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Multilevel and multi-user sustainability assessment of farming systems

Book Contribution - Chapter

A broad range of sustainability concepts, methodologies and applications already exist. They differ in level, focus, orientation, measurement, scale, presentation, and intended end users. In this chapter, we illustrate that a smart combination of existing methods with different levels of application can make sustainability assessment more profound, and that it can broaden the insights of different end-user groups. An overview of sustainability assessment tools on different levels and for different end users shows the complementarities and the opportunities of using different methods. In a case study, a combination of the sustainable value approach (SVA) and MOTIFS is used to perform a sustainability evaluation of farming systems in Flanders. SVA is used to evaluate sustainability at sector level and is especially useful to support policy makers, while MOTIFS is used to support and guide farmers towards sustainability at farm level. The combined use of the two methods with complementary goals can widen the insights of both farmers and policy makers, without losing the particularities of the different approaches. We propose guidelines for multi-level and multi-user sustainability assessments.
Book: Methods and procedures for building sustainable farming systems
Pages: 63 - 88
Publication year:2013
Keywords:sustainability assessment, multilevel, sustainable value, MOTIFS, farming systems, end-user groups