Title: Developing indicators for assessment of the environmental impact of livestock farming in Ireland using the Agri-environmental Footprint Index
Authors: LOUWAGIE GeertruiNORTHEY GregFINN JohnPURVIS Gordon
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS vol. 18 p. 149-162
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC64694
ISSN: 1470-160X
URI: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1470160X11003682/1-s2.0-S1470160X11003682-main.pdf?_tid=6a7f7c1a-657c-11e2-a25a-00000aab0f26&acdnat=1358959761_9047d3fcf026fa23d99b4393c3ae69a5
DOI: 10.1016
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: SMART indicators were developed using the AFI structure and method for relatively extensive dry-stock, and relatively intensive dairy farming in the northwest and south of Ireland, respectively. Both these farming contexts are subject to the same multi-objective Irish Rural Environment Protection Scheme. The rationale and detailed structure of four indicators are presented; these relate to: organic nutrient application, organic nutrient storage, the biodiversity value of intensive grass husbandry, and the aesthetic landscape value of grass husbandry practice. Sixteen other indicators are detailed in supplementary material. The majority of the indicators developed are proxy indicators based on farm management practice, and provide an indirect measure or estimate of likely environmental quality, or relative environmental risk. In many cases, the complexities of environmental concerns required the development of integrative multi-metric indicators with corresponding transformation functions. Wherever possible, these functions were based on known (evidence-based) regional or national impact models. Such models (including quantification of relevant environmental quality levels) were frequently unavailable, in which case a participatory process of stakeholder and expert engagement was essential to fill knowledge gaps. Despite their customisation to the farming contexts studied, the basic structure and underlying logic of many of the developed indicators may be of much wider use in similar livestock-based agro-ecosystems. A common, georeferenced spatial framework built on contextual indicators that takes into account climate and farming type, would represent a significant advance in the harmonised development of indicators relevant to analysis of agri-environmental policy.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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