New Quantitative Assessment for Agriculture Sustainability Developed

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science led an international project that has assembled a quantitative assessment for agriculture sustainability at the national level, the Sustainable Agriculture Matrix, or SAM. The assessment is based not only on environmental impacts, but also on economic and social impacts. The first edition of the matrix is composed of 18 indicators that measure the direct impacts of agricultural production on the environment and economy, and broader impacts on the whole society. The matrix provides independent and transparent measurements of agricultural sustainability that can help governments and organizations evaluate progress, encourage accountability, identify priorities for improvement, and inform national policies and actions towards sustainable agriculture around the globe.