This recently published paper by Cruz-Garcia et al. presents an overview of the scientific literature on ecosystem services and food security, with a major focus on case studies of farming communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The review paper was co-authored by scientists affiliated with CIAT and could be of interest to ES researchers working on the interface with food security.
The main findings of the paper are:
- Food utilization, access and stability, which are the major food security challenges in the world, remained under-investigated in ecosystem services research.
- There is a major bias on food availability in relation to crop production, and the role played by genetic resource diversity for ensuring food security has been overlooked in ecosystem services research.
- Most studies assumed that food security would improve by increasing crop productivity, but this hypothesis remained largely untested.
- The co-production, trade-offs and off-site effects of ecosystem services in relation to food security, as well as gender and cultural services, were overlooked in research.
- Ecosystem services research needs to improve efforts in order to generate knowledge that helps to address the main imperatives of food security in the developing world.
Elsevier offers ESP members a special price on yearly subscription for the Ecosystem Services journal.