Defining, Measuring, and Incentivizing Sustainable Land Use to Meet Human Needs

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Details

Title Defining, Measuring, and Incentivizing Sustainable Land Use to Meet Human Needs
Person and role
Description Land is a natural capital that supports the flow of an enormous amount of ecosystem services critical to human welfare. Sustainable land use, which we define as land use that meets both current and future human needs for ecosystem services, is essential to meet global goals for climate mitigation and sustainable development, while maintaining natural capital. However, it is not clear what governance is needed to achieve sustainable land use under multiple goals (as defined by the values of relevant decision-makers and land managers), particularly under climate change.
Here we develop a conceptual model for examining the interactions and tradeoffs among multiple goals, as well as their spatial interactions (teleconnections), in research developed using Design Thinking principles. We have selected five metrics for provisioning (food production, and fiber production for wood and energy), regulating and maintenance (climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation), and cultural (heritage) ecosystem services. Using the case of Sweden, we estimate indicators for these metrics using a combination of existing data synthesis and process-based simulation modeling. We also develop and analyze new indicators (e.g., combining data on land use, bird conservation status, and habitat specificity to make a predictive model of bird diversity changes on agricultural or forested land).

Our results highlight both expected tradeoffs (e.g., between food production and biodiversity conservation) as well as unexpected opportunities for synergies under different land management scenarios and strategies. Our model also provides a practical way to make decision-maker values explicit by comparing both quantity and preferences for bundles of ecosystem services under various scenarios. We hope our model will help in considering competing interests and shaping economic incentives and governance structures to meet national targets in support of global goals for sustainable management of land-based ecosystem services.
Date/period

2016 Dec 13

Related organisations
Land is a natural capital that supports the flow of an enormous amount of ecosystem services critical to human welfare. Sustainable land use, which we define as land use that meets both current and future human needs for ecosystem services, is essential to meet global goals for climate mitigation and sustainable development, while maintaining natural capital. However, it is not clear what governance is needed to achieve sustainable land use under multiple goals (as defined by the values of relevant decision-makers and land managers), particularly under climate change.
Here we develop a conceptual model for examining the interactions and tradeoffs among multiple goals, as well as their spatial interactions (teleconnections), in research developed using Design Thinking principles. We have selected five metrics for provisioning (food production, and fiber production for wood and energy), regulating and maintenance (climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation), and cultural (heritage) ecosystem services. Using the case of Sweden, we estimate indicators for these metrics using a combination of existing data synthesis and process-based simulation modeling. We also develop and analyze new indicators (e.g., combining data on land use, bird conservation status, and habitat specificity to make a predictive model of bird diversity changes on agricultural or forested land).

Our results highlight both expected tradeoffs (e.g., between food production and biodiversity conservation) as well as unexpected opportunities for synergies under different land management scenarios and strategies. Our model also provides a practical way to make decision-maker values explicit by comparing both quantity and preferences for bundles of ecosystem services under various scenarios. We hope our model will help in considering competing interests and shaping economic incentives and governance structures to meet national targets in support of global goals for sustainable management of land-based ecosystem services.
2016 Dec 13

Event (Conference)

TitleAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU), fall meeting 2016
Abbrev. TitleAGU
Period2016/12/122016/12/16
Web address (URL)
LocationMoscone Convention Center
CitySan Francisco
CountryUnited States
Degree of recognitionInternational event