Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Essays and Perspectives
Perspectives for environmental conservation and ecosystem services on coupled rural–urban systems
Ramon Felipe Bicudo da Silvaa,, , Marjorie Delgado Alves Rodriguesa, Simone Aparecida Vieiraa, Mateus Batistellaa,b, Juliana Farinacic
a Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais, Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
b Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Brasília, Federal District, Brazil
c Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil
Received 20 December 2016, Accepted 25 May 2017
Abstract

Using a territorial and integrative approach based on ecological and socioeconomic factors, we envision innovative policies and initiatives aiming to reconcile urban economic development with rural conservation and restoration projects. The Paraíba Valley of São Paulo State represents an example of territory where the region's urban development has affected land use and land cover changes, rural production systems, economy, and population dynamics with effects on environmental conservation. Forest restoration projects, rural tourism, urban to rural migration, and demands of urban consumers for more sustainable food production are becoming important linkages of the Valley's coupled urban-rural system. In this study, we demonstrated how place-based policies and payment for ecosystem services may foster rural socioeconomic development allied with environmental conservation outcomes. The coupled rural–urban systems emerge as a strong concept to deal with the synergies and potential linkages among rural and urban areas, capable to promote more sustainable farming systems and improve ecosystem services.

Highlights

  • Feedbacks between coupled rural–urban systems can strengthen best agricultural management practices.

  • We developed an integrative approach that considers rural and urban systems as interconnected elements of the territory.

  • Evaluating complex systems from a territorial perspective relies on the understanding of their ecological and socioeconomic dimensions.

Keywords
Best management practices, Territory, Ecosystem services, Local development, Consumption behavior