3 table of contents table of contents foreword 5 contributing authors and acknowledgements 6 preface 9 introduction 10 part 1 research evidence in support of sustainable land management 16 chapter 1 local land management – the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 18 1.1 integrated management of agricultural production systems 19 1.2 managing irrigation and fertilization 32 1.3 eco-engineering 37 1.4 adapted livestock management 39 1.5 managing natural and semi-natural systems 42 conclusions 46 chapter 2 landscape management – adapting to climate change 48 2.1 land and water management in river basins 50 2.2 riparian forest and water quality management 63 2.3 coastal zone management and eco-drr 70 conclusions 74 chapter 3 mitigating climate change 76 3.1 developing nationwide strategies for climate change mitigation 79 3.2 preventing land conversion 82 3.3 reversing land conversion 85 3.4 restoring wetlands and organic soils 86 3.5 reducing emissions from agricultural practices 87 conclusions 89 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems 90 4.1 managing protected areas 92 4.2 paying for ecosystem services 96 conclusions 100
4 making sense of research for sustainable land management chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice 102 5.1 awareness-raising: communicating complexity 104 5.2 capacity building 108 5.3 framework conditions and governance 111 5.4 use of knowledge 114 5.5. stakeholder integration/ co-production of knowledge 118 conclusions 126 chapter 6 the contribution of research 128 6.1 tools and methods: the ways and means of conducting research 130 6.2 impact – the role of research projects within the region and beyond 138 6.3 framework conditions for implementation-oriented research: flexible and long-term 142 conclusions 143 chapter 7 conclusions and key messages 144 the basis of land management 145 sustainable land management and the role of research 146 synergies and trade-offs in slm 146 implementation-oriented research 148 framework conditions for implementation-oriented research 149 framework conditions for slm implementation 150 outlook 151 part 2 case studies 154 annex bmbf-slm programme and the regional research projects 280 references and supporting material 294 glossary of terms 301 list of abbreviations 303
5 foreword since entering into force two decades ago, the united nations convention to combat desertification (unccd) has been supporting countries to sow and plant in a sustainable way, while focusing on people and communities as agents for change. where do we stand two decades later? for one, the importance of restoring degraded land and avoiding further land degradation is now largely recognized. the sustainable development goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 call for achieving land degradation neutrality as one of the targets. over 100 countries are now setting out ambitious national plans to turn these targets into reality. so are people becoming agents for change? you will find the answer in this book. the book showcases how stakeholders – scientists, researchers, extension workers and farm- ers – collectively delivered sustainable land management, are combatting desertification and effectively curbing hunger and poverty. in western siberia, the finding by scientists of a potential to increase crop yields by 25% encouraged farmers to adopt no till/mini- mum tillage. livestock herders in madagascar learned through a nursery test how they can secure fodder by a simple change in the way they cut trees. researchers investigated scenarios and solutions to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and to cope with sea level rise. they looked at how to reduce flooding in northern germany and how to deal with reduced water availability and increased salinization in vietnam and china. the book is filled with many inspiring insights and success stories like these. all have emerged during the seven years of the research programme. in a nutshell, this book is about scientific research which makes sense in the field. it proves that sustainable intensification of our land use is possible if done right. it can serve multi- ple purposes from raising and stabilising yields, to securing ecosystems and ensuring the transformation of degrading land into a vibrant and productive natural resource. despite all the efforts made in the past decades, land degradation is still one of the most serious problems facing society and disproportionately affecting the poorest on our planet. this book demonstrates ways how research can make a difference. involv- ing researchers and especially students strengthens the capacity of land users, planners and decision makers to address the complexity of sustainable land management and its current and future challenges at landscape and watershed level. research and capacity building in sustainable land management is an investment for the wellbeing of the next generation. monique barbut executive secretary united nations convention to combat desertification (unccd) foreword “if you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” (goes a chinese proverb)
6 making sense of research for sustainable land management contributing authors and acknowledgements carbiocial: carbon-optimized land management strategies for southern amazonia • jan göpel, university of kassel, germany • stefan hohnwald, georg-august university göttingen, germany • gabriele lamparter, georg-august university göttingen, germany • rodolfo nóbrega, georg-august university göttingen, germany • markus schindewolf, university of mining and technology, freiberg, germany • luisa vega, christian-albrechts university kiel, germany cc-landstrad: climate change – land use strategies in germany • sarah baum, thünen-institute of rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany • rene dechow, thünen-institute of climate-smart agriculture, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisher- ies, brunswick, germany • johanna fick, thünen-institute of rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany • ulrike grabski-kieron, institute for geography, university of münster, germany • roland goetzke, federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure (bmvi), bonn, germany • meike hellmich, thünen-institute of rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany • martin henseler, thünen-institute of rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany, edehn - equipe d’economie le havre normandie, université du havre, france • jana hoymann, federal institute for research on building, urban affairs and spatial development, bonn, germany • peter kreins, thünen-institute of rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany • norbert röder, thünen-institute for rural studies, federal research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany • mathias raabe, institute for geography, university of münster, germany • rosemarie siebert, leibniz centre for agricultural landscape research (zalf), müncheberg, germany • annett steinführer, thünen-institute of rural studies, fed- eral research institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries, brunswick, germany comtess: sustainable coastal land management – trade-offs in ecosystem services • leena karrasch, university of oldenburg, germany • michael kleyer, university of oldenburg, germany • martin maier, university of oldenburg, germany • anett schibalski, university of braunschweig, germany innovate: interplay among multiple uses of water reservoirs via innovative coupling of substance cycles in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems • pierson barretto, federal university of pernambuco (ufpe), recife, brazil • christine beusch berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • anne biewald, potsdam institute for climate impact research, berlin, germany • arne cierjacks, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • maike guschal, senckenberg natural history collections dresden (snsd), germany • andré ferreira, federal university of pernambuco (ufpe), recife, brazil • peter fischer, leibniz-institute of freshwater ecology and inland fisheries, berlin, germany • fred hattermann, potsdam institute for climate impact research, berlin, germany • hagen koch, potsdam institute for climate impact research, berlin, germany • johann köppel, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • érika alves tavares marques, federal university of pernambuco (ufpe), recife, brazil • elena matta, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • márcia alcoforado de moraes, federal university of pernambuco (ufpe), recife, brazil • gérsica moraes nogueira da silva, federal university of pernambuco (ufpe), recife, brazil • verena rodorff, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • katharina schulz, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • marianna siegmund-schultze, berlin institute of technology (tu berlin), germany • markus venohr, leibniz-institute of freshwater ecology and inland fisheries, berlin, germany kulunda: how to prevent the next global dust bowl? ecological and economic strategies for sustainable land management in the russian steppes – a potential solution to climate change • miroslava bavorova, institute of agricultural and food sciences, university halle-wittenberg, germany • norbert bischoff, institute of soil science, leibniz university of hanover, germany • dr. andrey bondarovich, faculty of geography, altai state university, barnaul, russia • manfred frühauf, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • tatyana galcova, faculty of biology, altai state university, barnaul, russia • lars-christian grunwald, ‚amazonen-werke h. dreyer gmbh & co. kg‘, germany • georg guggenberger, institute of soil science, leibniz university of hanover, germany
7 contributing authors • isabell hensen, institute of biology, university halle-wittenberg, germany • thomas herzfeld, institute of agricultural and food sciences, university halle-wittenberg, germany • karsten hiller, institute of agricultural and food sciences, university halle-wittenberg, germany • patrick illiger, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • nizami imamverdiyev, institute of agricultural and food sciences, university halle-wittenberg, germany • ladislav jelinek, institute of agricultural and food sciences, university halle-wittenberg, germany • milada kasarjyan, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • peter liebelt, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • tobias meinel, ‚amazonen-werke h. dreyer gmbh & co. kg‘, germany • ralph meissner, helmholtz centre for environmental research – ufz, department of soil physics, germany • christoph müller, potsdam institute for climatic impact research, germany • christoph rosche, institute of biology, university halle- wittenberg, germany • gerd schmidt, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • olga shibistova, institute of soil science, leibniz university of hanover, germany • marina silyanteva, faculty of biology, altai state university, barnaul, russia • eckart stephan, institute of geosciences and geography, university halle-wittenberg, germany • karsten wesche, senckenberg natural research society, görlitz, germany • andreas wust, leibniz institute for regional geography, leipzig, germany legato: land-use intensity and ecological engineering – assessment tools for risks and opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems • monina escalada, visayas state university, baybay, leyte, philippines • reinhold jahn, university halle-wittenberg, halle (saale), germany • leonardo marquez, philippine rice research institute (philrice), muñoz, nueva ecija, philippines • anika klotzbücher (marxen), helmholtz centre for environmental research – ufz, halle (saale), germany • thimo klotzbücher, university halle-wittenberg, halle (saale), germany • josef settele, helmholtz centre for environmental research – ufz, halle (saale), germany • doris vetterlein, helmholtz centre for environmental research – ufz, halle (saale), germany • martin wiemers, helmholtz centre for environmental research – ufz, halle (saale), germany lucci: land use and climate change interactions in central vietnam • valerio avitabile, department of geo-informatics, university of jena; department of earth observation - wageningen university, netherlands • manfred fink, institute for geoinformatics, department of geography, friedrich-schiller-university jena, germany • abm firoz, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics, itt, th cologne, germany • nils führer, faculty of civil and environmental engineering; environmental engineering and ecology, ruhr universität bochum, germany • sandra greassidis, faculty of civil and environmental engineering; environmental engineering + ecology, ruhr universität bochum, germany • alexandra nauditt, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics, itt, th cologne, germany • udo nehren, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics (itt), technische hochschule cologne, germany • arun pratihast, department of geo-informatics, university of jena, department of earth observation - wageningen university, netherlands • claudia raedig, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics (itt), technische hochschule cologne, germany • lars ribbe, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics, itt, th cologne, germany • giulia salvini, department of geo-informatics, university of jena, department of earth observation - wageningen university, netherlands • harro stolpe, faculty of civil and environmental engineer- ing; environmental engineering and ecology, ruhr universität bochum, germany • justyna sycz, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics (itt), technische hochschule cologne, germany • trinh quoc viet, institute for technology and resources management in the tropics and subtropics (itt), th köln – university of applied sciences, cologne, germany and faculty of civil and environmental engineering; environmental engineering and ecology, ruhr universität bochum, germany • van tran thi ha, th köln – university of applied sciences, cologne, germany and faculty of civil and environmental engineering • franziska zander, institute for geoinformatics, department of geography, friedrich-schiller-university jena, germany sascha: sustainable land management and adaptation strategies to climate change for the western siberian grain belt • johannes kamp, university of münster, germany • insa kühling, university of applied sciences, osnabrück, germany • tim-martin wertebach, institute for landscape ecology, university of münster, germany
8 making sense of research for sustainable land management sulama: sustainable land management in south-western madagascar • jessica n. andriamparany, university of antananarivo, madagascar • katja brinkmann, university of kassel, germany • linda dworak, ruhr university of bochum, germany • andreas englert; ruhr university of bochum, germany • noromiarilanto fananbinantsoa, university of antananarivo, madagascar • tobias feldt, university of kassel, germany • roman fricke, philipps university, marburg, germany • nadine fritz-vietta, ernst-moritz-arndt university of greifswald, germany • johanna friederike goetter, brandenburg university of technology, cottbus-senftenberg, germany • susanne kobbe, university of hamburg, germany • daniel kübler, university of hamburg, germany • joachim nopper, university of hamburg, germany • tahiry ranaivoson, university of antananarivo, madagascar • yedidya ratovonamana, university of antananarivo, madagascar • jean robertin rasoloariniaina, university of antananarivo, madagascar • katinka thielsen, ernst-moritz-arndt university of greifswald, germany • maren wesselow, ernst-moritz-arndt university of greifswald, germany sumario: sustainable management of river oasis along the tarim river • philipp huttner, technical university of munich • christian rumbaur, technical university of munich • niels thevs, university greifswald, germany • shamaila zia, hohenheim university, germany surumer: sustainable rubber cultivation in the mekong region – development of an integrative land-use concept in yunnan province/ china • thomas aenis, extension and communication group, faculty of life sciences, humboldt-universität berlin, germany • sergey blagodatsky, institute of agricultural sciences in the tropics, university of hohenheim, stuttgart, germany • georg cadisch, institute of agricultural sciences in the tropics, university of hohenheim, stuttgart, germany • marc cotter, institute of agricultural sciences in the tropics, university of hohenheim, stuttgart, germany • gerhard langenberger, institute of agricultural sciences in the tropics, university of hohenheim, stuttgart, germany • manuel krauss, institute for sanitary engineering, water quality and solid waste management, university of stuttgart, germany • zhongqing li, naban river watershed national nature reserve bureau, jinghong, yunnan, china • feng liu, naban river watershed national nature reserve bureau, jinghong, yunnan, china • hongxi liu, institute of agricultural sciences in the tropics, university of hohenheim, stuttgart, germany • jue wang, extension and communication group, faculty of life sciences, humboldt-universität berlin, germany the future okavango (tfo): scientific support for sustainable land and resource management in the okavango basin • thomas falk, philipps-university of marburg, germany • hendrik göhmann, friedrich-schiller university of jena, germany • alexander gröngröft, institute of soil science, university of hamburg, germany • martin gruber, freelance filmmaker and anthropologist, hamburg, germany • benjamin kowalski, justus-liebig university of giessen, germany • lars landschreiber, university of hamburg, germany • aobakwe kathleen lubinda, okavango research institute, university of botswana, gaborone, botswana • jona luther-mosebach, university of hamburg, germany • barbara reinhold, university of bremen, germany • ute schmiedel, university of hamburg, germany • marion stellmes, university of trier, germany • torsten weber, climate service center germany (gerics), helmholtz centre for ibo zimmermann, namibia university of science and technology, windhoek, namibia • jan wehberg, university of hamburg, germany further acknowledgments the lead authors very much appreciate the generous support of the bmbf and the close cooperation with the twelve regional pro- jects. this book and the associated case studies and videos were pro duced with a great additional effort at the end of a large and long research programme with the typical challenges of compila- tion, documentation and synthesis of results. the authors would like to express their gratitude to all who were involved in this effort, espe cially researchers and land users in the project regions. without their willingness to share their experience and project results this book would not have been possible. special thanks also go to the coordinators of the 12 regional pro- jects (named above, in italics) who participated and contributed with their inputs at the three synthesis workshops. their efforts in compiling data and other background information from the projects, and their competence in writing-up research results, is acknowledged and highly appreciated. last but not least the authors are very grateful to andreas werntze, daniela narr and ben jamin haerdle from ufz for their support throughout – and who made it possible for this book to be printed within the very tight time schedule.
