Leverage points for sustainable wool production in the Falkland Islands

Tourangeau, Wesley and Sherren, Kate (2020) Leverage points for sustainable wool production in the Falkland Islands. Journal of Rural Studies, 74 . pp. 22-33. ISSN 0743-0167

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.11.008

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The Falkland Islands (‘Falklands’) are home to half a million sheep that graze a marginal and drying landscape. This presents new challenges for the grazing management decisions that sustain farmers' livelihoods, lifestyles, and the surrounding natural environment. Our examination deploys Donella Meadows’ (1999; 2008) concept of leverage points to explore the ways farmers intervene to make transformations toward social and ecological sustainability within these systems. The most effective and lasting transformations—called ‘deep’ leverage points—require changes in system design, structure, and way of thinking (e.g. paradigm shifts); these contrast with more common and less impactful ‘shallow’ leverage points, which focus on basic system parameters (e.g. rates and numbers). Thematic analysis of interview and field data reveals that while all methods of sheep grazing involve ‘shallow’ leverage points such as managing livestock numbers and wool quality, Holistic Management (HM)—a rotational grazing method based in systems thinking—facilitates ‘deep’ leverage points for sustainable transformations. Careful planning, goal setting, and learning to think systemically enable HM farmers to make lasting transformations toward more sustainable wool production in the Falklands. Using leverage points as a framework, we explore the transformation potential of HM in this island community, and what this might mean for sustainable transformations in rangelands elsewhere.

Keywords:Holistic management, Islas Malvinas, Land restoration, Marginal landscapes, Sustainable grazing, Systems thinking
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D447 Environmental Conservation
L Social studies > L727 Agricultural Geography
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:46524
Deposited On:13 Oct 2021 12:32

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