food security and environmental integrity. Author(s): Noble, A. Bossio, D. Pretty, J. Vries, F. P. de