9 preface preface land is our natural heritage. it is much more than a commodity. we humans depend on land and its soils, water and vegetation to sustain our lives. the production of healthy food, provision of shel- ter, a place for recreation, in fact our whole lives depend on land. yet we still know so very little about it. and we do not use land and its soils sustainably. arable land worldwide is lost at an alarm- ing scale and speed, presently - due to drought and desertification alone - some 12 million ha annually while 1,5 billion people glob- ally are affected by land degradation (unccd 2016 and 2013). part of the problem is that agricultural research often doesn’t link up to the questions and needs of those who manage and use land professionally. this book is meant to put research on sustainable land manage- ment into context: the context of those who manage land and its soils, and those who want to conduct or set up research in a way that it is meaningful for land users. it aims to be useful to land management practitioners who wish to incorporate up-to-date research results into their work of planning and budgeting the use of land, of choosing appropriate farming technologies, to those who provide consulting services, set-up research programmes, or run international dialogues on the future of agriculture. it also tar- gets those who intend to conduct research that can support sus- tainable land management in practice. much knowledge about sustainable land management is available in the worlds of science and land management practice. for many it is just not clear where to look for it or who to ask for it. and it is not always obvious what really is relevant for practitioners, plan- ners and decision-makers. this book illustrates some options for how such information and action gaps could be filled. it translates, and puts into context, research that originates from university- based multi-disciplinary backgrounds supported by a large pro- gramme on sustainable land management (bmbf-slm 2016). it shows that there are many possibilities of linking up research to land management practice. and vice versa: it demonstrates how knowledge from land management practice can be brought into a meaningful discourse with scientists. this effort of contextualization is based on more than 20 years of experience of the wocat network (world overview of con- servation approaches & technologies - www.wocat.net). wocat was started to provide evidence-based decision-support for pro- fessional land users. by documenting and making available inde- pendent research, wocat contributes an important element: implementation-oriented knowledge that is based on concrete practice. it can thus be of immense use to those who are con- fronted with similar land management challenges - such as drought, loss of fertile soils, inadequate irrigation, or alternatives to chemical fertilizers. there is a long-standing debate concerning the role and future of agriculture in times of a still growing world population, and increasing demand for food. this debate is usually polarised between intensification of land use, with the mixed merits of industrialised agriculture - and expanding farming activities into forests, wetlands, hillsides and pastures. this book explores a possible alternative: routes for ‘sustainable intensification’. those are options to pro- duce higher and more reliable yields with improvements in manag- ing available land resources while respecting, and making better use, of local and regional economic, socio-cultural and environ- mental conditions. to be able to discover this alternative, the interrelationship and interdependence of factors such as soil quality, water availability, weather and climate change, biodiversity losses (or gains), as well as socio-cultural factors such as traditional values and taboos, or land use rights all have to be carefully looked into. it is these inter- related factors that are at the centre also of modelling and sce- nario development through the science underpinning the results of the book. this nexus perspective is difficult, time-consuming, sometimes counter-intuitive and often irritating. but it is neces- sary to make scientific observations and analysis more useful to sustainable land management practice. and it is a necessary per- spective for land managers to be able to explain to scientists what really is at the core of their urgent challenges. with this focus on the practice of land management the book contributes to filling an important gap: there are not many publi- cations that discuss sustainable intensification while considering, especially, larger scales and interrelated factors in the nexus per- spective. over a period of seven years with the participation of some 100 universities and land research institutes, models and scenarios have been run, and an intensive discourse between sci- entists and land managers has taken place. above all, it has become a stimulating discussion demonstrating alternative routes in a great variety of landscapes and land use types. when compiling and documenting results and experiences we were taken on a trip full of surprises and searches for new options - but also full of remaining challenges. we invite our readers to take part in this journey and gratefully invite corrections, critique, and additional discussion - in the field, at conferences and meetings, or in virtual space. bern, hamburg, wuppertal - october 2016 hanspeter liniger, rima mekdaschi studer, peter moll and ute zander much knowledge on sustainable land management is available in the worlds of science and practice. it is just not clear where to look for it, how to ask for it, and what really is relevant to the many interrelated challenges of land management. this book illustrates options to fill some of those gaps.
10 making sense of research for sustainable land management introduction background this book synthesizes the results of research into sustainable land management (slm) conducted in some 100 university- based or affiliated institutes and their partners. the background is a research programme on sustainable land management. it ran between 2010 and 2016, and was funded by the german federal ministry of education and research (bmbf). with more than 600 scientists involved, the bmbf-slm1 research programme was the largest funding efforts related to slm in germany, and one of the largest worldwide in the last decades. scientists from many disciplines - natural as well as social sciences and the humanities - and practitioners in the regions worked together in inter- and transdisciplinary projects. the overall focus was on the interac- tions and interdependencies between land management and climate change, as well as between land management and ecosys- tem function/ services (esf/s). part of the motivation to initiate this programme was to integrate the formerly isolated research fields of climate change, water and biodiversity. in land management, these topics and related challenges all come together. besides the scientific research objectives, the programme aimed to contribute to the identification of potential practical solutions to land management challenges. it aimed at developing fresh per- spectives on more responsible and sustainable use of scarce land resources in the study regions. and it showed that there are some common denominators across the globe when dealing with chal- lenges due to water scarcity, loss of soil organic matter, climatic change, and loss of biodiversity. twelve regional projects spread over four continents have ana- lysed complex interactions between land use, globalization, climate change, loss of biodiversity, population growth and urbanization. the focus was on regions that are disadvantaged as a result of change. these changes include loss of soil fertility, deforestation and erosion, rising sea levels, but also the migration of young peo- ple away from rural regions, and increasing urban sprawl. the backbone of research in most of the associated projects was natural science and modelling – together with scenario building. it is rare to attempt to pull out conclusions of value for land manage- ment practice from such research: this makes it all the more valu- able. what often can only be observed in a very small study plot and a limited time-frame can - with the help of computer-based models and scenarios - be ‘thought further into the future’ and be compared with data from other sources. based on their research results, the scientists involved developed implementation-oriented strategies and recommendations. and they discussed them with multiple stakeholders: representatives from associations and local initiatives, indigenous people, local/ regional/ national government representatives and their agencies, private enterprises/ business representatives, as well as many indi- vidual land users and land owners. the bmbf call for the slm research programme asked for ‘cross- disciplinary integration and transdisciplinary research’ produc- ing knowledge that could be implemented by the people in the respective regions. therefore, those implementers needed to be involved in the research process itself. within this book we use the term ‘implementation-oriented’ to indicate the purpose of the research projects to contribute to slm on the ground. the overall target of implementation-oriented research on sustainable land management was to produce strategic knowledge within chang- ing contexts of the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus.3 the foundation of this kind of research in germany is the large umbrella programme fona (research for sustainable develop- ment)4 . research conducted under this umbrella is expected to contribute to sustainable development. therefore regions, mostly sub-national, in two cases international, were the chosen level of scale: land is managed at local and regional, sometimes national levels. it is this real world background that enabled implementa- tion-oriented slm research to be conducted within 12 regions worldwide: each with their specific problem context5 (see annex). process and character the book is based on the results of a kick-off workshop and three synthesis and writing workshops that took place with representa- tives from the 12 regional projects during 2015 and the first half of 2016. after several feedback loops, the structure for a synthe- sis of practice-oriented results was developed for projects in such different contexts as africa, brazil, china, germany, russia, and southeast asia. in these synthesis or writing workshops ‘challenges’ and ‘oppor- tunities’ for possible solutions to practice-relevant land use and land management problems were discussed. while it was less dif- ficult for the participating scientists to describe the many chal- lenges and problems involved, the focus on opportunities and possible solutions to these problems was not easy at all. this is not surprising. science often focuses on ‘problems’ and what questions (what is the problem? what is the topic here?). when it comes to how questions and steps towards possible solutions, that is when methods and tools and strategies for possible imple- mentation are needed: things get more difficult for the usual tool box of research. this was obvious, also, in our meetings. we tried to deal with this by repeatedly discussing ‘how’ questions and aspects. but the tried and tested wocat method for assessing and describing technologies and approaches (see part 2) was very useful in this respect – wocat having had more than 20 years of experience in documenting and analysing slm. another word of caution: the book has a special character. it is not a scientific publication or a textbook. it does not attempt to con- tribute foremost to the scientific discourses about specific topics. 1 http://nachhaltiges-landmanagement.de/en/home and http://modul-a.nachhaltiges-landmanagement.de/en/modul-a 2 see annex and http://modul-a.nachhaltiges-landmanagement.de/en/projects/ 3 this nexus will be further explained and illustrated with many examples especially in chapters 1+2 4 http://www.fona.de/en/index.php 5 http://nachhaltiges-landmanagement.de/en/projects/ 2
11 introduction in particular, it does not attempt to be exhaustive on topics such as land and/or water management in the respective regions. but the book is an extensive effort to pull out practice- and implemen- tation-oriented results from a large research programme. topics, or rather challenges, such as ‘climate change mitigation’ and ‘(loss of / changing) biodiversity’ have been chosen to sensibly bring together, and show to the reader, interconnections among practi- cal slm experiences and related research results; and to make it possible for the reader to see these interconnections. the many examples referred to in part 1, as well as the more detailed case studies from part 2, are illustrations of such interconnections. altogether the book presents selected results from twelve regional projects to illustrate what research can do in close cooperation with land management practitioners in the complex context of slm. it presents tools both for slm practice and for implementation-oriented research and it shows how such coop- eration can work. context within the international political context, the bmbf-slm pro- gramme relates to the three rio conventions: unccd6 , unfccc7 , and uncbd8 . the unccd zero net land degradation target (also called land degradation neutrality - ldn) is one of the core foci. taking into account interactions with the central topics of the other two conventions – climate change and biodiversity/ ecosys- tems – options for land management that contribute to this target have been developed and analysed. more recently those topics have been integrated into the sustain- able development goals (sdgs)9 and the un 2030 agenda. slm is most relevant to: sdg 2: zero hunger, sdg 6: clean water and sanitation, sdg 13: climate action, sdg 15: life on land, sdg 11: sustainable cities and communities, and sdg 12: responsible consumption and production. nearly every goal has an interrelationship with slm at least at the level of the targets: for example in target 1.4 the importance of ‘access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources’ is stressed. this illustrates the interconnectedness of land with many other aspects of our lives. within the international scientific discourse, the results of the bmbf-slm programme contribute to two major on-going and interlinked discussions: • is there a need for expansion of agricultural land to achieve food security? • how to best find a compromise between agricultural produc- tion and ecosystem preservation - through ‘land sparing’ or ‘land sharing’? or, in other words: is it better to intensify agriculture on produc- tive land to spare other (natural or semi-natural) areas from expan- sion of farming? or should we strive to better integrate ecosystem preservation in existing production systems? the first question was answered within the global modelling and scenario assessments carried out in the coordination project glues10 . global modelling of yield gaps based on biomass produc- tion potentials show that future demand for food can most likely be fulfilled without cropland expansion (mauser et al 2015). this is a major scientific finding from the programme. research on this finding is continuing in the participating institutions. however this finding requires land management strategies that are not solely focused on maximizing yields – but on sustainability too. in this context, the book provides practice examples for ‘sustaina- ble intensification’ that show the application of land management measures for increasing yields without depleting ecosystems, the latter being the basis for life on earth while fundamentally sup- porting all human production systems (see chapter 1). it provides examples of extensification of land use and land management, and their benefits and trade-offs. and it shows how ecosystem preservation can be integrated within productive land through corridors and structural landscape elements, and by building up ecosystem function within existing productive land (land sparing and sharing - see chapters 1-4). integrated and implementation-oriented land management and land use involve highly complex challenges. when it is, for example, high quality products from agriculture that humans want, we need to take into account all framework conditions: the quality of the available soil and its organic compo- sition; the availability, quality and reliability of water supply; the climatic conditions and indeed related changes; the world market and its great variations - as well as regional economic develop- ments; cultural and socio-political factors enhancing or compro- mising human capacities and possible success; to name just a few. 6 un convention to combat desertification http://www.unccd.int/en/pages/default.aspx 7 framework convention on climate change http://newsroom.unfccc.int 8 convention on biological diversity https://www.cbd.int 9 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs 10 http://modul-a.nachhaltiges-landmanagement.de/en/scientific-coordination-glues
