Ecological sustainability

Sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes. The organizing principle for sustainability is sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture.

In ecology, sustainability is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In a local system sustainability is the ability to give value to the environment as territory’s “characteristic element”.

Biodiversity And Ecological Sustainability

Biodiversity generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level.

Biodiversity is essential for agricultural production.

Biodiversity is the benchmark for agricultural indexes as very important element for agriculture organic development, one of the risk factors due to the huge loss of its characteristics.

For these reasons, the attention to biodiversity is one of the basic things for environment and agriculture organic development.

A sustainable agriculture is one that, over the long term, enhances environmental quality and the resource base on which agriculture depends; provides for basic human food and fiber needs; is economically viable; and enhances the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole”

(American Society of Agronomy, 1989)

The relationship between biodiversity and sustainability seems to be the key to solve the current crisis of human agroecosystems management.

Therefore the most interesting biodiversity is the one related to ecological entirety of ecosystems.

“E’ evidente che quantificare la biodiversità che determina integrità ecologica è un compito cruciale per il monitoraggio della qualità degli agroecosistemi e per ricavare informazioni per la progettazione e la gestione di una agricoltura sostenibile”

(Olson et al.,1995)