Environmental Indicators for Agriculture Methods and Results Volume 3 (Complete Edition - ISBN 926418614X)

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Abstract:



Overall the environmental performance of agriculture in OECD countries over the last 10 to 15 years has been mixed. According to the indicators examined in this book pollution levels from nitrogen and pesticide loadings in water remain relatively high, for certain regions within OECD countries. Environmental risks persist, such as soil erosion and water resource depletion, and agriculture's impact on biodiversity, wildlife habitats and landscape has been harmful in some cases. Some positive developments have also occurred. There has been a decrease in nitrogen and pesticide use in many countries with associated reductions in water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Improvements in input use efficiency and farm management practices, such as conservation soil tillage, has also enhanced environmental performance. Agriculture also generates environmental benefits and services, for example, conserving wildlife habitat, acting as a sink for greenhouse gases and providing landscape amenity. This book is the first comprehensive study to review and take stock in OECD countries of progress in developing indicators to measure the environmental performance of agriculture. Using standard indicator definitions and methods of calculation, the book provides results of the state and trends of environmental conditions in agriculture; interprets trends and highlights linkages between indicators; and, outlines the limitations and key challenges for their future development. Further reading This book is part of a series of publications entitled Environmental Indicators for Agriculture. Volume 1, Concepts and Frameworks, was released in 1997; Volume 2, Issues and Design was published in 1999 and provides the results of the OECD York Workshop (UK) that examined the design of suitable environmental indicators for policy purposes. This book is accompanied by an Executive Summary and released simultaneously with the OECD National Soil Surface Nitrogen Balances: Preliminary Estimates 1985-1997, available free of charge on the OECD website at: www.oecd.org/agr/env/indicators.htm.

Page Count: 401 Figure Count: 141 Table Count: 73

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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