12 making sense of research for sustainable land management this complexity is mirrored in the research on land management. it requires the involvement of many disciplines from natural and social science and the humanities. land management and agricul- tural research results in thousands of academic publications every year.11 but such papers are not written for farmers. they are writ- ten by scientists for their peers - and their own personal advance- ment. the hands-on practices of land users and managers are seldom the focus: in this respect the wocat12 network and pro- gramme is an exception. implementation-oriented research can still fill an enormous gap. it starts from the questions and knowl- edge the farmers/ land users and their advisors have. it reaches out to them by involving them – ideally – from the very beginning. for example: what could an extension worker expect from research focussing on the management of peatlands and humus rich steppe? what kind of results could he/she expect from a research project with such a focus? and consequently, what kind of questions could he/she ask the modellers, natural scien- tists, and social scientists? by providing examples of more sustain- able management of steppe soils, the book indicates a possible entry point to these questions: it was possible to extract from the various models and – in this case – mostly natural science based research, some practice-oriented results concerning no-tillage and direct seeding under conservation agriculture systems. no-tillage farming, from the research results of the supporting research pro- jects, is a possible alternative. it could, in the long run - especially when combined with crop rotation and precision application of herbicides - contribute to more sustainable harvests and control of land degradation. the results from research reflect pros and cons of this alternative and are thereby essential for those who need to make decisions related to this system of production. part 2 of this book contains 30 examples from practice. they should be understood like this: to arrive at the cases it needed translation and contextualization of research that did initially not ask practice- or implementation-oriented questions. but the exist- ence of them shows that it is possible to analyse and synthesize slm research and arrive at good land management practice. to do so, the wocat methodology was confirmed to be a very appro- priate and useful tool. transformative research in its 2011 flagship report ‘world in transition – a social contract for sustainability’ the german advisory council on global change (wbgu) coined the term ‘transformative research’, describing a kind of ‘research that actively advances the transformation’ (wgbu 2011). the wbgu distinguishes ‘transformative research’ from ‘transformation research’ meaning research on and about transformations. here an important difference needs to be noted: whereas ‘transformation research’ concerns knowledge about (about basic facts of e.g. soil composition, water quality, weather conditions - answering ‘what is?’ questions), ‘transformative research’ is concerned about and working towards knowledge for (for meaningful change, adjustments of present routines, innovat- ing existing technologies, etc.). these different kinds of knowl- edge are particularly important when it comes to questions about possible practical implementations of research. both kinds are use- ful and much needed. but knowledge for often plays a greater role in cooperation with practitioners of land management. they want to know what needs to be done and how change can be managed. much of this debate originates from a discussion about ‘from knowledge to action’; especially in the area of research for sus- tainable development. originally, the concept still meant a one- way route: scientists developed knowledge that in the end of a research project needed to be diffused and transferred to possi- ble users of this knowledge. ‘do your science well and good will follow’ was still somewhere behind this rather naïve approach - when real world uptake of action really was intended. this has evolved since into more ambitious ways of designing and doing research that is intended to be of use in and for practice. from knowledge to action is seen increasingly as a kind of ‘mobi- lization process’ in which the ‘knowledge-user community’ needs to be involved as early and as much as possible: different kinds of knowledge what is often missing in these conceptualizations is the under- standing that there are actually different kinds of knowledge. sci- ence is capable of developing particular kinds of knowledge, such as knowledge about basic facts, about causes and effects, and about systems and their interaction. people active in land manage- ment hold other kinds of knowledge: local knowledge based on practical experience, knowledge about checks and balances, and about steps and strategies of real life implementation. and, for example, indigenous people often offer astounding insights into long-term effects of individual measures - or may be able to relate natural phenomena to spiritual experiences. in our view all these kinds of knowledge are valuable: there is no hierarchy. all these types of knowledge are needed for meaningful change. the real challenge behind this is to make room for all of them and to make them communicate and – ideally – become synergetic. from knowledge to action. (http://heicresearch.com/wp-content/ uploads/2014/01/km_illustration_draft6.jpg) 11 see for example http://www.omicsonline.org/agri-food-aqua-journals.php?gclid=cpbvqjdqj88cfyqy0wodbdwlyg 12 www.wocat.net
13 a currently used term for this challenge is that of ‘co-production of knowledge’ or in a broader focus: co-design (of research), co- production (of knowledge and solutions), co-delivery (of results), sometimes complemented by co-interpretation (of results). here we all are just at the beginning. the book gives some examples of steps in this direction. target groups the book is intended to be of use for three main target groups: • land management practitioners: for example farmers, extension services, agricultural advisors and consultants, regional water authorities or other land policy/ land management institutions. • international organisations: un bodies and farming experts working in them; for example within unccd, gef, fao, ifad, the world bank, the european commission and its agricul- tural programmes, as well as private foundations and organisa- tions focussing on agricultural innovations, improvements and reforms. • scientists and funders/ designers of research programmes: those who are facing the challenges of implementation-oriented research, of involving stakeholders, of coordinating multi-, inter- and/or transdisciplinary research; particularly in the area of sus- tainable land management. we hope that the bmbf-slm programme’s experience can be use- ful to them. and we hope that we can encourage others to make use of the wocat method for documenting and sharing results, evaluating practice-related work, and pulling out lessons learned. beyond the interested reader from the general public, it is particu- larly intended for those target groups listed above that the book has synthesized the implementation-oriented research of more than 600 scientists who worked in this bmbf-slm programme for seven years in nine countries and twelve regions. how to read the book most readers will flip through this book, stop here and there, look at photos, graphs and individual cases. whatever is closest to their own work, or to their particular interest at this moment, will cap- ture their attention and demand more careful reading. the book is meant to be like that. it invites selective reading. it is not meant as a textbook or scientific publication that needs reading from beginning to end. but it could be read like that too. the light that is shed on the basic question ‘what is, and how to do, sustainable land management with the support of implementation-oriented research?’ builds up gradually through chapters 1 to 7. overview part 1 summarizes the implementation-oriented results of the twelve research projects. it contains six chapters that provide insights into challenges of, and possible solutions to, sustainable land manage- ment. here land management efforts are distinguished on a sys- temic level: (1) local land management with basically one land use system or one system clearly dominating (e.g. cropland manage- ment for the production of wheat and other cereals), and (2) land- scape management with multiple, interrelated and interdependent land use systems (e.g. irrigated agriculture competing for water with hydropower and nearby urban development). chapters 1–4 synthesize and reflect on the overall results from research and implementation-oriented work of the 12 projects, with many examples of sustainable land management practices. whereas these four initial chapters cover many specific options towards more sustainable land management practice (what can be done? what kind of challenges? what kind of possible solutions?) the following three chapters, chapters 5–7, summarize and illus- trate methodologies and tools for better communication between research and practice, explore the role of research while highlight- ing methods like modelling and scenarios that help to inform bet- ter slm decisions, as well as pull out overall lessons learned. part 1 chapter 1: local land management – the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus chapter 2: landscape management – adapting to climate change chapter 3: mitigating climate change chapter 4: protecting biodiversity and ecosystems chapter 5: bridging gaps between research and practice chapter 6: the contribution of research chapter 7: conclusions and key messages. key points in the text are highlighted in colour. part 2 the case studies in part 2 of the book then provide examples of what can be done. there are already many examples in part 1. but here, in part 2 thirty selected case studies of sustainable land management practice are described in more detail by making use of the wocat format that ensures better clarification, easier com- parison and simpler application. the case studies are presented in alphabetical order according to country/ region and project name to make it easier to find the topics and countries the reader is particularly interested in. they can also be found online in the wocat database13 together with related videos for downloading14 . the annex the annex provides an overview of the bmbf-slm research pro- gramme and its 12 individual projects are described in more detail. links for following up some of the routes for sustainable land management practice are given. and it contains the references for all chapters, including further supporting literature literature, a glossary of key terms used in the book and a list of abbreviations. 13 see: https://www.wocat.net/en/knowledge-base.html, look for either ‚technologies’ or ‚approaches’ 14 see: https://www.wocat.net/en/knowledge-base/slm-videos.html introduction
14 making sense of research for sustainable land management batad, philippines, andré künzelmann/ ufz
15 part 1 research evidence in support of sustainable land management part 1
16 making sense of research for sustainable land management research evidence in support of sustainable land management part 1 namibia, ibo zimmermann
17 part 1 introduction land management analysed in this book ranges from single smallholder plots with one land use system, to large-scale land use under mixed systems, onto highly complex landscape or watershed scales with combined, integrated and interdependent land use systems. land management at the local level deals with important single land management systems at small or large-scale, and a focus on their on-site impacts. land management at the landscape level combines local land management with different land uses, fulfilling multiple claims and functions, with impacts on the whole system. this includes interactions up- and downhill on a slope from a hilltop to the valley, up- and downstream within a watershed, or ‘up’- and ‘downwind’ within a region affected by wind (and therefore dust storms). whether at the local or at the landscape level, multiple claims are made on the land and its resources: soil, water, vegetation and fauna. there are ecosystem functions and the various services that are derived from the land, which are also affected by land use. claims on the land may lead to complementarities and even synergies – but often there is competition. there can be multiple trade-offs and balances to be found between food security, combatting land degradation, reducing water conflicts, reducing disaster risks, adaption to climate change, and mitigating climate change, to maintaining biodiversity and natural habitats. many reports and assessments describe and analyse challenges and threats related to land management due to land degradation, such as the physical and chemical degradation of soils, the loss of valuable vegetation and its diversity, dwindling water resources and reduction in its quality. the impacts of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ land management have implications at all levels: local and regional, as well as global. in the following chapters, the aim is to focus on practical solutions and the contribution of research – and especially implementation- oriented research – towards improving land management at the local and landscape level, dealing with the complexity of land and its management, identifying sustainable practices, and promoting good governance for further adoption and spread of sustainable land management practices. chapter 1 focusses on land management at the local level, whereas chapter 2 integrates local land management into the landscape or watershed level, showing interactions and interdependencies of local interventions and regional impacts. chapters 3 and 4 highlight land management in view of global claims regarding climate change mitigation and biodiversity. chapter 5 addresses lessons learnt for approaches to implement sustainable land management practices and how to bridge the gap between research and practice. finally, chapter 6 reviews the unique contribution that research can make in supporting evidence based decision making and upscaling sustainable land management. introduction
18 making sense of research for sustainable land management local land management – the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus chapter 1 western siberia, immo kaempf
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 19 the following management issues are addressed at the local level: • integrated management of agricultural production systems, both at large-, medium- and small-scale • managing irrigation and fertilization • eco-engineering • adapted livestock and grazing management • integrated management of natural and semi-natural systems with a focus on non-timber forest products addressing improved land management at the local level is a ques- tion of maximising opportunities as well as dealing with trade- offs. traditions need to be acknowledged – but the concrete contributions of research also. the challenges and the basic prin- ciples of good land management at the local level are elaborated at the end of this chapter. 1.1 integrated management of agricultural production systems agricultural production has been, and will remain, a key element of land management. this chapter focusses on strategies that combine different measures – for example no-till, crop rotation, intercropping, pest management, agroforestry and soil enrich- ment. it illustrates the multiple benefits of these for soil fertil- ity, plant productivity, erosion prevention, and soil water holding capacity, as well as interactions with biodiversity, climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. these strategies with their different components have been tested and proven in very different contexts: large-scale production systems in brazil, china and russia as well as small-scale production systems in madagas- car and namibia. 1.1.1 large-scale agricultural systems in general, the large-scale industrialisation of agriculture in north and south america, australia and europe and the ’green revolu- tion‘ in asia have led to impressive successes in increasing produc- tivity over the past fifty years. large-scale intensive agricultural production systems rely usually on high inputs of plant materials, machinery, inorganic fertilizer and pesticides. the intensive use of these inputs, however, endangers sustained fertility of soils and their ability to maintain yields. along with standard economic the- ory, there is a law of diminishing returns with respect to inputs: and at some point extra inputs no longer improve production or other services. indeed they can harm the natural resources. intensive at the local level, for each land use system, the management of soil, vegetation and water under given climatic conditions has to fulfil different needs and services. land management needs to deal with the often dwindling resources of fertile soil, available water, biodiversity and natural habitats. their interactions must be taken into account also. this poses a significant challenge for land users to adapt to different claims on the land, and changing and often growing demands and needs – as well as altering natural and human environments. climate change adds an extra layer of complexity and threats on land management. introduction
