Land Use Policy

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0264-8377
Publications
Article
Agricultural manpower loss from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is being documented in Rwanda, Tanzania and Malawi. In an AIDS-afflicted area of Uganda, one-quarter of families studied had reduced land utilization, crop and livestock production. Reductions were attributed to AIDS mortality and morbidity in 8% of the households. Consequences include increased food insecurity and crisis, and reduced flexibility of response and investment in agro-inputs. AIDS mortality and morbidity will vary microgeographically. Its impact will be most severe in marginal agricultural and ecological zones. Policy makers need to reconsider strategies, to develop planning and monitoring systems, and to encourage programmes to increase labour effectiveness.
 
Article
As world population increases there will be a need for more food. If tropical countries are to meet this need, agricultural production must rise. There are large areas of tropical land formerly managed under traditional cropping systems and later abandoned to forest for reasons unrelated to their agricultural potential. This land should be identified and brought back into sustainable agricultural production, as it is: (a) unrecognized as former agricultural land; (b) on undegraded soils; (c) in wetter areas of higher potential for agriculture; (d) threatened with permanent inclusion in the expanding estate of forest and nature reserves.
 
Article
We model Central American migrant-sending household agricultural practices given labor losses and the concomitant infusion of remittances. Under the new economics of labor migration (NELM) framework, it is hypothesized that smallholder farm households invest remittance income in their land either to increase crop production or to transition to cattle ranching. We test this hypothesis by developing a combination of multivariate logistic, Poisson and beta regression techniques using Latin American Migration Project data to determine how agricultural land use change compared among migrant and non-migrant households in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Results indicate that a rise in months spent abroad and remittances returned do not translate into a higher percentage of farm sales, intensification or transition to cattle ranching - counter to NELM. However, farmers are investing remittances to increase row crop and pasture land holdings. These findings suggest remittance investments in quantitative increase rather than qualitative change in land use practices. Given the expansive land demands supporting low intensity smallholder agriculture and cattle, and the land degradation cattle precipitate particularly, the trend does not augur well for the sustainability of rural landscapes increasingly transformed by international remittances. Appropriate policies to champion coupled human-land system sustainability in Central America might usefully consider viable land use alternatives to remittance investments dedicated to crop and pasture expansion.
 
Article
In developing countries, cities are rapidly expanding and urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) has an important role in feeding these growing urban populations; however such agriculture also carries public health risks such as zoonotic disease transmission. It is important to assess the role of UPA in food security and public health risks to make evidence-based decisions on policies. Describing and mapping the peri-urban interface (PUI) are the essential first steps for such an assessment. Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is a rapidly expanding city where the PUI has not previously been mapped or properly described. In this paper we provide a spatial representation of the entire PUI of Kampala economic zone and determine the socio-economic factors related with peri-urbanicity using a population-dynamics focussed rapid rural mapping. This fills a technical gap of rapid rural mapping and offers a simple and rapid methodology for describing the PUI which can be applied in any city in developing countries for wide range of studies.
 
Article
The pressure of the Chinese population on the land is increasingly severe and serious issues confront land management. In future, China's development strategy must involve low resources expenditure in production and appropriate goods consumption. Land conservation and environmental protection must be the basic strategies of land use. Efficiency of land use should be increased and traditional agriculture must be transformed. Policy should be determined according to different regional conditions. Some approaches to Implementing these strategies are suggested. These are: control of population and expenditure; expansion and conservation of forest vegetation; increase In agricultural investment; reformation of land tenure; adjustment of land product prices; development of Industries, science and education; continuous reform of economic and political systems; and strengthening land administration.
 
Article
In rural Ecuador and elsewhere in Latin America, the departure of migrants and the receipt of migrant remittances have led to declining rural populations and increasing cash incomes. It is commonly assumed that these processes will lead to agricultural abandonment and the regrowth of native vegetation, thus undermining traditional livelihoods and providing a boon for biodiversity conservation. However, an increasing number of household-level studies have found mixed and complex effects of out-migration and remittances on agriculture. We advance this literature by using household survey data and satellite imagery from three study areas in rural Ecuador to investigate the effects of migration and remittances on agricultural land use. Multivariate methods are used to disaggregate the effects of migration and remittances, to account for other influences on land use and to correct for the potential endogeneity of migration and remittances. Contrary to common assumptions but consistent with previous studies, we find that migrant departure has a positive effect on agricultural activities that is offset by migrant remittances. These results suggest that rural out-migration alone is not likely to lead to a forest transition in the study areas.
 
Article
The theory that tropical forest conservation poses a threat to the poor is put forward in David Wood's article, 'Forests to fields: restoring tropical lands to agriculture', published in this issue of Land Use Policy. Wood proposes to open to deforestation almost all of the tropical forests that are still standing. Conversion to non-forest uses would be promoted through increased flows of international funds with fewer provisions regarding sustainability and environmental protection than such projects currently have. These proposals are unwise and dangerous.
 
