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How to include on-farm biodiversity in LCA on food?

Knudsen, Marie Trydeman and Halberg, Niels (2007) How to include on-farm biodiversity in LCA on food? Poster at: 5th International Conference on LCA in Foods, Gothenburg, Sweden, 25-26 April 2007. [Unpublished]

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Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of food and agriculture generally include potential effects on global warming, eutrophication, ecotoxocity and acidification some of which again affect biodiversity. However, LCA most often does not include specific indicators of the product’s or agricultural system’s impact (negative or positive) on biodiversity. Using LCA methodology on agricultural products makes it highly relevant to assess the impacts of land use. Some LCA’s include a simple category of land use. This is sometimes interpreted as “nature occupation”. However, if this is the only impact category addressing land use related biodiversity, the LCA cannot distinguish between different forms of agricultural systems, which may differ in their biodiversity impact (e.g. organic versus conventional products). Biologists as well as policy makers consider some agricultural land use, such as grazing semi-natural grasslands, as beneficial for biodiversity preservation. Thus, land use in food production systems can have both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity compared to leaving the land untouched by humans. Simple, operational indicators to account for the different impacts on biodiversity in food production systems could take the point of departure in the most important factors affecting biodiversity (easy obtainable pressure indicators) instead of estimating e.g. species diversity directly.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, biodiversity, land use, agriculture
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > GLOBALORG - Sustainability of organic farming in a global food chains perspective
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Knudsen, Researcher Marie Trydeman
ID Code:10875
Deposited On:31 May 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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