20 making sense of research for sustainable land management wheat production in the kulunda steppe, altai region, western siberia, russia kulunda steppe the alternative bread basket context: since the collapse of the former soviet union it can be observed that the altay krai region including the kulunda steppe is continuously increasing in its importance as a breadbasket for the russian federation problem: soil degradation caused by wind erosion, loss of fertile top- soils, decreased soil organic matter content (loss of water and nutrient holding capacity, carbon sequestration etc.) and decreased aggregate stability. bare soils lead to unproductive evaporation causing additional water losses exacerbated by climate change solution: no-till/ minimum tillage for wheat production: less soil distur- bance (less mineralization/ oxidation of organic matter, better aggregate stability), better soil cover by crop rotation/ mulching, precision applica- tion of herbicides message: restoring land to agriculture without bringing back the losses of soil organic matter and topsoil needs a new approach: one way of achieving sustainable intensification is through reduced tillage systems combined with direct drilling, rotations and mulching large-scale farming practices may lead to accelerated land degra- dation, such as soil erosion, salinization, a decrease in vegetation cover and depletion of water resources. irrigation practices are increasingly threatened by salinization. at this point, land users are particularly challenged to adopt ‘sustainable’ practices. imple- menting single measures such as no-tillage usually comes with trade-offs; for example an increase in weeds and consequently the need for higher application of herbicides. such disadvantages illustrate the requirement to change the whole production system to a more sustainable one that is tailored to reducing artificial inputs and – where possible – makes better use of natural eco- system services. the contribution of research to improving large-scale agricultural production systems are presented and illustrated from: • russia: multiple benefits from a combination of no-till and mini- mum tillage with crop rotation and precision farming • brazil: preventing erosion by water with no-tillage and earth bunds • southern china: preventing soil erosion by water through a change in weeding practice • northern china: preventing soil erosion by crop rotation, inter- cropping and using salt tolerant plants on abandoned saline fields figure 1.1: aerial photo of typical appearance of the kulunda steppe, russia. (manfred frühauf) figure 1.2: effects of wind erosion with the loss of topsoil, soil organic matter and nutrients in the kulunda steppe, russia. (tobias meinel) figure 1.3: russian tractor (kirovets k700a) with an air seeder (direct seeder) ‘condor’. the scheme shows the seeds being placed between the lines of stubble in the wet soil. (photo: tobias meinel; illustra- tion: amazon-werke)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 21 in the global context, significant increases in wheat yield have been achieved in the last decades. yet, this has not been the case for the large-scale intensive farming in the kulunda steppe where agricultural yields have been fluctuating strongly due to difficult climatic conditions and drought, and as a result of wind erosion leading to decreased topsoil depth, lower soil organic matter con- tent, less sequestered carbon and reduced soil fertility. in addition, regular ‘black fallow’ in crop rotation leads to uncovered soil with an increased risk of erosion and lower farmer income. today some 50% of these lands are degraded (figures 1.1 and 1.2). no-till, crop rotation, precision herbicide application to prevent another dust bowl in the russian kulunda steppe, the sustainable land management strategies, no-till and minimum tillage (see technology ‘minimum tillage’ page 251 and video) were tested as alternative cultivation methods to conventional deep tillage (figure 1.3). the successful implementation of no-till and minimum-tillage when combined with mulching and crop rotation requires adap- tion of the whole cropping system. no-till (also called zero tillage or direct drilling/ seeding) is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage/ use of the plough. minimum tillage is a method that does not turn the soil over, but only allows the minimum soil disturbance necessary for successful crop production: it is used where no-till is not possible because of certain soil conditions. leaving crop residues on the surface and using crop rotation based on crops that differ in length of grow- ing period and sequence within the rotation, ensures a high and continuous degree of soil coverage. this leads to the suppression of weeds in the no-till or minimum tillage systems. furthermore, shading of the soil reduces non-productive evaporation. the fre- quent change of crops has a positive effect on soil structure, fertil- ity and pest/ disease control. these practices are more labour and cost-efficient, leading to increased farm income. in a good crop rotation scheme, instead of black fallow, rape seed and nitrogen-fixing peas are grown, leading to balanced use and provision of nutrients, a high degree of leaf coverage and soil structure improvement (figure 1.4). one of the main objections to no-till/ minimum tillage practices is an increase in weeds which in turn usually leads to an increase in herbicide use. this trade-off can be avoided by using infra-red detection technologies with high precision – applying herbicides only where weeds are growing (figure 1.5). figure 1.4: mulch and residue management and field emergence after direct seeding of spring wheat (left) and oil seed rape (right), in the kulunda steppe, russia. (tobias meinel) figure 1.5: spreader ux 5000 with the weed detection system amaspot. the scheme shows the amaspot system: an infrared sensor detects green/ growing weed and initiates, and stops spraying when passing over the field, in the kulunda steppe, russia. (photo: lars grunwald; illustration: amazon-werke) spot spray dead
22 making sense of research for sustainable land management to measure the effects of changing the agricultural practice from ploughing to no-till or minimum tillage, soc was compared at dif- ferent test sites. the soc loss (in percentage) due to the different agricultural practices are shown in figure 1.10. the conventional method of ploughing leads to severe carbon losses – of almost 50% in the topsoil compared with undisturbed grasslands, while lower loss rates, up to a maximum of 30%, were found for no-till or minimum tillage measures. aggregate stability and soil organic carbon reduced soil tillage reduces the depth of soil disturbance and thus leads to higher soil aggregate stability (aggregates are destroyed by ploughing). higher aggregate stability protects soil organic mat- ter from decomposition and mineralization (figure 1.6). changes in aggregate stability may serve as an early indicator of recovery or degradation of soils. aggregate stability is thus an indicator of organic matter content, biological activity, and nutrient cycling in soils (www.soilquality.org/). degradation effects, due to conventional ploughing practices, can be observed in the kulunda steppe. the reduced soil aggregate stability under intensive soil cultivation has led to a higher risk of wind erosion and thus losses of soil organic carbon (soc). silt and clay elements in the topsoil are blown away from the field, and sand is left on the surface (figure 1.7a and 1.7b). the interconnection between aggregate stability and soc content can be seen in the correlation between the two: in the different types of steppe (forest, natural, dry) the more stable the aggre- gates, the higher the soc (figure 1.8). losses of soil organic carbon (soc) content through conversion of grassland in different types of steppe (forest, natural, dry) to cultivated land with deep tillage are significant. with the loss of soc, fertility of those croplands is affected negatively, particu- larly within the topsoil (figure 1.9). in the typical (natural) steppe, conversion from grassland to conventionally cultivated cropland means up to 41% loss of soc in the upper 10 cm of soil, 35% in the top 25 cm, and also losses down to 60 cm. in the face of future climate change with a predicted drier cli- mate in the semi-arid steppes of siberia, soc stocks will decrease within the conventionally cultivated steppes due to reduced bio- mass input under dry conditions. intact aggregate destroyed aggregate figure 1.6: intact soil aggregates (orange) bind or ‘encase’ organic substance (black) and protect it from mineralization and decomposition by micro-organ- isms (green). destruction of aggregates makes organic substance accessible to micro-organisms for decomposition. (norbert bischoff) figure 1.7a: typically developed kastanozem soil in the kulunda region under natural steppe (fallow shelterbelt) with dense vegetation cover, a strongly devel- oped root system, dark humus and a nutrient rich topsoil (a- horizon). a transi- tional layer (a-b horizon) at a depth of 35-50 cm between the humus rich topsoil and the mineral subsoil is created by microorganisms, worms and mammals – and cracking. (andreas eisold) figure 1.7b: typical soil profile of intensively tilled cropland in the kulunda dry steppe. the protective vegetation cover is missing and the soil and its natural aggregates are destroyed by tillage and exposed to wind erosion. the upper 10 cm of topsoil is degraded, the organic material is decomposed and the fine soil par- ticles are blown away leaving a sand layer behind. due to the loss of topsoil, the ploughing reaches below the transitional layer, and mixes mineral subsoil with the organic top soil and creates a sharp plough horizon. the result is a degraded soil with decreased water storage and lower nutrient holding capacity. (patrick illiger) figure 1.8: comparing soc content in percent to aggregate stability of different biomass (forest, typical and dry steppe) and two land uses grassland and cropland under conventional tillage. a low value of aggregate stability (mean weight diameter, mwd) equals high stability, increasing values of mwd equals decreasing stability. (norbert bischoff) a b
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 23 figure 1.9: soil organic carbon stocks (soc in mg ha-1) for cropland and grassland for 0-10 cm, 0-25 cm and 0-60 cm in different biomes of the kulunda steppe. values are given as arithmetic mean (± standard error of the mean) and points show individual measurements. percent shows the decrease in soc due to conversion from grassland to conventionally cultivated cropland. (norbert bischoff) on the other hand, the adapted no-till system with direct seed- ing system requires investment in modern technology, and also incurs costs in terms of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. nev- ertheless, profit margins were still higher in total than those of the conventional cultivation system (table 1.1). the potential yield increase of no-till and minimum tillage during the first years was assessed to be about 25% compared to the conventional prac- tice. the newly introduced methods meant increased application of pesticides and herbicides, which were rated as negative effects. yet other impacts were positive compared to the conventional sys- tem. reliable data, however, can only be generated after long- term monitoring of the test sites (10 years minimum). between no-till and minimum tillage, no significant differences regarding the profits were detected. these adapted cultivation systems are considerably more profit- able than the conventional system. this is mainly due to the high selling prices of oilseed rape and field peas introduced into the crop rotation instead of the conventional black fallow. neverthe- less, the absolute revenue of the conventional system was higher. however, the variable costs of this system were also greater com- pared to the direct seeding system. the operating costs of the direct seeding system were lower due to the ability to cover large areas quickly with its low tillage intensity. reduced disturbance of the soil by no-till or minimum tillage combined with direct seed- ing, the maintenance of crop residue in the field, and crop rota- tions and species diversity were shown to reduce soil erosion by wind, allow recovery of the soil structure and organic matter, con- serve water, and build up nutrient stocks leading to higher yields. such practices were found to be more labour and cost-efficient leading to increased farm income (baker and saxton 2007; soane et al. 2012). table 1.1: costs and benefits of different cropping systems with conventional ploughing, no tillage (no-till) and minimum soil disturbance (min-till) in the kulunda steppe. (kulunda 2016). costs/ inputs: ++ strongly increased; + increased; + neutral; - decreased assessment: n very positive, n positive n neutral, n negative effects on soil cover and soil moisture in dry steppe, water is the limiting factor for rainfed crop produc- tion. erratic and limited precipitation combined with unproductive evaporation from the soil surface – as observed in the dry steppe of western siberia – and the projected rising temperature in this region will serve to increase evaporation losses. as crop production is the basis for livelihoods in these regions, the challenge is to sus- tain this agricultural system despite increasing climatic changes and extremes, like droughts in the south of the region in the kulunda steppe and in the tyumen steppe (see page 24). experiments in the kulunda steppe measuring the water balance of different production systems (using lysimeters) proved that unproductive water losses by evaporation and runoff could be reduced by: • leaving organic substance (living or dead) on the surface (mulch- ing and crop residue management) • minimizing the period when soil is bare (by applying crop rotation) • reducing soil disturbance as much as possible (with no-till or minimum tillage) compared to the cropland production systems, the soils under natural steppe vegetation cover were able to hold much more water. thus, the traditional land uses which were practiced for centuries (especially livestock-based nomadism) have the least losses of water, and the highest biomass productivity. costs and performance of no-till/ minimum tillage farming a significant reason for the introduction of no-till or minimum till- age is that they provide higher economic benefits. conventional deep ploughing incurs higher fuel and wage costs (fao 2012a). figure 1.10: reduction of soil organic carbon (soc) depending on the soil cul- tivation practice and intensity in relation to natural grassland steppe at two test sites in poluyamki, western siberia. sites have been under no-till/ minimum tillage regime for a minimum of 5 years. grassland soils were treated as natural soils with no human induced carbon changes. accordingly they were set to zero (0). (norbert bischoff) no-till min-till conventional cost seed ± ± ± pesticides + + – – fertilizer + + – – wages – – – + diesel fuel – – – + maintenance – – – + fixed production costs + ± – benefits revenue + ++ –