Article
PIP Governments have frequently ignored the issue of population consumption exceeding the rates of renewal of natural resources. At the UN Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the issue of population growth was ignored in the agenda and action plan. In 1974, the UN World Population Conference suggested population stability would be possible if standards of living were raised. Industrialized nations spent half a century of active interference with the stability of global populations and failed to slow growth. 27 countries, mainly in tropical and subtropical zones, have an average cereal yield of under 1 ton per hectare, when improved seed and basic minimum fertilizer could yield 2 tons per hectare. Efforts to increase yields by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural research in 13 international centers resulted in global annual increases of about 50 million tons of grain (wheat and rice). Rainfed agriculture did not benefit as much because of climatic conditions. Where varieties of triticale, sorghum, millet, groundnuts, chick peas, cowpeas, beans, and cassava have helped increase food production, population growth has outstripped the gains. Agricultural fertilizers have been unfairly blamed for soil nutrient losses. Because of the age structure of population, the expected population growth can only be addressed through development of higher yields, new strains resistant to disease, and fertilizers. Slow release phosphates for tropical soils are needed. Shortages of domestic fuel divert much needed farmyard manure and composted crop residues. About 400 million tons of dung are thus wasted annually; food grain harvests are thus reduced by 14 million tons. About 50% of the 1133 million poorest people will live in Asia and another 25% will live in Sub-Saharan Africa, living on a total degraded area of 1219 million hectares. Imbalance between food supply and population need to be addressed on an effective international scale.
 
Article
This paper presents an evaluation of a technique used in land consolidation projects (LCPs) to identify the ways by which characteristics and perceptions of individuals influence their propensity to adopt innovations. We investigate the influence of household characteristics on the adoption of selected agricultural innovations in Valença-LCP (northwest Portugal). At the project scale it appears that younger, better educated household heads who have farmed all their lives, on large holdings, producing primarily for the market, are the most likely to adopt new agricultural equipment and technology.
 
Article
This paper discusses changes in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems caused by land use. It presents an empirical analysis of changes in land use, agricultural productivity, and socio-economic biomass metabolism in Austria during the 19th and 20th centuries, related to the process of “industrial modernization”, i.e. the transition from a society relying entirely on solar energy to the industrial society of today based on fossil fuel use. The development of “human appropriation of net primary production” in connection with the changes in the socio-economic energy system are discussed for the period 1830–1995.
 
Article
In this paper we analyse the relations between land characteristics and land use, and their evolution in the Vallès county (Catalunya) since 1850. We reconstructed in digital format the 1850s cadastral maps of three villages (Caldes, Castellar, and Polinyà) and those made in 1950 of five villages (the previous three plus Sentmenat and Palau-Solità). For 1999 we used the available cadastral and land-use maps and conducted field surveys. We evaluated the suitability of land for the various agricultural uses (winter cereal, alfalfa, vineyard, olive, and almond orchards) considering the different land-use systems of 1850 and 1999. Forty to sixty percent of the land was more or less suitable for each of the land uses. Whilst in 1850 land used for agriculture was 46% of the total area and 29% was used for forest, these figures turned to 28% and 53%, respectively, by 1999. Urban and industrial areas now occupy 13% of the total land area and 47% of the best agricultural land. In 1850, 34% of the vineyards and 23% of the area with cereal crops were located on non-suitable or poorly suitable land for these uses. This shows a much more strict criterion for the location of cereal fields. But it also shows how the land-owning class tried to prevent further social conflicts by leasing their least suitable land for agriculture to the landless classes. In 1850 in the village of Caldes, 85% of the cereal fields were on slopes less than 20%, but 30% of the vineyards were on slopes of more than 30%, and sometimes up to 60–70%. Slopes protected with stone terraces occupied 700 ha, 43% of the land in agriculture in 1850, and 80% of that area was used for vineyards. Building of these terraces, which were generally small, required some 120,000 work days, and was undertaken on relatively soft geological materials while they disappear on the transition to competent geological materials. These results show that land characteristics influence land-use decision making and historical landscape changes. However, the extension of agriculture to non-suitable land in 1850 reflects deeper social conflicts, and required a vast labour investment in soil conservation by the poorest rural classes. The importance of terraces within this landscape and the land-use alternatives are also discussed.
 
Article
This paper assesses the area demand of Austria in the 75 years from 1926 to 2000. In order to estimate the area of arable land, pastures and forests needed to sustain Austria's socio-economic metabolism I used country-specific yields, contrary to the conventional Ecological Footprint approach that expresses its results in global average hectares. This study explicitly assesses the countries of origin of all imported biomass products. Forest areas were evaluated using two methods. In the ‘production’ approach country-specific felling rates were used, in the ‘sustainable yield approach’ wood increment per country was taken as a proxy for maximum sustainable yield. Austria's overall area demand is considerably larger than the biologically productive area of its own territory during the entire time period, mainly due to fossil fuel consumption. If only biomass use and built-up land are taken into account, both the production and the sustainable yield approach show an almost constant area demand from 1926 to 2000. In the production approach Austria's area demand is slightly larger than Austria's bioproductive area, in the sustainable yield approach it is slightly smaller. The area needed to support Austria's imports is mainly located in neighbouring countries. In earlier years eastern European countries (e.g., Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Serbia) play a major role, whereas in the recent decades the EU-15 countries are the main providers of Austrian area imports. In 2000, the area required to maintain imports is of a similar size as domestically used land, except for grasslands, demonstrating the dependence of Austria's socio-economic metabolism on regional or even global markets. This study shows that area demand depends on two factors: consumption level and yields per hectare. In the case of Austria, considerable increases in consumption were counterbalanced by yield surges. Indicators of area demand should therefore be complemented by indicators that evaluate the environmental effects of land use.
 
Article
This paper examines whether the land consolidation (LC) practised since the 1950s in Galicia, N.W. Spain, has had the desired effects. To achieve this aim, we have adopted the methodology drawn up by the European Union for evaluation of its socioeconomic programmes, and we have adapted it as required by the subject matter and by the long-term historical perspective of this study. Our results suggest that, during the study period, LC has in general made a positive contribution to slowing rural depopulation.
 
