Theme 6

Landscape integration of farming

Convenors

Egon Noe (enoe@sam.sdu.dk)

José Muñoz-Rojas (jmrojas@uevora.pt)

Ana Marta-Costa (amarta@utad.pt)

Rationale

Governance actors, networks and their mutual interactions are key drivers of the (past, present and future) trajectories of change in land-use and farming systems. This process is enacted across a wide range of spatial-temporal scales and institutional levels. Alas, the divergences in the interests and aspiration of these different actors and institutions (both public and private) make it difficult to reach consensus on directions for achieving more productive agronomical and forestry-systems that can be integrated with other land-uses and related socio-political objectives, including; biodiversity conservation, economic diversification and climate change mitigation and adaptation. To tackle these challenges, many theoretical and operational frameworks and tools have been proposed, including Ecosystem Services and an Ecosystems Approach, and Social-Ecological Systems and Resilience. Nonetheless, few aspects of these frameworks have been translated from theory and science into real-world management practice over a wide-enough range of systems to test their efficacy and limitations across different contexts and situations. Furthermore, existing land management systems that are intrinsically multi-functional and thus can foster sustainability (e.g. Mediterranean silvo-pastoral systems, such as Dehesas and Montados) are currently in decline. This is largely due to inadequate governance frameworks and market inefficiencies. In such a context, Landscape Approaches can seemingly provide with an opportunity to link diverging land-use actors and objectives to converge through more innovative governance and decision-making structures, ultimately contributing to integrate agriculture and forestry alongside with other rural land-uses. Landscape approaches have notably been advocated in the tropics using a functional definition of landscapes. This is a context where biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration are largely menaced from a rapid and uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, and thus where landscape functional and ecological capacities can help address problems of connectivity and sustainable farming production. Alas, they have also been proposed in regions with a long history of human intervention where both cultural and natural values have long co-existed with, or even at times depended, on agriculture and forestry (e.g. the Mediterranean), and thus, where Landscape naturally provide the much-required bridge between food production and other benefits and services to be potentially obtained from the land, such as cultural ones. Last, Landscape is also considered as a spatial-temporal scale, and more concretely, as a scale to which decision-makers and land-managers operating on the ground can relate, thus being useful for land-management coordination and cooperation.

Objectives and orientations for abstracts

In response to the various aspects of remarked, this theme welcomes abstracts and papers targeting any single or various of the following research questions:

  • What theoretical aspects inherent in different Landscape Approaches (systemic, scalar, functional) can help fil the existing gaps when reconciling agricultural and forestry production with other land-use benefits and services?
  • How can these theoretical aspects be best brought into practice through more innovative farming system structures, management strategies and governance frameworks? Are there any good examples of this?
  • Are there any examples of best practices in coordination and cooperation at the Landscape scale that can foster farming systems with improved levels of sustainability and resilience?
  • How do policies and regulations, funding schemes, and institutional arrangements need to shift to move towards a Landscape approach to farming?
  • And last, looking into the future, can we build any scenarios to guide policy and strategic planning design that considers the Landscape effects in farming?

Papers can address conceptual discussions and single or comparative examples from anywhere around the world as long as they address at least one (or various) of these questions.