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Nature quality in organic farming: A conceptual analysis of considerations and criteria in a European context

Tybirk, Knud; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted and Frederiksen, Pia (2004) Nature quality in organic farming: A conceptual analysis of considerations and criteria in a European context. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 17 (3), pp. 249-274.

[thumbnail of Tybirk_Alroe_and_Frederiksen_2004_Nature_quality_in_organic_farming.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:JAGE.0000033081.92534.d4


Nature quality in relation to farming is a complex field. It involves different traditions and interests, different views of what nature is, and different ways of valuing nature. Furthermore there is a general lack of empirical data on many aspects of nature quality in the farmed landscape.
The present paper looks at nature quality from the perspective of organic farming, which has its own values and goals in relation to nature – the "Ecologist View of Nature". This is in contrast to the "Culturist View" characteristic of much conventional agriculture and the "Naturalist View" characteristic of the traditional biological approach to nature quality. This threefold distinction forms a framework for exploration of nature quality criteria in the farmed landscape.
The traditional work on nature quality has mainly focused on biological interests based on a Naturalist View of Nature. In this paper we will explore how criteria for nature quality based on the Ecologist View can be developed and thereby feed into the ongoing discussion of the development of the organic farming practises. We suggest additional criteria for nature quality based on an Ecologist View of Nature: biodiversity; habitat diversity, extent and structure; functional integrity of habitats and agroecosystems; and landscape integrity, accessibility and experientiality. The larger set of Naturalist and Ecologist criteria can provide a wider and more balanced basis for developing nature quality indicators that are relevant in the farmed landscapes. This broader approach to nature quality is also expected to benefit the general societal discussions and decisions on farming and nature.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:accessibility, aesthetics, agriculture, biodiversity, biological integrity, conservation, functional integrity, habitat, landscape, view of nature
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Landscape and recreation
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > V.1 (SYNERGY) Coordination and synergy
Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.5 Nature quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Tybirk, phd Knud
ID Code:1325
Deposited On:26 Sep 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:28
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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