Article
This is an analysis of the relationships between changes in land use, land cover and socio-economic metabolism in Austria between 1950 and 1995, covering the period during which Austria's agriculture was industrialized. From 1950 to about 1980, Austria mainly strove to achieve self-sufficiency as an agricultural producer. This goal was met in the 1970s, largely through agricultural intensification. Since then, the primary focus of Austrian agricultural policy has been to reduce agricultural overproduction, to preserve the existing farm structure, as well as to keep as large an agricultural area under cultivation as is possible. As a consequence, since the 1980s yields rose slowly and subsidized fallow covered substantial parts of cropland area. Austria joined the European Union in 1995, after which agricultural policy was, to a large extent, determined by the EU Common Agricultural Policy. From 1950 to 1995 we observe a continuous trend of declining cropland and grassland areas, increases in the areas of built-up and infrastructure land, and a slow increase in forested areas. The segregation of cropland cultivation and livestock husbandry leads to a concentration of cropland in fertile lowlands and of grasslands in the lower alpine regions from which crops are retreating. As a result of livestock being fed increasing amounts of cropland produce and imported protein feedstuffs, there was a disintegration of local nutrient cycles and a rising input of mineral fertilizer. We interpret these changes as a consequence of the massive input of fossil energy into Austria's agricultural system, which allowed a surge in the intensification of transport. We analyze these trends using GIS maps based upon statistic data.
 
Article
This paper presents methodological advances for calculating Ecological Footprints in time series, and applies them to Austria, the Philippines, and South Korea for the time period from 1961 to 1999. Two different methodological approaches are taken: (1) The latest evolution of the conventional Ecological Footprint method expressed in ‘global hectares’, or normalized hectares with global average bioproductivity; (2) an ‘actual land-use’ approach that calculates the physical area occupied for each country's socio-economic metabolism. The national assessments presented in this paper apply dynamic equivalence and yield factors, which are recalculated for each year. The paper also proposes new methods to deal with grassland yields and discusses problems in defining bioproductive area. The results, reflecting consumption figures, show that the rapid industrialization in South Korea resulted in a steep increase in its Ecological Footprint, whereas Austria's Footprint, which was already large in 1961, grew only slowly throughout the analyzed period. The paper also presents a sectoral Ecological Footprint analysis that compares human demand on forests in the Philippines to its export of forest products. Following a discussion of these challenges, this paper proceeds to showcase time series for Austria, the Philippines, and South Korea both to compare the Footprint analysis results to those of previous methods and to illustrate its analytical capacity.
 
Article
A meta-analysis of 268 case studies of tropical forest cover change indicates that deforestation shifted from a state initiated to an enterprise driven process between 1970 and 2000. During the 1970s state run road building and colonization programs opened up regions for settlement and deforestation throughout the tropics. By the 1990s these programs had all but disappeared. Meanwhile, enterprise driven processes, present in the 1970s, had both expanded and diversified by the 1990s. The implications of these findings for theories of forest cover change and for forest conservation policy are explored.
 
Article
Based upon land use surveys undertaken in Macau during 1994, this paper updates changes in land use between 1972 and 1983 analysed in a previous issue of Land Use Policy. Many of the trends seen in past land use in the territory have continued but further intensification and modernization has led to the increase in use of underground areas and a more modern type of mixed residential/commercial use than the previous dominant Chinese ‘bazaar’ type of commercial use with upstairs residences. Finally plans show that by 2005 there is likely to be another massive expansion of reclaimed land with the island of Taipa becoming completely urbanized.
 
Article
A generally positive impact of parks and open spaces on nearby property values has been documented in several previous studies. This study bolsters those findings and extends the scope of empirical evidence. The statistical analysis employs mean-difference t-tests on matched pairs of sales over 20 years and the location is suburban Canada. In addition, a detailed typology of green spaces, emphasizing greenway corridors, is defined. Findings support the notion that most types of green space increase the value of adjacent, single-family property and that corridors in particular have a significant positive impact on adjacent property values. However, there are exceptions with negative impacts on value and the overall range of values is less than reported elsewhere.
 
Article
Ireland has experienced high economic growth rates in the last decade of the 20th century. This paper examines how Ireland's economic growth has affected environmental pressure by calculating a time series of Ireland's ecological footprint (EF) from 1983 to 2001. Special attention is paid to the category energy. The results show that the EF increased with a factor of 1.5 during the time period, of which the doubled energy EF made up the biggest part. The main contribution to the total increase in the EF were emissions of fossil fuels, particularly oil consumed by traffic and electricity generation. Increase was particularly high between 1993 and 1995, due to a strong rise in the embodied energy footprint. This is caused by a shift in the type of net imported products. While in the 1980s import figures for minerals were high, in the 1990s import figures were highest for products with higher embodied energies such as chemicals, fertilizers, iron and steel, electric machinery, and road vehicles. Comparison of the Irish EF with the bioproductive capacity of Ireland shows that in between 1993 and 1995 a state of ecological overshoot is reached which is only increasing from then on. It is concluded that the growing economy has intensified human's pressure on the Irish environment by its enlarged demand for energy.
 
Article
The current study explains why Dutch forest expansion policy is at risk of failure. To study the forest expansion implementation process we have chosen to further operationalize Matland's policy type implementation model to an extended and comprehensive typology of relevant implementation characteristics. In addition, a case study methodology with mixed-method design was used to collect and analyze the data. The Dutch forest expansion policy is currently an example of symbolic implementation. The symbolic implementation is a consequence of the absence of central guidance, the legislative complexity, the low policy stability, the lack of supporting conditions for policy innovation, the lack of regulatory responsiveness and the latent policy at state level and in many provinces. Nevertheless, the transferable development rights method of the province of Limburg is a promising innovation and forest expansion still happens, which is mainly the result of a good internal and external communication, an effective actor network of forest expansion advocates and the willingness to realize negotiated project aims that lead to a win–win situation for all actors involved. Nonetheless, it is expected that the forest expansion targets will be not reached, unless most of the above shortcomings are solved.
 
