Reframing the Food–Biodiversity Challenge

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


Given the serious limitations of production-oriented frameworks, we offer here a new conceptual framework for how to analyze the nexus of food security and biodiversity conservation. We introduce four archetypes of social-ecological system states corresponding to win–win (e.g., agroecology), win–lose (e.g., intensive agriculture), lose–win (e.g., fortress conservation), and lose–lose (e.g., degraded landscapes) outcomes for food security and biodiversity conservation. Each archetype is shaped by characteristic external drivers, exhibits characteristic internal social-ecological features, and has characteristic feedbacks that maintain it. This framework shifts the emphasis from focusing on production only to considering social-ecological dynamics, and enables comparison among landscapes. Moreover, examining drivers and feedbacks facilitates the analysis of possible transitions between system states (e.g., from a lose–lose outcome to a more preferred outcome).

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 05.2017