Conserving Biodiversity Through Certification of Tropical Agroforestry Crops at Local and Landscape Scales
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2014
Copyright and Photocopying: ©2014 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 14–23, January/February 2015
How to Cite
Tscharntke, T., Milder, J. C., Schroth, G., Clough, Y., DeClerck, F., Waldron, A., Rice, R. and Ghazoul, J. (2015), Conserving Biodiversity Through Certification of Tropical Agroforestry Crops at Local and Landscape Scales. Conservation Letters, 8: 14–23. doi: 10.1111/conl.12110
[The copyright line for this article was changed on February 18, 2015 after original online publication]
- Issue online: 26 FEB 2015
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 28 APR 2014 07:07AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 APR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 8 MAR 2014
- Agricultural intensification;
- sustainable management;
- market incentives;
- conservation effectiveness;
- smallholder farmers;
- spatial planning;
- voluntary sustainability standards;
- coffee and cocoa;
- ecosystem services
Voluntary sustainability standards and certification offer a promising mechanism to mitigate the severe negative impacts of agricultural expansion and intensification on tropical biodiversity. From a conservation standpoint, certification of tropical agroforestry crops, especially coffee and cocoa, is of particular interest given the potentially high biodiversity value of agroforestry systems and the substantial market penetration of coffee and cocoa certification in recent years. Here, we review experience with coffee and cocoa certification, summarize evidence on conservation impacts, and explore future needs. While there is much evidence that environmental criteria behind certification support biodiversity conservation, it is less clear to what extent certification is the cause of improved conservation outcomes. Additionally, the farm-scale focus of current certification models may limit delivery of biodiversity conservation benefits, as maintenance of biodiversity depends on processes at larger landscape scales. To address this scale mismatch, we suggest that investment and innovation in certification over the next decade prioritize landscape conservation outcomes. This may be achieved by (1) linking existing certification mechanisms with broader landscape and ecosystem service management approaches and/or (2) expanding current certification models to consider the landscape itself as the certified unit.