Article
The Brazilian Cerrado, a biodiverse savanna ecoregion covering ∼1.8 million km2 south and east of the Amazon rainforest, is in rapid decline because of the expansion of modern agriculture. Previous studies of Cerrado land-use and land-cover (LULC) change imply spatial homogeneity, report widely varying rates of land conversion, use ambiguous LULC categories, and generally do not attempt to validate results. This study addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing moderate-resolution, multi-spectral satellite remote sensing data from 1986 to 2002 in two regions with identical underlying drivers. Unsupervised classification by the ISODATA algorithm indicates that Cerrado was converted to agro-pastoral land covers in 31% (3646 km2) of the study region in western Bahia and 24% (3011 km2) of the eastern Mato Grosso study region, while nearly 40% (4688 km2 and 5217 km2, respectively) of each study region remained unchanged. Although aggregate land change is similar, large and contiguous fragments persist in western Bahia, while smaller fragments remain in eastern Mato Grosso. These findings are considered in the current context of Cerrado land-use policy, which is dominated by the conservation set-aside and command-control policy models. The spatial characteristics of Cerrado remnants create considerable obstacles to implement the models; an alternative approach, informed by countryside biogeography, may encourage collaboration between state officials and farmer-landowners toward conservation land-use policies.
 
Article
Recent political developments in South Africa have resulted in a re-evaluation of the position of the individuals and communities who were forcibly removed from their land under apartheid. The first moves at restoring land to the dispossessed took place between 1991 and 1994 in a pragmatic manner. A number of significant acts of restitution were effected with the return of several African rural communities to the land from which they had been forcibly removed. In two areas no progress was made. First, the resolution of urban claims was postponed because of their complexity and numbers. Second, indigenous land claims were effectively rejected as presenting too contentious an issue at a time when fostering a sense of national unity was considered essential.
 
Article
Macroeconomic reform, initiated by the New Zealand government since 1984, was the driving force for new resource management legislation. Before that time, planning procedures were found to be deficient as new economic and environmental objectives were required to have more flexibility, innovation and integration. The Resource Management Act 1991 was the result of over five years of legislative development. The outcome has been a broadly based consensus on land use resource management aims and means for achieving these. The Act delegates powers to the lowest level of government where matters can be properly considered and administered — at regional and territorial level. The aim has been for fewer rules and costs with improved environmental quality.
 
Article
Studies of land-use change in China have long been hampered by the lack of accurate and reliable data. This research analyzes systematic data on land use gathered in the 1996 survey, the first nation-wide land survey ever conducted in the history of the People's Republic. The actual size of the Chinese territory on the mainland in 1996 was 9.5 million square kilometers, not 9.6 million as generally believed. It took the world's third largest position next to Russia and Canada. Over two-thirds or 67 percent of China's land coverage were devoted to agricultural activities. The bulk of the construction land was widely scattered in the countryside as a result of rural industrialization and urbanization. The 1996 land survey revealed a total cultivated land of 130 million hectares, nearly 40 percent more than what was reported by local cadres to the State Statistical Bureau. Much of the “discovered” farmland was located in the hilly and mountainous regions where the quality of land is low. Cultivated land per capita continued to drop because of the growing population. Only 14 percent of China's land was cultivable and cultivated land per capita was a mere 0.106 ha which was significantly smaller than the world's average of 0.236 ha. A comparison of data for 1949 and 1996 revealed a pattern of land-use change characterized by the expansion of cultivated and construction land at the expense of pasture and unused land subsequent to the environmentally disastrous campaigns of land reclamation. The processes of agricultural restructuring, rural industrialization, and rapid urbanization since the 1990s have given rise to a new trend of massive farmland loss for the benefits of market farming and non-agricultural developments. Newly reclaimed low-graded farmland in environmentally fragile frontier regions has never been able to compensate for the loss of fertile land in the southeastern part of the country where multiple cropping index and population density are high. There is pressing need for China to use its limited land resources most efficiently and effectively for the sake of not only its own growing population but also the globalizing world.
 
Article
This paper considers the environmental implications of the CAP reforms proposed in Agenda 2000. The CAP has been widely criticized for its financial profligacy and the creation of conditions which encourage environmentally damaging farming practices. Although the CAP was reformed in 1992 there has been growing pressure for further radical reform. In Agenda 2000 the European Commission present a set of revised policy objectives for agriculture which build upon the reforms of 1992. Empirical data from a representative sample of 558 British farmers is used to determine the environmental impact of the 1992 reforms and assess potential impact of Agenda 2000 proposals. The survey found that the environmental benefits of the reforms in the arable sector were minimal and that predictions of a move toward more extensive crop production using fewer inputs had not materialized. In the livestock sector dairying continued the pre-reform trend of specialization and intensification while the majority of beef and sheep producers remained unaffected by the introduction of stocking density regulations. It is concluded that the proposals contained within Agenda 2000 are unlikely to result in a more environmentally benign agriculture unless specific environmental goals are articulated and accompanied by appropriate policy mechanissm.
 
