Timeframe: 2016-2019

Partners: INRA (France), Universidad Politechnica de Valencia (Spain), ZALF Muncheberg (Germany), Agrathaer (Germany)

Environmental Geography researchers involved: Nynke Schulp, Peter Verburg, Astrid van Teeffelen, Laura Scherer.

Project website: http://vital.environmentalgeography.nl/

Description: Large societal challenges related to food security and environmental degradation have caused increasing attention for sustainable intensification. Sustainable intensification cannot be implemented through a generic, single development pathway for all agricultural systems. Alternative pathways and actions to achieve sustainable intensification depend on the local and regional agronomic, environmental and socio-economic conditions.

The project VITAL explores transition processes of European agricultural systems towards sustainably intensified production accounting for the spatial variation in contextual conditions. VITAL identifies how differences in agricultural systems, their spatial frameworks and the role of actors, lead to, or inhibit, alternate transition processes of sustainable intensification. Accounting for these conditions, suitable spatial configurations of sustainable intensification across different land use systems are identified. The feasibility of different sustainable intensification pathways is upscaled to larger areas in Europe, hence moving beyond the level of individual farms and regions.