GWR Sustainability Seminar (online): Agriculture in the Carbon Economy

28 February 2011, 1.00 PM - 28 February 2011, 1.00 PM

Basement Conference Room, School of Geographical Sciences

GWR Sustainability Seminar (online): Monday 28th February, 13.00 - 14.00

Basement Conference Room, School of Geographical Sciences

Clive Potter and Steven Wolf, Imperial College London

Title: Agriculture in the Carbon Economy: The ecosystem services debate and its implications for agri-environmental policy in the US and the UK

Summary: For the last 25 years, agricultural modernisation, the support of farming incomes and the sustainable management of rural environments have bee nlargely regarded as state projects. In this presentation, we argue that environmental change, long standing criticisms of the efficacy and efficiency of agri-environmental policy and the discursive power of market-based policy instruments are combining in ways that may destabilizethe paradigm of state assistance that has been a central feature of agricultural policymaking for so long. In particular, we argue that the intersection of a rationalization impulse in agri-environmental policy and the imperative to bring agriculture within an emerging international 'carbon economy' suggests a policy conflict that may be reconciled onl ythrough resort to liberalization. The result will be to bring new actors and to insert different rationales and accountability regimes into agri-environmental policy.  These tendencies are visible in the current move toward 'payment for ecosystem services'.  We identify the more radical concept of 'markets for ecosystem services' as a particularly disruptive policy pathway that may open up.  We will be reflecting on thisthesis, reviewing evidence for its emergence in the US and the UK anddiscussing the implications for further research.

Clive Potter is Reader in Environmental Policy at Imperial College London and a Visiting Professor in CRPR.  He has a long standing interest in rural land use, biodiversity protection and agri-environmental policy and has contributed to academic debates surrounding the neo-liberalization of the rural environment and to policy debates about agri-environmental and rural policy reform. Clive has recently completed an inter-disiciplinary research project funded under the research council's RELU programme looking at tree disease epidemics.

Steven Wolf is interested in the political economy of natural resources and the challenges of generating public goods in privatised landscapes.  His teaching and research address development of forestry and agricultural production systems from an interdisciplinary perspective. He is on the faculty of Cornell University (USA) and Imperial College London. Prior to these appointments he was a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley and INRA-Toulouse (France).  He holds a PhD from University of Wisconsin, Madison.

If you are interested in this exciting seminar, just go along to one of the rooms specified and watch and enjoy the talk via sophisticated videoconferencing. There is no need for you be involved in the technical set up and it's fully interactive. If you know of colleagues that might wish to be added to this distribution list (from any AG enabled institution), please ask them to contact Paul Hudson.


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