Article
Managing marginal farmland with high nature value can be a strong source of conflict between farmers and conservationists. In the West of Ireland, marginal farmland is at the heart of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designation and turloughs are an example of marginal grazing land with the status of EU Natura 2000 Priority Habitat. A turlough can be thought of as the aboveground floodplain of an underground stream in karstified bedrock. It floods in winter but usually dries out in summer to allow the growth and grazing of wet grassland communities. Whereas most conservationists agree that summer grazing of turloughs is required to maintain a favourable conservation status, they often forget that this grazing depends on farmers’ willingness to graze turloughs, which depends in turn on a host of other, mostly policy-driven, factors. Hence, conserving the turlough habitat (aim of Natura 2000) throws up the question of the viability of the farming systems in which turlough grazing is embedded (aim of reformed CAP). To study this conflict, an approach based on Q-methodology was applied. Semi-structured interviews of turlough experts (both users and non-users) as well as spokespersons of various interest groups and research bodies yielded a large set of statements relating to turlough management, farming, nature, designation, and broader agri-environmental policy issues. Selected statements were submitted to former interviewees for rating from complete disagreement to complete agreement as well as to farmers of 12 different turloughs with SAC-status. Principal components analysis of these ratings leads to a typology of stakeholders according to the way they respond to the implementation of Natura 2000, to the changing agenda of CAP, and how this influences turlough management. The results show that farmers’ and conservationists’ perspectives are less opposed than expected and that this opposition is better described as mutual ignorance of each other's expertise. This calls for a better communication strategy to turn conflict into compromise. We suggest three pathways to do this: making better use of the local farmers’ press, fostering users’ input by the close collaboration with an agriculturalist and an ecologist on a farm-to-farm basis and a marketing approach that values agricultural produce from marginal land for its intrinsic qualities.
 
Article
The development of wind energy in France presents an exemplary case of contrast between the policy instrument and its effectiveness in terms of installed wind power capacity. After 7 years of one of the highest feed-in tariffs in the world, the installed capacity in France is still very low. This is notably due to a diffuse pattern of administrative landscape protection which impacts on the construction of wind power potential. In turn, the pace of wind power development can be understood only by looking in more detail at the way in which landscape is dealt with in local planning processes. This paper examines the question using the case of Aveyron in southern France. We follow the shifting ways in which landscape is enrolled in wind power planning, in a context where new planning instruments favor an incipient decentralization in wind power policy. The case points to a change in both the networks and the concepts involved in the design of landscape representations that underlie the construction of wind power potential. We show that this change has been forced by the far-reaching and decentralized visual impacts of wind power technology, suggesting that technology is recomposing the social as part of its development process and questioning the very meaning and perception that is given to landscape.
 
Article
In this paper, we evaluate the relations between land-use and socio-economic metabolism and particularly, socio-economic biomass flows, by constructing four scenarios for Austria in 2020. The scenarios were established using a biomass-flow model for Austria which was developed for this analysis. The model distinguishes between 15 different kinds of land use and relates demand for biomass in Austria to biomass production in Austria, considering imports and exports as well as biomass conversions in industrial processing and in livestock. We discuss four scenarios: (1) a trend scenario, based upon an extrapolation of current trends; (2) a scenario assuming the far-reaching liberalization of agricultural markets; (3) a scenario in which biomass utilization for energy and industry is maximized; and (4) a scenario based upon the approach of “cascade utilization” of biomass. We find that increasing the use of biomass as an energy source might have considerable unwanted ecological effects including, among others, a reduction in the functioning of forests as a terrestrial carbon sink.
 
Article
Presently biomass energy supplies at least 2 EJ/yr (47 Mtoe) in OECD Europe, which is about 4% of total primary energy consumption (54.1 EJ). Estimates of the potential for bioenergy in the next century range from 2 to 20 EJ/yr. This paper estimates a potential of 9.0–13.5 EJ in 2050, which represents 17–30% of projected total energy requirements. This depends on assumptions of available land areas, achievable yields and the amount of recoverable residues utilized. Greater environmental and net energy benefits can be derived from perennial and woody energy crops compared to annual arable crops as alternative feedstocks for fossil fuels. The relative contribution of biofuels in the future will ultimately depend on markets and incentives, on R&D progress and on environmental requirements.
 
Article
The designation of tracts of land for nature and landscape conservation has been a mainstay of countryside policy. However, its continued relevance in the light of policy trends towards sectoral and spatial integration has been questioned. Focusing principally on experience in the United Kingdom, this review considers the impact and effectiveness of designations from a number of perspectives. It concludes that, whilst on balance they remain broadly fit for purpose and good value for money, they will increasingly need to be embedded in land use strategies which are more responsive to changing social needs and environmental conditions.
 
Article
In the north rim of the Mediterranean region, where forest cover is increasing as a result of land abandonment and temperatures are rising as a result of climate change, there is increasing interest for the effects of such changes on the runoff of water courses. This is a paramount issue for the conservation of many freshwater habitats and species. In this work we studied the effects of both an increase in forest cover after depopulation and land abandonment and an increase in temperature on the runoff of a Mediterranean catchment and on the aquatic and semi-aquatic fauna species of the stream (Olzinelles valley, NE Spain). Although in our simulation no decreasing trend in runoff is detected, the monthly runoff-rainfall ratio is now 15% lower than 30 years ago, a fact that may be attributed to a drier period rather than to the small afforestation experienced by the catchment in the last decades. Other factors such as increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and increasing canopy cover are discussed. The observed decrease in the water flow has caused the disappearance of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), Mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis), chub (Squalius cephalus), European eel (Anguilla anguilla), and southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus). Our results suggest that in a progressively warmer climate, and especially after land abandonment processes, management of Mediterranean mountain areas should be oriented towards an appropriate distribution of agrarian and forest land-covers in terms of water availability. Down to the stream scale, the pools that keep water throughout the year should be conserved and extended to enhance its potential to maintain aquatic and semi-aquatic species populations.
 
