The production of agricultural commodities in India is a multi-dimensional sustainability challenge in India with local (smallholder livelihoods, freshwater depletion, soil degradation, biodiversity loss) as well as distant (climate change) impacts. Better mapping, understanding and responding to such impacts is crucial because of the country’s long history of commodity production and its ever-increasing consumption footprint. There is much at stake in terms of the natural and human capital under threat and the continued provision of regulating and provisioning ecosystem services.
It is now well-recognised that a transformation to more sustainable modes of production and consumption requires a systemic shift in which several actors have to play a critical role. Further, opportunities for interdisciplinary research to tackle such a sustainability challenge exist across the spectrum: from the impact assessment of production using empirical and modelling approaches to a focus on the behavioural drivers of increased commodity consumption.
The Sustainable Agro-ecosystems Programme, hosted at the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) at ATREE aims to tackle the sustainability challenge. It has chalked out a complementary focus on three spatial scales: national-, state- and regional-level knowledge integration, informed by local case studies.
The objectives of the programme include:
The broad questions guiding this programme would be:
The goals of the programme can be distinguished in terms of direct (measurable) and indirect (wider) goals. In case of collaborations, ATREE’s role will remain as that of a key knowledge partner.
The direct goals include:
The wider goals would be: