According to the global sustainability goals, achieving food security and biodiversity conservation are among the most critical challenges of the 21st century. They are, there tore, central aspects of the US sustainable development goals, and also of the development agenda of the African Union. In addition, the discourse about the need to shift the widely recognized trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation to overlaps or synergies is also receiving top attentions by different actors at various levels in recent times. Accordingly, the ambitious growth and transformation plan, and the green development strategy of Ethiopia recognize that the trade-offs between agricultural development expansion and biodiversity conservation interventions should be shifted to synergies so that they would complement each other rather than competing with another. This paper reviews empirical studies on the nexus between agricultural development expansion and biodiversity conservation, and thereby identifies the trade-offs and synergies between them, with special emphasis in the contrasting socio-ecological landscapes of coffee production systems in South-western Ethiopia. The review focuses on the synthesis of trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services representing agricultural production and biodiversity conservation, respectively. The review indicates that there are different types and levels of trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services that vary according to the multiple factors operating in the multi-functional socio ecological landscapes. Creating synergies and harmony between these trade-offs, therefore, requires sound landscape governance system designed on the basis of multi-criteria analysis (socio-economic and demographic aspects; ecological aspects; as well as effective policy systems and institutional set-ups). Management interventions, such as natural or organic coffee certification, and promotion of climate-smart agriculture can be used for reconciliation of the competing interests on the ecosystem services.
Date of publication:
749 - 758
RUFORUM Working document series
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