Article
This paper addresses the means by which the government of Canada is fulfilling its fiduciary obligation to consult with Aboriginal communities whose traditionally used lands are subject to industrial development. Specifically, the use of Aboriginal land use studies, as a means of consultation, is called into question on the basis of methodological limitations and cultural misrepresentation. In closing, it is suggested that until the Canadian government is prepared to take a proactive stance in mitigating land use conflicts through an effective and equitable consultative framework one should expect an escalation of litigation and continued Aboriginal discord.
 
Article
This paper explores the significance of ‘life-worlds’ for better understanding why farmers adopt or reject soil conservation measures and for identifying basic dimensions to be covered by social learning processes in Swiss agricultural soil protection. The study showed that farmers interpret soil erosion and soil conservation measures against the background of their entire life-world. By doing so, farmers consider abstract and symbolic meanings of soil conservation. This is, soil conservation measures have to be feasible and practical in the everyday farming routine, however, they also have to correspond with their aesthetic perception, their value system and their personal and professional identities. Consequently, by switching to soil conservation measures such as no-tillage farmers have to adapt not only the routines of their daily farming life, but also their perception of the aesthetics of cultivated land, underlying values and images of themselves. Major differences between farmers who adopt and farmers who reject no-tillage were found to depend on the degree of coherence they could create between the abstract and symbolic meanings of the soil conservation measure. From this perspective, implementation of soil protection measures faces the challenge of facilitating interactions between farmers, experts and scientists at a ‘deeper’ level, with an awareness of all significant dimensions that characterise the life-world. The paper argues that a certain level of shared symbolic meaning is essential to achieving mutual understanding in social learning processes.
 
Article
In recent times, the roles of local participation in what was previously perceived as pure public- service delivery has come to the forefront of policy debate and academic research. In this connection, this paper focuses on the roles of local communities in the management of protected ecosystems using the proposed Abuja national park as a case study. Based on the analysis of the results of a socio-economic survey of the communities in the study area, the paper argues that the sustainable conservation of the proposed park can only be achieved if a management scheme that will integrate, empower and involve the local communities in the planning and implementation of the park management programme is put in place. The paper suggests a collaborative strategy such as that of the Co-ordinated Resource Management which has the features of promoting an atmosphere of open communication, ensuring voluntary participation of stakeholders and guaranteeing decisions by consensus rather than those that enforce decisions using legal and political means.
 
Article
A number of analysts have argued that decisions about renewable energy technologies and targets need to be reconciled with the social and environmental contexts in which those technologies are adopted. However, an unresolved issue is how the contextually-embedded qualities of landscape might be represented at the national level, alongside other energy policy considerations like resource availability, economic efficiency and technical feasibility. To explore the dilemmas of this enterprise, this work examines the efforts of the Welsh Assembly Government to develop a spatial planning framework for wind energy. The work examines how particular landscapes became identified as ‘acceptable locations’ for wind farms, and the consequences. Four sets of findings are discussed: the selectivity with which landscape qualities enter strategic planning rationalities, favouring qualities that are formally demarcated and measurable ‘at a distance’; the tendency of the identified strategic search areas for wind to reinforce the degraded status of afforested upland areas; the extent to which the planning framework has rendered certain environmental qualities malleable; and the way that drawing boundaries around acceptable locations for large-scale wind energy development may restrict the scope for future reflexivity in energy policy.
 
Article
Intensive forms of agriculture have been proven to cause severe environmental effects, such as soil erosion by water and wind, or the pollution of ground and surface water with nutrients and pesticides contributing to the deterioration of natural habitats and the loss in biodiversity. In order to avoid or mitigate these detrimental environmental effects, a number of conservation measures can be undertaken by farmers. However, the adoption of these measures is highly dependent on the assumed benefits and risks attached as well as the personal perception and attitude of the individual farmer.This paper presents the outcome of a survey conducted in north-eastern Germany aimed at analysing farmers’ acceptance of different conservation measures. Eleven farmers, managing more than 80% (about 13,000 ha) of the agricultural land in the chosen case study region were interviewed. Respondents were asked about their personal experiences with different environmental measures and requested to assess these measures, e.g., regarding costs, time and labour demands, attached risks, or effectiveness. They also ranked these factors in terms of importance for decision making on adoption or rejection of a new measure. The findings show that, despite of the general assumption that farmers’ decisions are mostly driven by economic rationality, costs were not the most important factor. Other factors, like associated risks, effectiveness, or time and effort necessary to implement a certain measure were equally or even more important depending on the specific situation.
 
Article
This study examines farmers’ acceptance and adoption of soil and water conservation (SWC) technologies that were claimed by the implementing agency to have been executed in a farmer-participatory approach in a representative micro-watershed (the Digil watershed) in the north-western highlands of Ethiopia. Multiple methods of social research were employed to generate the data. The results reveal that involvement of the farmers was essentially limited to ‘participation by consultation’ and the farmers were rather persuaded to implement the conservation measures. A large majority of the farmers, however, acknowledged that the introduced conservation technologies were effective measures against soil erosion and for improving land productivity. Notwithstanding, the sustainable adoption and widespread replication of the technologies seemed unlikely. The major factors that were discouraging the farmers from adopting the technologies on their farms were found to be labour shortage, problem of fitness of the technologies to the farmers’ requirements and farming system circumstances, and land tenure insecurity. The study underscores that many of these problems were also basically related to lack of a genuine involvement of the farmers in the conservation effort and concludes by suggesting that future SWC interventions should carefully pursue a farmer-participatory approach.
 
