Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier

Montpellier, France

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier

Montpellier, France
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Prosperi P.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier
Rivista di Studi sulla Sostenibilita | Year: 2014

According to the concept of sustainable development, available natural resources are limited and disproportionately exploited. The growing depletion of these resources is leading to intergenerational disparities, as it systematically deprives future generations of a standard of living even remotely comparable to the current one. Sustainability is an integrative and dynamic concept, composed of issues that have often been described as crossroads of interests and social initiatives, both economic and environmental. Being such a complex and multidimensional phenomenon, sustainability is thus very difficult to explore through traditional measurement approaches. The objective of this study is to define the research questions that subtend the concept of sustainability. In particular, the complexity of sustainability measurement in food security contexts and the approaches used for incorporating its economic, environmental and social facets will be analyzed. Copyright © FrancoAngeli.

Ayadi H.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier | Ayadi H.,Montpellier University | Le Bars M.,Institute of Research for Development IRD Quartier Hippodrome | Le Grusse P.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

Diffuse phytosanitary pollution is a complex phenomenon to manage. Reducing this type of pollution is one of today's key socio-economic and environmental challenges. At the regional level, few approaches enable the actors concerned to implement agricultural management strategies to reduce the use and impact of phytosanitary products. Our research problem focused on the consequences of intensive agriculture and, in particular, how to evaluate the impact of phytosanitary products on human health and the environment. In this article, we present the SimPhy simulation game which places the actors from a given region directly into a situation in which they manage farms whilst under pressure to reduce phytosanitaries (quantity and toxicity). The application focused on the Merja Zerga catchment area in Morocco. The region is dominated by intensive agriculture which is located upstream from a Ramsar-classified wetland area. The SimPhy simulation game is based on a decision support system-type tool. It allows us to anticipate the impact of regulations on farming systems. It also enables us to analyse the consequences of the actors' strategies on farm economies, human health and the quality of ecosystems. Initial results from the SimPhy simulation game enabled the technicians from Agricultural Development Center (CDA) themselves to learn about managing agricultural production systems in a dynamic and interactive fashion. With the simulation game, it was possible to learn about the farmer's ability to adapt to new regulatory constraints, and the involved consequences for toxicity risks for human health and the environment. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Palma G.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier | Belhanafi M.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier | Padilla M.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier | Fort F.,Montpellier SupAgro
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Several studies emphasize that agriculture and food as a whole are responsible for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, as a central actor in the food supply chain, consumers play a very important role as their food behaviour can be highly polluting. However, few studies focus on the environmental impact of consumer behaviour or investigate which action has the greatest consequences. The purpose of this study is to analyse consumer practices, from purchase to final waste. Fresh and processed tomatoes were chosen as examples of general fruit and vegetables, and their environmental impact measured. Four impact categories were adopted: acidification, eutrophication, global warming and human toxicity. Results regarding fresh tomatoes clearly indicate that purchasing has the highest environmental impact for all 4 categories of impacts. Such an impact is mainly due to transport from supermarket to household (generally by car). Also in the case of processed tomatoes purchasing is responsible for a great share of the impact , but cooking and end of life phases are also very important, namely for acidification and global warming the former, and human toxicity the latter. If we compare fresh tomatoes with processed tomatoes, the latter have a greater impact in all 4 categories. GHG emissions at consumer level are 0.07 kg CO2 eq for fresh tomatoes and 0.18 kg CO2 eq for processed tomatoes, while human toxicity levels are 25 times higher for the latter. However, if we take into consideration the fact that 6 kg of fresh tomatoes are needed for 1 kg of processed tomatoes, the results can be seen in a different light. In this case, the impact of fresh tomatoes (global warming potential) is 2.3 times higher than that of processed tomatoes. Finally, if we calculate CO2 emissions generated by making equal quantities of tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes or rather with tomato paste, results are equal.

Blanco-Gutierrez I.,Technical University of Madrid | Varela-Ortega C.,Technical University of Madrid | Flichman G.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

Groundwater in Spain, as in other arid and semiarid countries worldwide, has been widely used in the expansion of irrigated agriculture. In the Spanish Mancha Occidental aquifer, the excessive, and sometimes illegal, water abstraction for irrigation has promoted outstanding socioeconomic development in the area, but it has also resulted in exploitation of the aquifer and degradation of valuable wetlands. Water policies implemented in the region have not yet managed to restore the aquifer and face strong social opposition. This paper uses a multi-scale modeling approach to explore the environmental and socio-economic impacts of alternative water conservation measures at the farm and basin levels. It also analyzes their comparative cost-effectiveness to help policy makers identify the least costly policy option for achieving the goal of the Mancha Occidental aquifer's sustainability. To conduct this analysis, a Mathematical Programming Model has been developed to simulate: the closing-up and taxed-legalization of unlicensed wells, uniform volumetric and block-rate water prices, water quotas, and water markets. Aggregate results show that net social costs are not substantially different across policy option, so none of the considered policy options will be clearly more cost-effective than the others. However, there are significant differences between private and public costs (at the farm and sub-basin levels), which will be critical for determining the application in practice of these policies. Results show that controlling illegal water mining (through the legalization of unlicensed wells) is necessary, but is not sufficient to recover the aquifer. Rather, effective water management in this area will require the implementation of other water management policies as well. Among them, uniform volumetric and block-rate water pricing policies will entail the lowest net social cost, but will produce important income losses in the smallest and most water-intensive farms, which might put at risk the viability of these farms and the social acceptance of the policies. Further investigations on social costs, policy enforcement capacity and public participation in water management are highly recommended. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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