24 making sense of research for sustainable land management re-cultivation has led to rural development and decreased rural unemployment (petrick et al. 2012) but has also resulted in new loss of biodiversity and carbon stocks, as well as decreases in soil fertility. in tyumen province, since 2007, there has been a significant trend towards agricultural intensification, with a marked increase in inorganic fertilizer application, a simplification of crop rotations and a trend to growing more cereal crops (kühling et al. 2016). furthermore, cropland is managed relatively traditionally in the area, and at low levels of resource use efficiency. due to the large management units under conventional tillage practices, wind and water erosion result in a loss of humus (soil organic matter), soil fertility, and therefore in production. climate change is expected to lead to an increase in drought risk in the south of the region. the main challenges to soil management in the area can be sum- marized as follows. 1) increase yields on farmland to offset the need to recultivate more abandoned fields; 2) maintain or decrease current levels of fertilizer and pesticide use; 3) maintain soil organic carbon levels on existing and recently reclaimed cropland; 4) maintain soil fertility in an era of reduced crop rotations and increasing monoculture; 5) reduce wind and water erosion; and 6) adapt crop production to climate change (i.e. to a decrease in water availability). intensification of crop production in the western siberian forest steppe, tyumen province, russia abandoned former cropland reclaimed context: cropland abandonment had a positive effect on reclaiming bio- diversity, carbon stocks, and soil fertility problem: significant trend towards agricultural intensification with increase in inorganic fertilizer application, simplification of crop rotations and a trend to growing more cereal crops solution: sustainable intensification by no-till, mulching and adapted crop rotation (crops with lower water needs), more efficiency in use of fertilizer and pesticides message: reclaiming land for production increases income and decreases rural unemployment but also threatens a decrease in biodiversity, carbon stocks and soil fertility unless tillage practices are changed and crop rota- tion is introduced the break-up of the soviet union in 1991 triggered massive crop- land abandonment. forty-five million hectares of cropland have been abandoned during the transition from a state-controlled to a market-based economy across the former soviet union (schier- horn et al. 2013; kurganova et al. 2014). however, since around 2003 recovery has started in the agricultural sector, and signifi- cant areas of former cropland are now being reclaimed (kamp 2014; kamp et al. 2015). the large-scale abandonment of crop- land had positive implications for the environment: depleted bio- diversity recovered (kamp et al. 2011), and carbon stocks and soil fertility increased on the abandoned land (kurganova et al. 2014). figure 1.11: no-till seeding (left) and conventional tillage seeding (right) under the field trial, ishim, tyumen province, russia. (insa kühling) figure 1.12: cumulative soil water from seeding to harvest (volumetric water content (vwc)) showing the higher water availability for no-till compared with conventional tillage (n=312) (insa kühling unpublished data). figure 1.13: wheat grain yield in a ten hectare field trial for no-till (three differ- ent plots one year after adoption of no-till practice) compared to conventional tillage; n.s.: differences not significant, **: differences significant (p < 0.05); error bars give standard errors. relative grain yield: 1 is equal to the average of all treatments (kühling and trautz 2016).
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 25 deforestation some 20-40 year ago, and the land was converted first to pasture and then after some years to large-scale production of soy beans, corn (maize), and sugar cane. after the cutting of the cerrado forests, the natural protection to the soil from heavy rain- fall was gone. to prevent excessive soil erosion, farmers adopted soil conserving practices like no-till, while experimenting with a five-year crop rotation scheme where, after maize and soy bean, grass is sown to feed cattle, followed by millet or sorghum and nitrogen fixing legumes (figure 1.14). after harvesting, the stubble from maize or soy remain on-site. when the planting season starts, the soil is opened by rolling discs pulled by a tractor (figure 1.15). in one operation, the seeds are directly placed into the soil – which is then compressed with the wheels of the same machine. with minimum tillage practices, tilling and seeding operations can be implemented quickly and efficiently. minimum tillage and direct planting in one field operation allows the cultivation of large fields in a short time; this is a great bonus if ‘narrow win- dows’ of wet conditions need to be used. the technology has been implemented since approximately 2000 – with an adoption rate of approximately 90%. however, a high standard of tillage tools, tractors (and maintenance) is needed. since the whole sys- tem has changed, farmers need special knowledge in no-till meas- ures – especially in pest management and herbicide application. to protect against topsoil losses due to heavy tropical rains, one metre high earth bunds are built where runoff occurs on the slightly sloping tablelands (figure 1.16). tractors are used to install the bunds. these bunds or terrace banks have to be repaired and improved periodically. as climate models project an increase of heavy rain events in the future, the implementation and mainte- nance of the bunds will become ever more important. in the research project a no-till field trial on 10 ha was set-up. in a randomized block design, two seeding parameters were var- ied, namely seeding depth and seeding rate (number of wheat seeds/ha). both options were tested under conventional tillage, and no-till, over three seasons (2013–2015) (figure 1.11). the parameters soil moisture, plant available soil nitrogen content and grain yield were compared between all possible tillage options (no-till/ till), seeding depth and seeding rate. while some results varied temporarily over the course of the sea- sons, clear advantages of no-till over conventional till were recorded. overall, soil moisture was on average 42% higher on no-till plots compared to conventional-till plots (figure 1.12). grain yield was, at 3.4 t/ha, 11.3% higher on no-till plots, and protein yield was 10.6% higher averaged over the three trial years (figure 1.13). economic calculations revealed that fuel and labour costs were 73 – 80% lower on no-till plots, compared to plots with conventional tillage. the trial was conducted in a period of rather wet and cool summers, and soil moisture benefits could be even higher in drier years. as a conclusion, no-till could bring significant advantages in west- ern siberia. this is especially the case as farmers prepare the land with very powerful machinery, and would not therefore need to invest in bigger tractors. the next steps would be to evaluate adoption of the new technology, and to assess if weed loads are much higher, necessitating an increased use of (expensive) herbi- cides with undesired environmental side-effects. large-scale crop production in mato grosso, brazil soil conservation in mato grosso, brazil context: deforestation of natural vegetation (dry forest), large-scale intensive production of soy beans, corn (maize), and sugar cane problem: excessive soil erosion by heavy rainfall; rainfall events will increase due to climate change; limited depth of fertile topsoils solutions: soil conserving production practices such as no-till/ minimum tillage and crop rotation, earth bunds and small dams hinder water flow leading to reduction in soil erosion, improvement of soil fertility, improve- ment of soil moisture, and more efficient field work message: there are many known and described options to help introduce sustainable intensification and to control soil erosion, thus negating the need to open new land the region of mato grosso in brazil belongs to the semi-humid tropics and to the cerrado biome (dry forest) in the centre of the south american continent. natural vegetation was removed during figure 1.14: sorghum as ‘green manure’ for soil enrichment; it will not be harvested but ploughed into the soil, mato grosso, brazil. (stefan hohnwald) figure 1.15: direct seeding using rolling discs. in one operation, the seeds are directly placed into the opened soil which is compacted afterwards with the wheels of the same machine, mato grosso, brazil. (stefan hohnwald) figure 1.16: earth bunds to control runoff in cases of heavy rainfall in the mato grosso, brazil. (stefan hohnwald)
26 making sense of research for sustainable land management environment – degradation and dramatic declines in biodiversity (figure 1.18). the possibility of income generation is a strong incentive to the local communities. recently, since around 2010, rubber planta- tions have been substituted by even more profitable banana pro- duction, causing worse threats to the natural systems due to the high and unselective use of agrochemicals. often, new rubber plantations, up to 2-3 years old, are intercropped with sun-loving pineapple or maize for income generation. on steep slopes this intercropping gives no protection against soil erosion especially when pineapples are not planted along the contour (figure 1.19). deforestation and biodiversity loss due to rubber cultivation and other monocultures is a problem perceived mostly by outsiders, namely scientists, but also more and more by the chinese society. figure 1.20 shows the decline of animal species in rubber planta- tions compared to natural forests. expansion of rubber plantations and its effect on ess were mod- elled in order to show different scenarios and consequences of land use change and different land management on ess and the trade-offs. through scenario analysis, the benefits and trade-offs of alternative management options were explored – such as a change in the weeding practice that has impacts at the local level (loss of topsoil and water) and at the landscape level (a reduction of water pollution due to less runoff and erosion/ sediment trans- portation) (figures 1.21 and 1.22). rubber plantation in xishuangbanna, yunnan province, south-west china – a biodiversity hotspot rubber plantation in south-west china context: monoculture rubber plantations have been massively increased at the expense of both traditional agricultural areas and forests problem: loss of biodiversity and c-storage, soil erosion by water, higher runoff through conversion (deforestation) and intensive land use (rubber plantations with clean weeding) with intensive production gives a high economic benefit to the people solution: mix of intercropping, restricting maximum plantation size, improve weeding practice to leave undergrowth on the slopes: differ- entiated application of herbicides to ensure undergrowth; possibility of intercropping with endangered species as a biodiversity measure and for additional income message: where very profitable mono-cropping systems for farmers bring associated problems of loss of biodiversity etc. the best approach is to modify the methods of production with (for example) intercropped indigenous plants – and awareness-raising xishuangbanna prefecture in south-west china belongs to one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. within the last two decades, monoculture rubber plantations have been massively increased at the expense of both traditional agricultural areas and forests. rapid improvements in wellbeing and livelihoods of smallholder farmers (figure 1.17) have resulted but to the detriment of the figure 1.18: decrease in biodiversity as shown by natural forest (left, thomas aenis) and rubber forest after 25 years, yunnan province, china (right, gerhard langenberger) figure 1.17: rubber-based production systems improve livelihoods quickly, within few years, south-west china. (patrick grötz) figure 1.19: considerable erosion in a new rubber plantation intercropped with pineapples. the rubber trees (bright green dots) are planted on terraces while the pineapples have been planted in vertical rows (up and down the slopes) between the terraces, yunnan province, china. (gerhard langenberger)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 27 figure 1.20: the impact of rubber plantations on biodiversity of animal spe- cies – a synopsis of different studies. (gerhard langenberger based on data from aratrakorn et al. 2006; behm et al. 2013; he and martin 2015; peh et al. 2006). figure 1.21: recently cleared mountain slope for the establishment of a new rubber plantation. the onset of erosion is clearly visible – even before thecom- mencement of the rainy season, yunnan province, china. (gerhard langenberger) figure 1.22: slash and burn: a newly established rubber plantation, yunnan province, china. (gerhard langenberger) there is a strong incentive to improve local incomes by convert- ing natural forest to rubber. however, leaving natural vegetation between the rows of rubber to cover and stabilise the soil would reduce surface erosion and increase biodiversity in rubber planta- tions. in sloping terrain, the common practice of clean-weeding with herbicides results in bare soils under the trees (figure 1.23). rubber plantations are usually managed as monocultures, and farmers tend to clean-weed interspaces and slopes between the rubber rows on the terraces with herbicides (mainly glyphosate). this affects soil figure 1.23: clean-weeded rubber plantation during the dry season (january) with tree rows on small terraces, yunnan province, china. (gerhard langen- berger) structure since the root systems of the weeds are also killed. this leads in turn to sealing and crusting, and lower water infiltration rates, higher runoff and more erosion. this constitutes an important challenge, especially during the establishment of the plantations. farmers are often unaware of these negative impacts on soils. interviews with farmers revealed that their understanding is that herbicides kills only the above-ground part of the plant – and leaves it as mulch which would be positive for infiltration, moisture conservation and soil fertility. research results proved to be differ- ent. the practice of leaving naturally occurring undergrowth by less intense weeding, at least between the rubber rows, would help to solve one of the most serious problems in intense rub- ber cultivation: soil erosion by water (figure 1.24). improved management of undergrowth can range from changing chemi- cal weeding, towards mechanical weeding, and on to maintain- ing undergrowth to cover the soil. the more diverse flora will offer habitat and niches for more diversified fauna. furthermore, improved and adapted use and management of pesticides – or even better integrated pest management approach – will support diversification in fauna. without herbicide application the natural undergrowth thrives and contributes to high water infiltration rates and soil protection against erosion. nevertheless, on the terraces, weeding is necessary to ena- ble rubber tapping – which is carried out after nightfall because of the higher flow of latex in the trees. natural undergrowth would hinder the working process (while concealing fauna (e.g. snakes)) in the lower visibility at night. a viable compromise is for the small ter- races on which rubber trees are planted to be kept weed-free, but the slopes in-between left for natural vegetation to recover. this figure 1.24: old abandoned rubber plantation: the natural undergrowth re-establishes, yunnan province, china. (gerhard langenberger)
