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Augstburger, Horacio Florian; Käser, Fabian David; Rist, Stephan (2019). Assessing Food Systems and Their Impact on Common Pool Resources and Resilience. Land, 8(4), p. 71. MDPI 10.3390/land8040071

The ongoing expansion of agro-industrial food systems is associated with severe socio-ecological problems. For a closer look at the socio-ecological impacts, we analyze the capacity of six food systems to provide farm-based agroecosystem services with the Agroecosystem Service Capacity (ASC) approach. At the same time, we analyze how food systems affect the management of common pool resources (CPR). Our findings show that indigenous peoples and agroecological food systems can have up to three times the ASC-index of agro-industrial food systems. Through their contribution to the sustainable management of cultural landscapes with robust institutions for the management of CPRs, food systems contribute to socio-ecological integrity. On the other hand, regional and agro-industrial food systems with a lower ASC-index contribute less to socio-ecological integrity, and they undermine and open up common property institutions for robust CPR management. As a result, they appropriate (or grab) access to CPRs that are vital for food systems with higher ASC-indexes resulting from a robust management of CPRs. Strengthening a robust management of CPRs could put a halt to the ongoing expansion of food systems with a low ASC-index by replacing them with a high ASC-index to prevent an exacerbation of the current socio-ecological situation.

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