Ecoagriculture for a Sustainable Food Future

September 2021
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    30th September 2021
  • ISBN 9781486313419
  • Language English
  • Pages 192 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 3 photos, 3 maps, 1 illus

Global food security is dependent on ecologically viable production systems, but current agricultural practices are often at odds with environmental sustainability. Resolving this disparity is a huge task, but there is much that can be learned from traditional food production systems that persisted for thousands of years.

Ecoagriculture for a Sustainable Food Future describes the ecological history of food production systems in Australia, showing how Aboriginal food systems collapsed when European farming methods were imposed on bushlands. The industrialized agricultural systems that are now prevalent across the world require constant input of finite resources, and continue to cause destructive environmental change.

This book explores the damage that has arisen from farming systems unsuited to their environment, and presents compelling evidence that producing food is an ecological process that needs to be rethought in order to ensure resilient food production into the future.


  • Discusses the way current food production negatively impacts our environment, and the lessons that can be learnt from the past.
  • Explores key concepts including Social Ecological Systems, agroecosystems, resilience, sustainability and traditional ecological knowledge.
  • Provides examples of present and possible future adaptive pathways that would work within the constraints of nature in Australia, and worldwide.

Cultural sensitivity warning

1: Transformations of nature and people
2: The original landscapes of nature and culture
3: The first consumers of nature in Australia
4: How to sustain eating nature
5: Healthy ecosystems, healthy food, healthy people
6: Overrun by sheep: the pastoral template for colonisation
7: Ending Aboriginal social ecological systems and animal landscapes
8: Civilising the bush
9: Why change the land use when you can change the landscape?
10: Comparing pathways, past and present: the path chosen may not let you return
11: Ecoagriculture for a sustainable future


Nicole Y. Chalmer

Nicole Y. Chalmer gained a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness before going farming for 30 years. She partnered in developing Coronet Hill at Esperance using ecological principles and perennial pastures for cattle production. Discontent concerning the social-ecological sustainability of modern farming led her to complete an environmental history PhD analyzing sustainability of food production systems, from the deep past, colonialism and present.

agriculture; sustainability; history; ecologically viable production systems; Aboriginal food systems; bushlands; Social Ecological Systems; agroecosystems; traditional ecological knowledge; adaptive pathways