28 making sense of research for sustainable land management practice would contribute considerably to reducing soil loss by ero- sion, as tests with different weeding practices have shown (figure 1.25). a first step would be to reduce herbicide application from the common twice per year practice to a once per year routine. furthermore, the age of the plantation has a considerable effect on soil erosion as is shown in figure 1.26. at the age of four years, the rubber trees are still growing and the canopy still lets through some light. so some weeds survive and cover the ground in spite of herbicide treatment. at the age of 12 years, the rubber trees are fully developed and the canopy blocks out all light. the combina- tion of lack of light and herbicide treatment results in complete eradication of undergrowth, which in turn generates the highest erosion rates. in later years the tree canopy becomes less dense, more light gets through, and the undergrowth has a better chance of covering the ground. to control soil erosion economically and environmentally, inter- cropping of valuable native (ideally endangered, protected or red listed) tree species into rubber monocultures and leaving/ man- agement of undergrowth was tested in yunnan province (see technology ‘native trees in rubber monocultures’ page 191). these tree species contribute to soil stabilization, and also provide alternative income options to farmers. keeping the natural under- growth between the rubber rows, by avoiding chemical weeding, would considerably reduce erosion and thus soil organic matter/ carbon loss. additionally, this would support plant as well as ani- mal biodiversity. in rubber plantations, further viable solutions to enhance biodiversity and to improve environmental friendliness at a landscape level, are protecting stream bank vegetation (ripar- ian forests), buffer strips, restricting the maximum size of a single continuous plantation, and establishing environmental corridors. figure 1.25: annual soil loss in a middle-aged (12 years) rubber plantation xish- uangbanna, yunnan, sw china, under different herbicide treatments (elevation 764 m a.s.l.; slope 29 degree) (liu et al. 2016). figure 1.26: annual soil loss in rubber plantations of different ages with herbi- cide treatment twice per year (liu et al. 2016) as compared to forest (li 2001). irrigation and salinization in the tarim river basin of the taklamakan desert, xinjiang province, china reducing salinization in tarim basin china context: poor land and water management in production systems for c otton and other crops lead to saline soils problem: soil erosion by wind, due to land abandonment and winter fallows in cotton cultivation, leading to contamination of other areas solution: – crop rotation (winter wheat) soil cover instead of fallow – intercropping/ agroforestry with fruit trees – conservation of riparian forests -> wind breaks – apocynum (salinity tolerant multipurpose herb) cultivation -> soil cover in saline areas preventing erosion and at the same time providing income message: making an opportunity out of a problem by the use of an indige- nous halophyte (salt-loving plant) to cover land, protecting it from erosion, and to provide income cotton in the tarim basin of the taklamakan desert, china, is an irrigation-intensive crop and from the perspective of water use, poorly suited to deserts. from the view point of cotton quality however, it is good to grow cotton in arid areas as humid con- ditions can lead to mould in the bolls. in xinjiang, 300 to 400 mm per year water is needed for irrigation. improper land and water (irrigation) management in production systems for cotton and other crops leads to saline soil (due to high and rising ground- water tables and high evapotranspiration, see chapter 2 page 66) and eventually to abandonment by the farmers. ‘natural’ groundwater is found at 7 to 8 m depth. by irrigating the land for crops, the groundwater table rises up to 2 m below the soil surface. due to the fine soil texture and the high evaporation – of about 2000 mm per year – the salt and chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) rise to the soil surface. the high sodium content leads to a disaggregation and dispersion of soil aggregates – creating a soil structure which engenders sealing and crusting of the surface. furthermore, the salt on the surface is blown away and causes salinization in other areas. after the harvest of cotton in the tarim basin, the surface is bare from october until the end of april (winter fallow) and susceptible to soil loss due to wind erosion. in addition, the saline, abandoned cotton fields are highly susceptible to wind erosion, and transport of saline soil particles leads to off-site salinization problems (fig- ure 1.27). winds in the taklamakan desert can become very strong and transport dust from the tarim basin to eastern china or fur- ther afield – as far as south korea or the usa (wang et al. 2008). figure 1.27: salt crust formed on the soil surface, china. (patrick keilholz) annual soil loss for rubber plantations and forest soil loss (t ha -1 ) 3 2 1 0
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 29 apocynum can grow on sites with pronounced surface saliniza- tion, as long as the subsoil and the groundwater are not strongly salinized. apocynum pictum is a multipurpose perennial herb, and part of the natural riparian vegetation along the rivers of the tarim basin, that can withstand high soil salinity (see technology ‘rehabilitation of saline soils’ page 187). it is used as a medici nal plant (such as tea in traditional chinese medicine) and as fibre crop. thus farmers can earn money by planting apocynum – while protecting the soil at the same time. 1.1.2 managing small-/ medium-scale agricultural systems eighty percent of the farmland in sub-saharan africa and asia is managed by smallholders (working on up to 10 hectares) and they produce 80% of the food supply in asian and sub-saharan africa (fao 2012b). they are extremely important for food security, and provide livelihoods in the developing world. however, they also have a growing role in the developed world with regard to filling new production niches as demands increase for organic products, and natural forms of pest and disease management. small-scale farming also has a role in mountainous areas or under difficult environmental conditions needing special attention, with their diverse and integrated land management practices. the combination of fruit trees such as apricots or chinese dates, with annual crops such as wheat or cotton, would be an option to ensure at least partial soil cover after harvest of the annual crop (intercropping/ agroforestry) (figures 1.28 and 1.29). an additional advantage is that these trees lower the groundwater level below the fields (a source of salinization) and give shade to the crops. these trees, as well as nearby riparian native vegetation, also act as wind breaks, slowing down the speed of the erosive winds. to tackle the problem of salinized wasteland, salt tolerant chi- nese and european dogbane species (apocynum pictum and apo- cynum venetum) were planted to provide permanent vegetative cover to the previously bare soil, and simultaneously ensure a source of income for land users (figures 1.30 and 1.31). planting the salt tolerant species, apocynum pictum and apocy- num venetum, can rehabilitate the saline wastelands that aban- doned cotton fields have become. rehabilitation is applied here in the sense that saline soils can be brought back into produc- tion again – but not implying that the soil is freed from the salts that had accumulated in it. the topsoil of apocynum plantations is often very saline, reaching salt contents up to 20%, but the lower soil layers have a salt content of only 1%. this shows that figure 1.28: intercropping: fruit trees, for example apricot trees with winter wheat in xinjiang province. (christian rumbaur) figure 1.29: apricot trees planted in xinjiang province. by selling the fruits farmers can earn more money than by planting cotton. lower right corner: dry- ing apricots for the market. (christian rumbaur) figure 1.30: apocynum field in xinjiang province. (christian rumbaur) figure 1.31: apocynum pictum. a) plant with flowers, b) flowers, c) leaves, d) seeds. (niels thevs).
30 making sense of research for sustainable land management used for decades (figure 1.32). the overall organic carbon content is low, which is characteristic of semi-arid environments. box 1.1: the okavango basin: the nutrient problem in the mid-river areas of the basin, a comparison between wood- lands, fallows and cropped fields revealed that about 50 to 75% of total nitrogen, bound in organic substances, is lost due to crop production without fertilizer application. within fallows, only a very slow increase in nitrogen content occurs, and phosphorous and exchangeable magnesium concentrations are not restored. the current, relatively young, traditional systems of the mid- and lower basin continue to depend on fallow as their prime fertility management measure (jona luther-mosebach unpublished data). a comparison of agricultural and woodland sites in mashare showed that the current agricultural practice depletes the soil organic carbon stocks irrespective of the soil type (figure 1.33). the mean loss of organic carbon is about 21 t ha-1 or -39 % of the initial amount in the natural forests/ woodlands since the con- version to agricultural fields some decades ago. as cultivation happened for a long period of time, it can be assumed that the amount of carbon on the fields today is relatively stable. the official vision for agriculture in this region is often to increase yields by adopting industrial, large-scale agricultural production methods. but under the given soil and climate conditions, the transferability of those methods is very limited. researchers have recommended a ‘middle path’ between small-scale subsistence and industrialised agriculture: sustainable intensification using a mix of conservation agriculture measures adapted to the local con- ditions. this strategy also benefits the local communities: farming their own land and creating income from it instead of losing land rights to large-scale farming companies. in northern namibia, dryland conservation agriculture (ca) has been promoted to improve crop production and, by raising yields, to reduce woodland conversion to cropland. leaving plant residues in the field after harvest, applying manure in planting pits (or minimal soil-disturbing rip lines) were found to increase soil organic matter, improve soil fertility and nutrient availability. ca was tested on small plots of volunteer farmers (see technology ‘conservation agriculture’ page 247). investigations and results about improving small-scale agricultural production systems are presented from: • okavango basin: improving small-scale agricultural yields with a mix of conservation agriculture (ca) practices on existing fields instead of shifting cultivation • madagascar: improving small-scale subsistence agriculture through integrated livestock management and agroforestry/ intercropping small- and medium- scale farming in the okavango basin stabilising crop production in the okavango basin context: shifting cultivation and low-input agricultural practice is reaching its limits because of increase in the population and demand for production problem: low yields for smallholders, lack of fertilizers, nitrogen limitation; low water and soc, typical of semi-arid environments, but further depleted solution: dryland conservation agriculture (combination of rip-lines or planting basins, crop rotation with nitrogen fixing plants and root inocu- lation, residue and soil cover management) to increase productivity of existing fields and prevent further expansion into woodland message: sustainable intensification needs to be the goal wherever agri- culture is practised – and conservation agriculture offers possibilities for a broad range of farmers: but it needs special adaptation for smallholders in africa the okavango basin stretches from the angolan highlands through the northern parts of namibia to its inland delta in botswana. in its middle section, it is characterized by extended areas of sandy soils which are low in nutrient content; made worse by ‘nitrogen- mining’ through cropping, and depletion of their inherently low phosphorous and magnesium levels (box 1.1). however, in some localised areas more nutrient-rich soils occur: in the angolan high- lands as well as on recent and former floodplains along rivers. in the still-practiced shifting cultivation system, fertility of soils depends on the availability of land. however, several factors limit this: (i) rising rural population density, (ii) limited availability of fertile soils, and (iii) spatial expansion of cash cropping (monopolization of rural land via a few entrepreneurs). the effect of the land use prac- tices become clear by looking at the decline of soil organic carbon in fields of the kavango of northern namibia: fields that have been figure 1.32: typical field with low yield at the test site in mashare. the okavango river is in the background. (alexander gröngröft) figure 1.33: soil carbon stocks (scs) to 1 m soil depth within the experimental site at mashare. compared are woodlands and crop fields managed since dec- ades for dryland agriculture on loamy and sandy soils. (jona luther-mosebach)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 31 mean yields of traditional farming system in namibia were com- pared with the yields of experimental conservation agriculture plots. in these experiments, combined field inputs such as bio- char, inorganic fertilizer and cattle manure with the water harvest- ing technique of planting basins/ rip lines (figure 1.34) resulted in increased yields when the production of the different crops in the rotational and intercropping systems were combined. how- ever, results only show the initial improvement of yields after two seasons of cultivation. sustainable improvement of the soil is expected to lead to even higher yields – but this could not be evaluated within the short duration of the project (table 1.2). table 1.2: mean yields of the dominant smallholder farming system and the experimental conservation agriculture test site in mashare, namibia. (tfo) farming system type of crop yield (kg ha-1 ) traditional farming system (= rainfed permanent cultivation) planting pearl millet alone pearl millet 221 conservation agriculture (= sustainable intensified cultivation) after 2 years, interplanting pearl millet, maize and cowpeas pearl millet 243 + maize 227 + cowpea 180 the use of improved, more drought-resistant, crop varieties is rela- tively widespread in the okavango basin: 75% and 37% of farm households in the botswanan and namibian study site, respec- tively, do at least sometimes use improved seed varieties. however, inadequate soil fertility management, and lack of water harvest- ing practices, appear to be more critical bottlenecks to agricultural production than the genetic material itself. under dryland agricultural conditions in mashare, namibia, yields of the smallholders farmers are commonly low and mostly nitro- gen-limited. as fertilizers are not applied in traditional cropping sys- tems, soil fertility declines with the duration of cropping. nitrogen supply may be enhanced by using nitrogen-fixing plants (legumes) in crop rotations or intercropping with the main crops. nitrogen increment relies on bacteria capable of biological nitrogen fixation within root nodules (figure 1.35). however, many of the bacteria are not adapted to the heat and climatic conditions. field experiments in namibia using selected bradyrhizobium sp. strains as inoculants showed promising soil fertility improvements. figure 1.34: planting pits in conservation agriculture are labour intensive but increase yields significantly, namibia. (alexander gröngröft) figure 1.35: poor nodulation of roots of cowpea in kavango soils (left). eefficient nitrogen supply from groundnut inoculated with a bradyrhizobium sp. strain (bottom right) in comparison to non-inoculated control (top right) in ver- miculite culture in the laboratory. (barbara reinhold-hurek) fertility improvement through tree-crop-livestock integration in small-scale farming on the mahafaly plateau, south-western madagascar small-scale farming system in drylands of madagascar context: dwindling land resources and soil fertility on the mahafaly pla- teau in madagascar, population pressure: increasing need for food produc- tion, high malnutrition rates problem: low soil organic matter content, low fertility and erratic climate conditions (low water availability and droughts) leading to recurrent crop failures solution: – integrated crop livestock management tested: corral shifting and measures to increase manure quality (by composting – including household wastes and crop residues and/or better storage) – home gardens: intercropping/ agroforestry with adapted and desired species message: an important element of sustainable intensification in small- scale farming is fertility management: manure and compost are vital addi- tions to the soil and both agroforestry and intercropping with legumes have an important role to play due to unpredictable climatic conditions with a high risk of yield loss (depending on the crop), farmers on the mahafaly plateau in madagascar do not invest much capital in agricultural intensifica- tion (e.g. fertilizer) or for the plant material (seeds, cuttings) used in crop production. crop yields are below the national average – and far below international averages (hanisch 2015), reflecting water and soil nutrient deficiencies. the lack of organic fertilization and amendments leads to a significant loss of organic matter (carbon and nitrogen) in the soil (box 1.2). box 1.2: organic material in fields compared to forests on the mahafaly plateau, south-west madagascar on average, in comparison to forests, crop fields have only 19% of the organic material, and after a one-year fallow only 25%. these results indicate that fallow fields recover slightly, but measurably, in the first year of the fallow period (hanisch 2015). due to dwindling land resources and soil fertility, intensification of cropping systems it is necessary to increase the agricultural produc- tivity and food self-sufficiency of smallholder farmers (figure 1.36).
