Biodiversity conservation through farming : A landscape assessment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Torquebiau Emmanuel, Dosso Mireille, Nakaggwa Flavia, Philippon Olivier. 2012. Biodiversity conservation through farming : A landscape assessment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36 (3), spec. : pp. 296-318.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q2, Sujet : AGRICULTURE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY / Quartile : Q3, Sujet : AGRONOMY

Abstract : The integration of agriculture and biodiversity has become an acknowledged solution to concurrently address the development of sustainable food production systems and the preservation of natural resources. However, there are few alternative farming systems combining agricultural commodities with ecosystem services. We examined the farm and landscape dynamics of an area in South Africa which has been isolated from mainstream agriculture for several decades. We used a time series of aerial photographs as well as farm surveys and interviews to analyze how historical and present trends can explain land use features. Results show that today's landscape is the consequence of dramatic socioeconomic transformations that have turned original transhumant livestock keepers into sedentary farmers. Although poverty is widespread, we found a well-balanced landscape with a regularly increasing tree cover and a high biodiversity potential. Beyond farm and household size, the main landscape impact factors are herd size and management as well as soil fertility management practices, including fallowing. We show that these conditions represent a good potential toward a multifunctional landscape, provided the relationships between farmers' practices and biodiversity are better formalized and there are tangible benefits for farmers to opt for this approach. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Biodiversité, Agriculture, Paysage, Agroécosystème, Gestion des ressources, Conservation des ressources, Méthode d'élevage, Système de culture, Intensification, Structure agricole, Colonisation rurale, Utilisation des terres, agriculture alternative, agroécologie, Transhumance

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique du Sud

Mots-clés complémentaires : Système agraire, Multifonctionnalité, Sédentarisation

Classification Agris : P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
L01 - Animal husbandry
E90 - Agrarian structure

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2005-2013) - Intensification écologique

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Torquebiau Emmanuel, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (ZAF)
  • Dosso Mireille, IRC [Institut des régions chaudes] (FRA)
  • Nakaggwa Flavia, IRC [Institut des régions chaudes] (FRA)
  • Philippon Olivier, IRC [Institut des régions chaudes] (FRA)

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