INV12 Earth, Agriculture, and Society: Toward Sustainable Development in the Anthropocene

This session fully integrates video and slide presentation with virtual participation. The session is structured in two parts:

Part I
Authors are invited to upload on the website their presentation materials 15 days before the meeting. For each presentation, a forum is activated; attendees can view presentation materials and are invited to contribute comments in the forum.
Presentation types:

  • slide presentation
  • record a slide show with narration
  • video presentation from labs or field sites illustrating ongoing research experiments
  • video modelling simulation with narration

Part II
At the actual session during the week of the AGU Fall Meeting, a round table discussion on the presentation material and collected comments from the forum will be moderated by the conveners with the virtual participation of the presenters. Such a discussion will be in streaming via Zoom.

The session invites hydrologists, ecologists, biogeochemists, geomorphologists, soil scientists, agronomists, but also environmental engineers and decision-makers to creatively address theoretical and applied problems in the sustainable development of agroecosystems.

The unsustainable intensification of agriculture driven by the rapid population growth of the last half past century has led, for some regions in the world, to a strong acceleration in the rate of erosion (and in general land degradation) to the extent that the soil is lost at a greater magnitude than it is produced by mechanisms of regeneration. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty, combat inequality, build peaceful societies, and fight climate change, promoting sustainable socio-economic progress. SDG2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, purposes to eliminate hunger around the world, which is often linked to environmental degradation, drought, and loss of biodiversity (United Nations 2020). According to SDG2, the sustainability of an agricultural practice must be assessed in the economic, social, and environmental context. It must combine the themes of productivity, profitability, resilience, land/water management, decent work, and well-being, in order to capture its multidimensional nature (FAO 2020). Less attention has been paid to the local social and environmental contexts, where land users make decisions that can result in land-degradation and other ecohydrological feedbacks. Focusing not only on the global scale dynamics but also on local to regional environmental effects will facilitate the more effective design of sustainable management practices.

This session offers a multidisciplinary approach to better understand socio-environmental dynamics that affect agroecosystems, in support of a more sustainable intensification of agriculture. In complex agroecosystems, the sustainability of agricultural practices must be manifested in several ways, from drainage systems aimed at reducing potential instability to the use of light and optimized mechanization, avoiding excessive soil compaction and soil salinization while favouring water permeability. Special attention is also devoted to the issue of biodiversity and soil carbon sequestration. In details, we encourage contributions focused on field experiments, remote sensing techniques to monitor agroecosystems, ecohydrological and land degradation modelling, decision-making processes as well as environmental planning strategies for the mitigation of the consequences of unsustainable agriculture.

December 2020

From Tuesday, 15 December 2020 07:00 AM

To Tuesday, 15 December 2020 11:00 AM