32 making sense of research for sustainable land management be promoted further to create patches of fertile soil and reduce labour costs that are often considered as a crucial factor inhibiting adoption of manure use. vegetable production in homegardens can be a feasible diversifi- cation strategy for food security and possibly for income too. this can be improved by the deliberate inclusion of trees and shrubs, alley cropping and agroforestry systems with drought tolerant crops – millet and sorghum instead of maize. homegardens with agroforestry components are still very scarce, but increasingly pro- moted in the mahafaly region through the distribution of fruit trees such as mango (mangifera indica), papaya (carica papaya), citrus spp., drumstick tree (moringa oleifera), and several leguminous tree species (sesbania sesban, leucaena leucocephala, and acacia auriculiformis) (hanisch, 2015). additional vegetables such as onions or carrots can be planted between the papaya trees if regular irriga- tion is possible (eg with household wastewater), and homegardens should be fenced-off to protect them from grazing animals. 1.2 managing irrigation and fertilization highly productive systems – besides needing appropriate plant genetic material – rely on sufficient and continuous water and nutrient supply. most agricultural land, globally, is rainfed, imply- ing that it relies entirely on precipitation and the water storage in the soil. similarly, the nutrient supply from the soil also needs to be guaranteed. however, shortages of water and nutrients during the growing period lead to serious reduction in crop yields – or even crop failures. furthermore, inputs of water and nutrients need good land management, otherwise this can lead to serious land degradation – or water conflicts. the potential of integrated crop/ livestock management was tested. traditionally, no chemical or even natural soil amendments, such as cattle manure, are applied in the field and livestock dung accumu- lates unused in the corrals (figure 1.37). however, results of fertiliza- tion trials with local manure showed no clear improvements on crop yields. livestock manure currently available in village livestock cor- rals was demonstrated to be of low quality due to the long storage period and poor storage conditions. the cattle manure in particular that was used in the experiment had a carbon/nitrogen (c/n)-ratio of 15.3 to 25.8, which was much poorer than the c/n-ratio of the untreated soils in the field plots with a mean ratio of 11.9 (hanisch 2015). this was a typical situation for the whole study area where the c/n-ratios on crop fields had an average c/n-ratio of 10.9 (n = 22, range from 6.4 to 15.4). goat manure was of higher quality than the cattle manure with a c/n-ratio of 8.4 (hanisch 2015). further- more, the very dry consistency of the manure collected from corrals displayed hydrophobic properties – thus repelling water, and this might have contributed to the absence of a positive effect under the local circumstances where there was a very limited availability of water. it was concluded that freshly produced and appropriately stored or composted manure should be used. to improve manure quality, composting of household wastes and crop residues are currently being promoted in the area. important improvements in manure storage may be achieved through floor- ing and roofing of the manure collection sites. even if manure is currently not available in sufficient amounts in the study area (due to relatively low livestock densities), small-scale manure applica- tion in homegardens should, in theory, be easily adoptable and would increase soil fertility. the practice of shifting corrals after several years, to use the fertile site of the former corral for crop cultivation, may be the most easily adopted strategy – and could figure 1.36: sources of household food consump- tion (%) and food self-sufficiency ratio (fssr) (%) per month on the mahafaly plateau, sw mada- gascar for 2013. there is a high rate of chronic malnutrition in this area. up to 20% of food consumption was gathered from forest resources using edible forest food (collected). only 25% of the households are food secure. (noromiarilanto fananbinantsoa) figure 1.37: a typical corral in the littoral area of the mahafaly region, madagascar (left); the accumulated manure is very dry with hydrophobic properties (right). (tobias feldt)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 33 1.2.1 managing irrigation a major concern for intensified agricultural production is the sup- ply of irrigation water in areas where rains are not sufficient. this may be either in total (in semi-arid or arid environments) or during critical times of the crop production cycle (in all climates). climate change and climate extremes will increase water stress. irrigation is costly, and has inherent dangers related to water conflicts and salinization. irrigation usually implies heavy investment and a dif- ferent, mostly intensive and production-oriented, system in order to pay for the high costs incurred. apart from the high costs, irri- gation systems have to assure reliable water supply and acquisition of non-conflicting water rights. salinization is a common threat to irrigation systems especially in the drylands, thus needing special attention and ‘smart’ water management practices. poorly main- tained irrigation systems can lead to inefficient, ineffective and costly water use. the three examples that follow show that water use efficiency is usually not achieved through a stand-alone technology, but a mix of practices treating more than one problem, and by combining technologies with governance measures. the examples are: • improved drip irrigation and flooding, and reduction of salinization from northern china • improving water use efficiency, re-use of irrigation return water, and mitigating salt water intrusions from the river delta in vietnam • improving incentives to increase water use efficiency and updat- ing technologies for reservoir water use in brazil irrigation management against water scarcity and salinization in the tarim river basin in the talamakan desert, xinjiang province, china large-scale irrigation of cotton in the arid lower tarim basin context: cotton, a water-demanding crop in the arid lowlands of the tarim river, is the main source of income. large irrigation schemes secure yields in the cotton cultivation areas along the tarim river problem: high evaporation and salinization through irrigation, and pollu- tion by agro-chemicals solution: mix of measures: drip irrigation, drainage system and water treatment/ adapted irrigation practices (winter flooding) message: commonly, salinity affects efforts to achieve high yields through irrigation, and over-use of agro-chemicals also threatens sustainability. a mixture of measures needs to be considered – often specific to the area – in order to remedy the situation the chinese government began to promote cotton production in xinjiang in the 1980s. the dry climate and the long duration of sunshine hours make the region potentially suitable to produce cotton of high quality – although in xinjiang it requires an average of 400 mm of water per hectare. nevertheless, cotton has become the major crop and source of income in xinjiang: here 40% of the total chinese cotton is produced, representing about 12% of the produced cotton worldwide. however, as noted, cotton is a water-demanding crop and large irrigation schemes have been required to secure yields in the cot- ton cultivation areas along the tarim river. in fact, due to the low precipitation and the high evaporation rates, the region’s water supply depends solely on the tarim river water. during the sum- mer, the river is fed mainly by glacier and snow melt, which causes floods but also fills the irrigation reservoirs and channels. irrigation indeed is the biggest water user in the area. the current irrigation practices however are also the main cause of the soil salinization that has affected the area. furrow irriga- tion and repeated flooding without drainage lead to high ground- water tables. in soils with high capillary rise potential (i.e. soils with a high proportion of fine sediments such as silt), the resulting high evapotranspiration increases the rate of salinization. a very effective technical measure to lower the groundwater table in cot- ton fields comprises drainage channels that return surplus irriga- tion water back into the river – though a major disadvantage is the high implementation cost. drainage pipes have to be buried below the root zone of the crops. consequently, these measures are not implemented, as long as there is enough accessible arable land in the region. hence, the common practice is to cultivate a field and allow deterioration of the soil for as long as possible. if salinization impacts then render the fields unproductive, they are abandoned and new fields are cultivated. one alternative to the costly underground drainage is to build simple side drainage channels along the field borders. but such drainage practices have trade-offs with water quality in the lower reaches of the basin through the accumulation of salts, nutrients and pollutants in the return water. drained irrigation water con- taining salts and agro-chemicals is channelled back into the river and pollutes it. the end users not only have less reliable water flow, but also lower quality. drainage water should not be directly led back to the tarim river, it ought to be captured and treated in wastewater treatment plants to reduce the salt content. this treated water can then be discharged back in the tarim river. however, such water treatment is very expensive and therefore not up for discussion currently. to improve the water quality and quantity in the tarim river, drip irrigation under plastic mulch was tested – and recommended to be introduced over the whole region (see technology ‘drip irri- gation in cotton’ page 183). drip irrigation helps to save water during the growing period because of its inherent water use effi- ciency. hence, more water becomes available for other purposes, for example ecologically beneficial flooding of the riparian forests. also, with drip irrigation, the groundwater does not rise during the growing season. however, a saline soil layer below the roots of the cotton plants will develop. therefore, after harvesting and before seeding, the fields are flooded to leach the salts to deeper soil layers where it does not affect the roots of the plants. the combination of drip irrigation and seasonal flooding thus prevents salinization of productive soil. but this combination of practices leads to almost no overall water saving compared to furrow irrigation. however, if flooding is carried out before the winter (after har- vesting), the water and soil freezes, and the water is thus stored in the soil until spring and is available for germination and the initial growth of crops – meaning that additional irrigation is only needed in late spring and summer. additionally, in late autumn, there is more rain and river flow from the mountains that can be figure 1.38: drip irrigation under plastic mulch,china. (christian rumbaur)
34 making sense of research for sustainable land management used for the flooding of the fields. the water saving from drip irri- gation during the growing period reduces water demand during the dry summer period, and thus increases availability of irriga- tion water. it also improves the water supply to natural vegetation (especially riparian forests) in the critical summer period. to render drip irrigation more efficient and decrease evaporation in this hyper-arid region inter-row spaces in cotton fields are cov- ered with plastic mulch (figure 1.38). in 2014, 185,000 metric tons of sheeting were used in xinjiang, but the recycling rate only aver- aged 40 to 50 percent, which caused a waste problem. during recent years, machines have been developed to collect the plastic film discarded in cotton fields. if the plastic film meets the new standards (0.01 mm of thickness instead of 0.008 mm) up to 90% can be collected. the thicker plastic increases the success of recy- cling efforts, because it does not tear so easily. improving water use efficiency and reducing salinization in vietnam irrigation efficiency in paddy rice production context: water availability for paddy field irrigation especially towards the end of the dry season problem: multiple claims such as abstractions of river water for irrigation and diversion and storage of water for hydropower generation as well as salt water intrusion lead to a decrease in water quantity and quality solution: reusing return flow message: reusing return flow is a good example of where innovative thinking combined with research support can help answer serious chal- lenges in agriculture due to abstraction of river water for irrigation, diversion and stor- age of water for hydropower generation – and salt water intrusion - less water is available for paddy field irrigation especially towards the end of the dry season (figures 1.39 – 1.41 and see chapter 2 page 50). reusing return flow is regarded as a potential measure to reduce the severity of irrigation deficits in dry periods (see technology ‘reuse of return flow in rice’ page 271). if the surface return flow is carefully collected before entering natural rivers, it can be used as a supplementary source of agricultural water supply. return flow can be collected by drainage canals and stored in tanks such as ponds, reservoirs or depressions. when the salinity of river water exceeds the threshold (1%), return water is pumped back into irri- gation canals to dilute the river water. furthermore, through the purification function of paddies, which has been documented by previous research, return flow is of acceptable quality for irrigation. paddy fields have the capacity to absorb nitrogen and phosphorus (kunimatsu 1983; feng et