Article
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) gives powers to the Secretary of State for England and the National Assembly for Wales to include coastal lands as ‘open country’ and as such provides a right of access. The Countryside Council for Wales considers that access to the coastal lands of Wales should be developed via a voluntary approach. This paper discusses the use and economic impact of recreation and tourism in coastal areas of Wales and compares the voluntary approach proposed by the Countryside Council for Wales against key criteria set down by the Welsh Office for open access. It concludes that coastal land in Wales should be considered as ‘open countryside’, and as such the public should have a right of access to it.
 
Article
This paper considers alternative means of rationing access to outdoor recreation areas, focussing on rock-climbing sites in Scotland. Such rationing is deemed increasingly important due to crowding and environmental externalities, yet cultural and practical considerations mean that a system of simple entry fees to mountain areas is unrealistic. We use a repeated nested multinomial logit model to predict the impacts on welfare and trips of two alternative rationing mechanisms currently being considered by resource managers: (i) the imposition of car-parking fees and (ii) measures to increase access time (the so-called “long walk-in” policy). The impacts of these policies employed at three different sites (Glencoe, the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis) is investigated: we find, for example, that a 2 h increase in walk-in time in the Cairngorms reduces predicted visits by 44%, with knock-on effects being felt at other, substitute sites. A £5/day car-parking fee reduces predicted trips to the Cairngorms by 31%. The paper concludes with a discussion of the role of such rationing mechanisms in future land use policy in the mountains.
 
Article
Informed by a growing international literature on the motivations of non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owners towards particular management goals, this paper reports the findings of a study into the responses of private and public/non-profit woodland owners to financial incentive schemes related to recreational access in South East England a highly urbanised region with considerable demand for outdoor recreation. The findings indicate that finance is the most important incentive for achieving uptake in these schemes to promote access. However, the propensity of owners to take up any incentive is not driven primarily by financial goals. Rather, it is a function of their predisposition towards the goals of the recreational access incentive scheme and the extent to which these goals are congruent with their self-identity as (largely) custodians of their woodland. In the case of promoting public access to private woodlands the study shows for the first time in the English context that, while few private woodland owners are predisposed towards granting additional access, the ability to deploy access incentives to longer-term stewardship goals may be sufficient to bring them into the scheme. The paper makes the argument that, to be successful, access incentive schemes must find ways of making the access component a central feature of grant aid while also incentivising longer-term management operations.
 
Article
This review discusses persistent tensions in efforts to secure land rights in Africa's drylands. Some researchers and practitioners advocate for formal, legal recognition of group rights as a way to secure access for drylands resource users. Others, on the other hand, speak against formal, legal protections. They argue that much of Africa's drylands are collectively held, often under customary tenures. Statutory law may undermine the dynamism, flexibility and inclusiveness of such tenures. By reviewing innovative efforts at securing access in different parts of Africa, the paper shows that any attempt to secure access for multiple users in drylands environments needs to identify frameworks for negotiated conflict resolution, crafting rules from the ground upwards, in addition to a more generic identification of rights. Policy-makers can thus focus on process, as well as the content of tenure arrangements, reconciling statutory rights with customary rights. For rights to be meaningfully secured, however, there is need to identify the nature and sources of threats that create insecurities and tailor policy solutions to threats. Elite capture and exclusion of women and young people continue to pose significant challenges in such decentralized processes.
 
Article
This article uses ethnographic evidence from Tigray to revisit the debate on informal rural land markets in present-day Ethiopia. It explores informal farmland rental from a historico-anthropological, micro-analytical perspective in relation to the formal allocation of land use rights and to other informal land transfer practices. It shows how different rationales for land rental give rise to different socially embedded tenancy configurations. On the basis of this empirical evidence, the paper questions the appropriateness of the common idea that in Ethiopia ‘the land rental market is expanding’. It argues that research and policy thinking on land in Ethiopia could gain analytical power and relevance by adopting a less monolithic and abstract view on people's informal land transfer practices.
 
Article
Different forms of recreation are competing increasingly for space to operate, and arbitrating between these competing claims can be fraught with difficulties. This paper examines the recent conflict over attempts to impose a speed limit, and hence prevent power boating and associated activities, on Windermere in the English Lake District. The competing arguments, as presented to a public inquiry, are assessed in the light of the Inspector's verdict on these issues, and the political responses to the verdict. The case is likely to have a much wider significance in terms of land use planning policy in Britain, both in National Parks and rural areas more generally.
 
Article
One of the key requirements of the European Union (EU) for accession of Central European countries (CEC) to the EU is the establishment of free market economies which parallel the economies in Western Europe based on the adoption of the Acquis Communautaire (Acquis) from the EU. Central to this objective is the privatisation of lands and the establishment of efficient land markets. To this end the EU and many other countries and international organisations have committed significant resources to support land administration, and particularly cadastral projects, in Central Europe since 1992.This paper reviews the role that the establishment of land administration systems is playing in the accession of CEC to the EU. Other key requirements for accession to the EU are the adoption of the Common Agricultural Policy, the protection of human rights, environmental sustainability and institution building. The paper also considers the role that land administration plays in supporting these objectives and develops a generic framework for land administration projects in support of accession to the EU.As background the paper uses examples to highlight the historical context of land, the evolution of land administration in Central Europe, the reconstruction of property rights and the justification of land administration projects in the context of AGENDA 2000 for a wider Europe. The paper provides an international context by examining land administration trends globally.The paper concludes by highlighting the challenges facing the establishment of land administration systems in CEC.
 
