The Biophysical and Environmental Context

  • Constansia MusvotoEmail author
  • Karen Nortje
  • Anton Nahman
  • William Stafford
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Agriculture book series (BRIEFSAGRO)


The biophysical environment is critical for agriculture and is a key consideration in green economy implementation. The green economy espouses low carbon development, conservation of natural resources, and minimising damage to the environment; whilst still meeting human needs. There are potential tensions and trade-offs between agriculture as a primary sector, which generally has negative impacts on the environment, and green economy environmental principles. Green economy projects have to address these tensions. Agricultural practices determine how agriculture impacts on the biophysical environment and agriculture’s socio-economic outcomes. Practices which undermine the integrity of the natural resource base pose risks to the environment and to long term agricultural productivity and sustainability. Agriculture can be compatible with green economy principles if it adopts practices which are profitable, sustain the environment; and deliver sustainable social benefits. This chapter discusses the biophysical factors that influence crop production including the impacts of crop production on the biophysical environment, climate challenges and their implications for green economy implementation. The alignment of agricultural practices with the environmental principles of a green economy, including making adjustments to and selecting practices and methods which are sustainable and based on agroecological principles; and therefore compatible with green economy principles are also covered.


Implication Impacts Productivity Services Profitable Risk Sustainable Practice Protection Degradation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constansia Musvoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karen Nortje
    • 1
  • Anton Nahman
    • 1
  • William Stafford
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Resources and the Environment UnitCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchPretoriaSouth Africa

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