Showing results for: Landscapes
The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute have set up a blog to provide space for a conversation about the future of the British countryside.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has published its first edition of the Global Land Outlook (GLO), addressing future challenges and opportunities for the management and restoration of land resources in the context of sustainable development.
This book considers the main links between global conservation of the environment and food production.
Initiated in 1999, the Grain-for-Green Program was set up primarily to reduce soil erosion and uses cash payments to incentivise people to replant trees on sloped crop and scrubland. This study examines the effects on bird and bee species in the scheme across the country. It finds that the program has not greatly benefited birds and bees due to the common practice of monoculture tree planting.
There is increasing evidence that human demands on natural systems are accelerating and could affect the stability and services provided by these systems. This paper aims to aid understanding of the temporal and spatial variability of human pressures on natural systems, which provides a foundation for environmental damage mitigation. Recent advances in remote sensing have allowed great development in mapping of human pressures, particularly in forested areas. Other pressures, such as roads and pasture lands, have by comparison been overlooked.
This paper in Science discusses the potential of yield increase incentives as a way of convincing farmers to save land to protect biodiversity rather than increasing farmland. The increase of agricultural land is one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions in tropical countries. This paper argues that increasing yields on existing agricultural land can provide farmers with the incentive to spare land for wildlife and nature.
In their two-part contribution to the Livestock debate on the website of Arc2020 (the agricultural and rural convention), the IPES representatives Olivier de Schutter, Hans Herren and Emile Frison discuss the environmental footprint of livestock, the need for livestock farming to be reintegrated into landscapes and the flaws in the current factory farming model; and they propose ways to address the challenges posed by industrial livestock systems.
Extract from book introduction:
The growth in global population and more demanding consumption patterns around the world are placing ever increasing pressures on land and its resources. This is resulting in conflicts and the unsustainable use of humanity’s resource base.
This paper argues that a focus on increasing production in line with dominant projections of increased demand, through intensification of current industrial agricultural practices, will cause environmental damage and increase food insecurity.
This study, entitled "Gains to species diversity in organically farmed fields are not propagated at the farm level, investigates whether organic farming contributes to biodiversity at the farm level."
An analysis of 94 studies looking at land-use intensity and organic farming methods concludes that organic farming boosts biodiversity. The authors point out that even though research is currently biased towards developed countries (mostly UK and European climates) in temperate regions, organic farming is shown to increase the number of on farm species by around 34 percent.
In a recent article in BioScience, researchers argue that land-use decisions need to take into account the multiple impacts of revegetating agricultural landscapes. If decision making fails to address the wide range of issues of importance for landscapes, carbon farming (carbon markets and related international schemes that allow payments to landholders for planting trees) may have harmful effects, such as degrading ecosystems and causing food supply problems.
This video introduces the themes and goals of the Global Landscapes Forum which will take place in Warsaw 16-17 November this year, during COP 19. The forum will focus on issues such as how we can feed a growing population without clearing the world’s remaining forests to make way for new farmland and how we can stem the tide of climate change. The overall aim is to discuss how a “landscapes approach” can help us address these issues.
Click here to see the video.