CANSEE 2019 Special Session: Socio-ecological analysis of agro-environmental practices in a context of intensive agriculture

Proposed by:

ANCRAGE (Agriculture, Nature and Communities: Action-Research in Environmental Governance), Département des sciences naturelles, Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)

Session Title: 

Socio-ecological analysis of agro-environmental practices in a context of intensive agriculture

Double Session description : 

Intensification of agriculture in Canada, as in other industrialized countries, has led to multiple ecological issues such as the increase of non-point source pollution, the eutrophication of waterbodies, the loss of forest cover and biodiversity, and the break-up of agricultural traditions and farming communities. Moreover, the environmental consequences of intensive agriculture, as well as the economic benefits it may have provided, have been distributed unevenly between resource users in agricultural areas. To mitigate the impact of intensive agricultural practices, programs and policies have focused on the adoption of agro-environmental practices that improve the provision of ecological services to the general public, yet with varying degrees of success according to local contexts.

In this regard, this special session will aim to better understand agro-environmental practices among farmers both in Canada and beyond, and how to foster the improvement of such practices. Using the socio-ecological systems framework along with insights from the social sciences, this session will adopt a multidisciplinary perspective attuned to local characteristics influencing how intensive agricultural activities take place and the influence of agri-environmental programs to address the impacts of industrial agriculture. This session encourages abstracts that:

  • Analyze agro-environmental practices along with the programs and institutions that support them,
  • Identify improvement areas and opportunities related to agri-environmental practices and suggest appropriated solutions; and
  • Offers insight on ways of better understanding resource distribution and responsibilities and the social justice implications of agri-environmental practices (e.g. payments for ecosystem services) and similar environmental policies.

The ensemble of research submitted to this session aims to offer insights on integrating both the social and environmental components of food production that renew relationships between agricultural communities and the land. In doing so, it will explore how agri-environmental best practice can be encouraged in ways beneficial to climate change adaptation, biodiverse landscapes, and improved water quality.

Presentations in this session will focus on the challenges of adapting an ecological economics’ approach to frame and analyze the complex socio-ecological systems of food production

If you are interested in having your abstract be associated with this session. Please contact the session organizers:

Alejandra Zaga Mendez (

Vijay Kolinjivadi (