Biodiversity in cotton farming in western Turkey A qualitative case study on Nudie Jeans’ impacts on biodiversity

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Comstedt, Hanna
Ridderstad, Alina
The concept of biodiversity relates to richness and variability of species and ecosys- tems, and is linked to health and resilience of natural systems. Agriculture, and specifically cotton farming, has large impacts on the environment and causes a rapid decline in biodiversity globally. The Swedish jeans company Nudie Jeans (NJ) wants to identify the impacts on biodiversity from their cotton production in Turkey. The aim of this study is therefore to map the impacts of NJ’s organic cotton production in western Turkey, and to provide suggestions on how NJ can decrease the identified negative impacts and take action to enhance biodiversity. The study was purely qualitative and used the backcasting tool as a guiding frame- work to assess the impacts and suggest actions. A field study on site in western Turkey was performed, where most of the needed data was gathered through inter- views and observations from the area in which two cotton fields producing cotton for NJ are situated. The impacts on biodiversity in the area around the studied fields are large in general, with pollution from industries and intensive agriculture as a dominating factor. However, the direct impacts from the farms that produce for NJ are relatively small in comparison, as several mitigating measures are taken already. Several gaps were identified that describe how the present system differs from a desired state regarding impacts on biodiversity. Based on the gaps, three actions were identified that cover the three areas of education, economy, and collaborative work. The results indicate that exact monitoring and inventory of species is needed to conclude exact impacts on biodiversity over time in the cotton production, but the general engagement in finding their impacts that NJ show is already said to be important for the area. Moreover, it can be concluded that sourcing NJ’s cotton from somewhere else likely would not ease the overall burden on biodiversity in the area, as the impacts could instead increase if another actor uses the land instead.
biodiversity impacts , cotton production , agriculture , corporate responsibility , backcasting , field study
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