Article
Emergency planning for nuclear power plants has greatly Improved since the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. The nuclear industry is now better prepared than any other to cope with a major accident. Nonetheless, following Chernobyl there have been calls for wider planning zones, and some state and local governments have blocked licensing by refusing to participate in offsite planning. Controversy rages over subsequent attempts by the federal government and industry to resolve the current impasse by shrinking the planning zones and restricting local input in the licensing process. Current regulations are also criticized for failing to take cognizance of the extensive research on human behaviour during emergencies.
 
Article
Environmental planning aims to safeguard and foster the ecological functionality of agricultural landscapes. In order to reach a sustainable development of agricultural landscapes, in addition to ecological objectives socio-economic ones also need to be considered. In this context, the authors draw attention to three points. First, whenever ecologically sensitive areas (“ecological sites”) are used for agricultural production, it is necessary to take account of the fact that farmers tend to adapt to environmental requirements by production responses outside the ecological site itself. Second, in order to identify the socially most “desirable” land-use responses it is necessary to supplement the above-mentioned environmental objectives by socio-economic ones. Third, when choosing an appropriate model for such multi-criteria decision analysis, the question of substitutability between criteria is of utmost importance. The paper discusses the above-mentioned issues against the background of a case study of environmental planning for an ecologically very valuable agricultural landscape in Germany, the Bayerisches Donauried. Two models of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) are applied, one based on the “single synthesizing criterion” method, and the other one based on the “synthesis by outranking” method. The models serve to evaluate four different land-use options, using criteria mainly derived from landscape functions and weights gained from interviews with major stakeholders. The paper presents the models’ results concerning the ranking of the different land-use options and discusses the implications for agri-environmental policies and rural development planning.
 
Article
The protection of natural capital, including its ability to renew or regenerate itself, represents a core aspect of sustainability. Hence, reliable measures of the supply of, and human demand on, natural capital are indispensable for tracking progress, setting targets and driving policies for sustainability. This paper presents the latest iteration of such a measure: the Ecological Footprint. After explaining the assumptions and choice of data sources on which the accounts are built, this paper presents how the newest version of these accounts has become more consistent, reliable and detailed by using more comprehensive data sources, calculating and comparing yields more consistently, distinguishing more sharply between primary and secondary production, and using procedures to identify and eliminate potential errors. As a result, this method can now provide more meaningful comparisons among nations’ final consumption, or their economic production, and help to analyze the Ecological Footprint embodied in trade. With the higher level of detail, the accounts can generate sectoral assessments of an economy or, as shown in a complementary paper in this series, time trends of all these aspects.
 
Article
The dominant narrative of soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa, as expressed in global surveys and policy documents, is compared with long-term data on the productive performance of smallholder farming systems under climatic and demographic stress. Cases at national, district and village/farm scale are considered (Nigeria; Diourbel Region, Senegal; Maradi Department, Niger; the Kano Close-Settled Zone, Nigeria). The dominant narrative is found to fail as a predictor of agricultural performance over the longer term. Instead there is evidence of farmers’ achievements in terms of sustained production, and investments in soil fertility maintenance. However at micro-scale, the constraints affecting farmers’ investments are apparent. The dominant narrative is deficient as a guide to policy, which needs to go beyond the fertiliser debate to take a broader view of soil fertility in relation to rural livelihoods and a need to facilitate private investment in natural resources.
 
Article
In this study we assessed the potential of woody biomass (short-rotation Mallee Eucalypts) for renewable energy generation as an economically viable way of motivating widespread natural resource management under climate change in the 11.9 million ha Lower Murray agricultural region in southern Australia. The spatial distribution of productivity of agricultural crops and pasture, and biomass was modelled. Average annual economic returns were calculated under historical mean (baseline) climate and three climate change scenarios. Economically viable areas of biomass production were identified where the profitability of biomass is greater than the profitability of agriculture under each scenario for three factory gate biomass prices. The benefits of biomass production for dryland salinisation, wind erosion, and carbon emissions reduction through biomass-based renewable energy production were also modelled. Depending on climate scenario, at the median price assessed ($40/tonne) biomass production can generate $51.4–$88 M in annual net economic returns, address 41,226–165,577 ha at high risk of dryland salinisation and 228,000–1.4 million ha at high risk of wind erosion, and mitigate 10.4–12 million tonnes of carbon (CO2−e) emissions annually. Economically viable areas for biomass production expanded under climatic warming and drying especially in more marginal agricultural land. Under the baseline, the area at high risk of dryland salinisation was more than double that at high risk of wind erosion. However, under climatic warming and drying the relative importance of these two natural resource management objectives switched with the area at high risk of wind erosion becoming much larger. As biomass production can achieve multiple natural resource management objectives, it may provide a land use policy option that is adaptable to changing priorities and economically resilient given climatic uncertainties. For such a significant and enduring land use change policy it is prudent to assess both the economic and environmental potential under climate change.
 
Article
This paper suggests that the capacity of indigenous groups to engage effectively in a range of planning activities is crucial to achieving land justice and community goals. This argument is relevant in the face of long-standing tensions between indigenous peoples residing in post-settler societies and nation-states such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand over questions of land and natural resource use. The paper argues that effective planning is crucial for (i) protecting indigenous interests by engaging the planning activities of the state, (ii) the successful acquisition of lands through legal land claim processes, and (iii) helping indigenous communities achieve their goals by implementing effective community-based planning processes.
 
Top-cited authors
Yansui Liu
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
Peter H Verburg
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Hualou Long
  • IGSNRR, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Helmut Haberl
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Karl-Heinz Erb
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna