Agriculture, Biodiversity and Markets - Livelihoods and Agroecology in Comparative Perspective

Edited by Stewart Lockie and David Carpenter 
Earthscan  December 2009  

Hardback  320 pp  ISBN 9781844077762      £65.00
Debate about how best to ensure the preservation of agricultural biodiversity is caught in a counter-productive polemic between proponents and critics of market-based instruments and agricultural modernisation. This book argues that neither position does justice to the range of strategies that farmers use to manage agrobiodiversity and other livelihood assets as they adapt to changing social, economic, and environmental circumstances. Chapters explore relationships between the exploitation and conservation of agricultural biodiversity and the livelihoods of agricultural communities, and evaluate the capacity of national and multilateral institutions and policy settings to support the protection and capture by communities of agrobiodiversity values.

The place of ecosystem services in valuing biodiversity in the marketplace is emphasized. A number of authors assess the potential for market-based instruments and initiatives to encourage the protection of biodiversity, while others compare agrobiodiversity/community relationships, and the effectiveness of instruments designed to enhance these, across international boundaries.

The book takes a comparative approach, drawing on empirical case studies from across the developed and developing worlds. In doing so, the book does not simply point to similarities and differences in the experience of rural communities. It also shows how global trade and multilateral institutions bring these otherwise disparate communities together in networks that exploit and/or preserve agrobiodiversity and other resources.



  • Agriculture, Biodiversity And Markets

Part I: Agrobiodiversity in Context

  • The Ecological Role and Enhancement of Biodiversity in Agroecosystems
  • The Human Ecology of Agrobiodiversity
  • Multilateral and National Regulatory Regimes for Agrobiodiversity
  • Plant Breeders' Rights and On-Farm Seed-Saving
  • International Biosecurity Frameworks to Protect Biodiversity with Emphasis on Science and Risk Assessment

Part II: Agriobiodiversity and Modernization

  • Complementarity in the Conservation of Traditional and Modern Rice Genetic Resources on the Philippine Island of Bohol
  • The Contribution of Biodiversity to Modern Intensive Farming Systems
  • Genetic Erosion and Degradation of Ecosystem Services of Wetland Rice Fields: A Case Study from Western Ghats, India

Part III: Agrobiodiversity, Standards and Markets

  • Environmental Certification: Standardization for Diversity
  • Challenges of Global Environmental Governance by Non-state Actors in the Coffee Industry: Insights from India, Indonesia and Vietnam
  • Geographical Indicators
  • Value Chain Coordination for Agroiodiversity Conservation

Part IV: Agrobiodiversity and Payment for Ecological Services

  • Paying for Biodiversity Conservation in Agricultural Landscapes
  • Targeting Payments for Ecological Services
  • The 'Green Box': Multifunctionality and Biodiversity Conservation in Europe
  • Market Instruments and Collective Obligations for On-Farm Biodiversity Conservation


  • Agrobiodiversity and Sustainable Farm Livelihoods: Policy Implications and Imperatives


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