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Agricultural Economics and Management Journal   ISSN 0205-3845
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Sustainability of Agro-eco-systems in Bulgaria
Hrabrin Bachev, Bodjidar Ivanov, Dessislava Toteva
Abstract: Ecosystem approach has been widely incorporated in management and evaluation of agrarian sustainability. Despite enormous progress in this new evolving area, still there is no consensus on how to assess the sustainability of agro-ecosystems due to diverse understandings, approaches, methods, employed data, etc. In Bulgaria there are no comprehensive studies on integral and socio-economic and ecological sustainability of agro-ecosystems of different type. This paper makes a first attempt to assess sustainability agro-ecosystems in Bulgaria. Initially, a holistic framework for assessing integral, economic, social and ecological sustainability of agro-ecosystems including 17 principles, 35 criteria, and 46 indicators and reference values is suggested. After that overall and aspects sustainability of 7 generic and 10 specific agro-ecosystems in Bulgaria is assessed. Estimates are based on first-hand information collected by the managers of “typical” farms operating in different agro-ecosystems in 4 geographical regions of the country. The study has found out that there is a substantial variation in the level of integral and aspects sustainability of agro-ecosystems of different type as individual indicators with the highest and lowest values showing (critical) factors enhancing and deterring sustainability. With the highest integral sustainability are the agro-ecosystems Plane regions and Sandanski-Petrich hollow while least sustainable are agro-ecosystems mountain regions with natural handicaps, and Dupnitsa hollow.
Keywords: agro-ecosystems; Bulgaria; ecological; economic; social; sustainability
Date published: 2019-04-25
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