Sustainable agroecosystems tend to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable ones deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future. In this review, Pretty and Bharucha define sustainable intensification (SI) as a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the conversion of additional non-agricultural land. They analyse recent evidence of the impacts of SI in both developing and industrialized countries, and demonstrate that both yield and natural capital dividends can occur. They conclude with observations on policies and incentives necessary for the wider adoption of SI, and indicate how SI could both promote transitions towards greener economies as well as benefit from progress in other sectors.
Sustainable intensification (SI) is a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact.