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Land-use transformations

Posted on | February 8, 2015 | Comments Off

WG9 – Land-use transformations

Around the world society is increasingly and rapidly affected by urbanization processes. Still, the largest part of the world’s land is used for agricultural activities. Contrary to some decades ago, rural land use is now seldom influenced by agriculture only. Multiple drivers affect land use changes, including various forms of urbanization, which are constantly changing and follow different development trajectories. In order to understand and fully measure such changing trends, processes of intensification/extensification of productive activities can not be separated from processes of urbanization and also of marginalization. Causes for these processes are linked to food and nutrition security, climate change, natural resources limitations and exhaustion, social and demographic processes and changing societal values and expectations. Both local and global drivers are involved, including public policy interventions together with multiple actors with different interests in land use and management. In sum such intersecting dynamics of agricultural structural developments and various forms of urbanization lead to an increasingly complex differentiation of land use. Traditional disciplinary approaches within academia cannot adequately understand these changes, and therefore cross-disciplinary approaches are needed. Neither are the current, highly sectoral policy domains able to address the policy approaches needed to ensure sustainable development of land use.

The aim of this working group is to present and discuss current research into rural land use change across and within the global north and south, and to discuss current and future policy institutions associated with these changes.

This Working-Group will look at particular land use related questions including the following:
. what are the main trends in land-use transformations, in different geographical contexts?
. what are main drivers of land use change, and how do they vary, if at all, with geographical context?
. how is food and nutrition security affecting and being affected by land use changes?
. how can the different societal expectations be combined for more sustainable land use?
. how can the sustainable use of natural resources in urban, peri-urban and rural areas be strengthened?
. how are current policy approaches guiding current land use changes and with what results?
. how can the complexity in current land use change patterns be dealt with effectively by public policy at different levels?


Teresa Pinto-Correia, ICAAM, University of Évora, Portugal
Jorgen Primdahl, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Neil Argent, University of New England, Australia


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