61st LCA Discussion Forum - How To Assess Impacts Of Land Use On Biodiversity And Soil Quality In LCA?


Welcome and introduction into the topic

Meier Matthias



Assessments of land use related impacts on ecosystem resources covering biodiversity and soil production potential are still a difficult issue in life cycle assessment (LCA). Major challenges are that biodiversity and soil degradation need to be assessed within a specific bio-geographic context and that land use intensities need to be considered. While the real dynamics and complexity of ecosystem processes above and below ground require complex and data demanding models, LCA practitioners call for simple and easy to use assessment routines that are, however, prone to oversimplification. Impacts of land use on biodiversity and soil quality are a key issue for the food, feed, apparel, paper and bioenergy industries that are all based on agricultural and forestry-based products. On one hand, upcoming approaches like Natural Capital Valuation provide simplified assessments of biodiversity and soil quality impacts of land use changes. On the other hand, recent research activities have come up with more complex approaches that are not broadly applicable yet. Finally, the UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative supports scientific harmonization activities in the assessment of biodiversity impacts of land use with the aim to provide a best practice environmental impact indicator applicable in life cycle assessment case studies and databases. Finding balanced solutions that adequately represent ecosystem complexity and that are still relatively easily applicable will be key to improve informed decision making on the sustainability of agricultural and forestry-based products. The goal of this discussion forum is to present and discuss the state-of-the-art of methods for assessing land-use related impacts on ecosystems, the possibilities and limits of those approaches and the needs of the industry to integrate such methods.





Welcome and introduction into the topic

15.03.2016, Meier Matthias

Discussion - Land use impact assessment methods – complementarity and differences?

15.03.2016, Zah Rainer;Meier Matthias; Curran Michael; Meier Matthias; Jeanneret Philippe; Vionnet Samuel; Stössel Franziska; Prade Thomas

Modelling biodiversity in fuzzy terms

15.03.2016, Lindner Jan Paul

Panel Discussion

15.03.2016, Curran Michael; Escobedo Eduardo; Meier Matthias; Vionnet Samuel; Zeller Heinz

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