al. 2003; hitomi et al. 2006). because of the sandy soils of the rice fields in vietnam, the fertilizers and pesticides are filtered out of the water. the water quality testing results also indicate that return flow from paddy fields is suitable for irrigation: they meet the irrigation water quality standards of vietnam (qcvn: national technical regulation on industrial wastewater, ministry of natural resources and environment). for instance, low total dissolved sol- ids in water, all below 400 mg/l, showed the purity of the return flow. the threshold of the irrigation water quality standards of vietnam (qcvn) is 2000 mg/l. the return flow helps to extend the irrigation sequence and increase irrigation efficiency. figure 1.39: paddy fields in vietnam. (dominic meinardi) increase water use efficiency and updating technologies for reservoir water use in brazil improving incentives for increasing water use context: periods of prolonged drought will increase and exacerbate water scarcity already common in the region problem: inefficient water use (e.g. outdated irrigation technology and practices) and large water losses due to indiscriminate and uncontrolled water use, improper irrigation management leading eventually to soil salinization solution: water pricing as an incentive for more efficient use improve irrigation infrastructure or irrigation timing (at night/ in the evening) to reduce evaporation message: economics can be used as a tool to make irrigation more effec- tive: thus raising water costs to users can be considered alongside techni- cal measures to improve efficiency even though climate models are contradictory regarding pro- jections of future rainfall, in the são francisco river basin, bra- zil a general finding is that weather extremes will increase, and that even in a wetter scenario the periods of prolonged drought will be more common. this region has water scarcity problems already – under current climate conditions. they are caused by inefficient water use (e.g. outdated irrigation technology and practices), huge water losses from reservoirs (e.g. due to evapora- tion) and indiscriminate and uncontrolled water use (illegal over- abstraction) leading eventually to soil salinization as well. in general, users have to pay for water abstraction above a defined threshold (currently 4l/sec from the são francisco river). in irriga- tion schemes, which originate from ‘compensation’ for damming to create the itaparica reservoir, the hydropower company pays for water consumption but does not pass on these costs to the farm- ers who use the water. the reasons for bearing the costs instead of passing bills to farmers are probably due to: 1. unclear land tenure and land water use rights, and pending compensation payments of the hydroelectric company expected by the displaced people after flooding their former land; 2. unclear organizational issues and responsibilities, such as main- tenance of the facilities, equipment and infrastructure; and 3. inappropriate irrigation design and infrastructure, such as too- wide spacing of sprinklers, with over-irrigation in some places and under-irrigation in others. land tenure, and land and water use rights are a key issue behind improved soil, water and biodiversity management, and assigning an appropriate price for water (including irrigation and electric- ity needed for pumping water) is a necessary incentive for more
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 35 1.2.2 fertilization and soil enrichment just as water is crucial, availability of nutrients and their man- agement is a central precondition for successful agricultural pro- duction. slm strategies in agriculture are based on designing production systems that are best adapted to the local conditions in terms of crop choice and management practices (mixed farming systems; no-till, crop rotation, intercropping, agroforestry etc.) to secure soil fertility, and the ready availability of nutrients. in some cases, additional inputs including fertilizers and soil addi- tives are necessary in production systems with nutrient deficien- cies due to natural conditions, due to production practices or both. examples to illustrate this are related to: • soil enrichment (locally available amendments) in commercial crop production in brazil’s cerrado rainforest • soil enrichment with biochar in the caatinga biome, brazil • silicon fertilization in intensified rice production, vietnam soil enrichment in the brazilian cerrado methods of soil enrichment in the brazilian cerrado context: decreased yields due to steadily decreasing soil fertility problem: reduction of som under intensive use and ploughing; low som solution: soil enrichment with low cost, locally available soil organic amendments, positive effects apart from fertility: waste recycling message: impoverishment of soils is inevitable under crop production systems unless nutrients are returned to the system. locally available materials should always be the first priority sustainable use of water resources. however, introducing a water and energy price needs to be done gradually to allow farmers to adapt to new production conditions. as a first step, and in order to increase the awareness about the value of water, simulated water bills were issued to the water users. these gave farmers an idea of the costs that are to be expected in the future. some farmers reacted with ignorance or annoyance and went about their busi- ness as usual. others took them seriously, and consequently pio- neered the reduction of irrigation water use; for example replacing sprinklers with the more efficient system of micro-spray (best for coconut and banana plantations) or drip irrigation, depending on main crops to be grown. moreover, it is important to install an adequate and functional drainage system, something not realized during the initial infrastructure installation. another measure to increase water use efficiency is changing the timing of irrigation - from day to night to reduce evapotranspira- tion losses. however, the drawbacks of such a change are that irrigation during day time is – obviously – more convenient for farmers, as some plots are distant from their homes and irrigation practices need considerable on-the-spot work. a more realistic option would be to irrigate very early in the morning (or late after- noon) when evaporation is less severe. however, given the anti- quated, unreliable and work-intensive irrigation infrastructure, this would inevitably mean some irrigation during the night. the cur- rent irrigation systems are often very outdated, leaking and hard to repair causing further water losses. investment in modern tech- nology could be combined with the installation of water abstrac- tion monitoring meters necessary for water bill implementation. this case demonstrates the importance of a coordinated, multi- faceted approach to solve the water scarcity problem, requiring the cooperation of the different stakeholder groups involved. figure 1.40: tu cau irrigation canal stops working due to salt intrusion impacts in vietnam (march 2013). (tran thi ha van) figure 1.41: tu cau pumping station, vietnam. (tran thi ha van) figure 1.42: effects of soil enrichment on different nutrients and soil carbon in years after application, brazil (luisa vega unpublished data).
36 making sense of research for sustainable land management intensive cultivation of monocultures in the southern amazon and the brazilian cerrado leads to a decrease in soil fertility, due to soil organic matter depletion, and hence a decrease in nutrient avail- ability. in the southern amazon and the brazilian cerrado, on-farm experiments were performed to enrich tropical agricultural soils with different types of organic matter (om) in the medium term (see technology ‘organic matter amendments’ page 159). the effect of different types of om amendments on soil organic carbon (soc) and macro-nutrients (n, p, and k), soil physical properties (water holding capacity) and crop yield (soy and corn biomass and grain production) were assessed. the amendments included filter cake of sugar cane residues, sawdust from peroba and cedrinho (used in the timber industry), coarse chips of eucalyptus sp. and biochar. the applied amendments are locally available and are considered either cost-efficient or waste materials. the addition of om amendments is a win-win situation constituting both a solution for organic mat- ter waste recycling, and improving soil quality. the amendments have to be repeated every two years because in the third year after application, effects decrease considerably (figure 1.42). however, care should be taken not to use amendments that might, potentially, have a negative or toxic effect on plant growth such as coarse chips of eucalyptus sp. – or consider pre- treatment before application to reduce or remove toxic effects. biochar enrichment in the caatinga biome, brazil biochar and clay as possible soil amendments context: low productivity of sandy soils of the são francisco basin; re- settlement of land users on less fertile land due to new reservoir problem: low soil organic matter, low soil fertility solution: soil organic amendments with biochar, clay and goat manure message: biochar is an ancient method of improving soil fertility in the long term – one which has been recently re-discovered. soil enrichment should look equally to both ancient and modern methods to support agricultural production on the less fertile sandy soils of the são francisco river basin (arenosols), the potential to ame- liorate them through addition of soil amendments (biochar, clay, and goat manure) was tested. during the 23-months experiment no significant treatment effect on shoot growth and survival of umbuzeiro seedlings (spondias tuberosa) were observed. how- ever, the root system responded to the amelioration of the coarse- textured soil. goat manure application led to the highest soil water content and reduced the soil bulk density, which had a signifi- cant positive effect on root tuber growth. neither biochar nor clay amendments had a significant effect on seedling performance. the effects of additions of biochar and clay sediments from tem- porarily dried up dams on the growth of the native tree umbuzeiro were compared, and the effects on nutrient retention for nitrate, ammonium, and potassium were analysed (figures 1.43 – 1.45). adding biochar and clay to a sandy soil (arenosol) showed effects of soil fertility enhancement through an increase in nutrient reten- tion. the effects varied with different amendments and nutrients. compared to the original soil, biochar amendment increased the nutrient retention during the first 8 months for nitrate (by 57%), ammonium (by 47%) and for potassium (by 18%). the addition of clay increased nutrient retention for ammonium (by 55%) and for potassium (by 41%) but showed no effect for nitrate. adding carbon to the soil in form of biochar increases the soil’s storage capacity for most nutrients even in sandy soils, and simul- taneously enhances carbon sequestration. similarly, the addition of clay shows a trend towards increased retention of nutrients. biochar and clay as single soil amendments do not add a notice- able quantity of nutrients, their impact is only seen in combina- tion with organic or mineral fertilization. biochar and clay are also used to ameliorate the soil structure. overall, it appears that bio- char and clay might be useful and their application can be feasible for annual crops on intensively used agricultural plots, more than for slow-growing perennials (e.g. fruit trees). one of the locally available resources for the production of biochar comprises coconut husks, after coconut water is extracted in local factories. these husks are currently underutilized, just thrown away, forming garbage dumps nearby the factory (figure 1.46). laboratory test of biochar production from coconut shells showed promising potential for use as a soil enrichment and for long-term fertilisation. figure 1.43: comparison of cumulative leaching rates for nitrate, 8 months after fertilisation for an arenosol soil without or with different soil enrichments meas- ured at a depth of 0.7 m, brazil. (christine beusch) figure 1.44: comparison of cumulative leaching rates for ammonium, 8 months after fertilisation for the soil type arenosol without or with different soil enrichments measured at a depth of 0.7 m, brazil. (christine beusch) figure 1.45: comparison of cumulative leaching rates for potassium (k) 8 months after fertilisation for the soil type arenosol without or with different soil enrichments measured in 0.7 m depth, brazil. (christine beusch)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 37 silicon fertilization in silicon-poor areas with intensified rice production, vietnam silicon deficiency in rice production in vietnam context: in vietnam silicon availability is a key to sustainable rice pro- duction. silicon deficiency is an inherent natural soil condition, and silicon is exported from the fields by removing straw residues with the harvest problem: silicon deficiency in soil (when a limiting factor) impedes rice plant growth. silicon is important for resistance against pathogens and against uptake of toxic metals solution: testing silicon fertilization, and research to better understand the silicon cycle including causes of low concentrations in soil and impact on yields; not removing harvest residue from the fields (residue management) message: it is easy to become too focussed on the common macro- nutrients (n, p, k) in soils and organic matter levels – but sometimes the primary limiting factor in crop production is a less obvious nutrient (or nutrients) and soil tests should always be carried out to establish such deficiencies although silicon (si) is the second most abundant element of the earth’s crust, in some soils silicon deficiency limits plant growth. in vietnam, silicon availability is key to sustainable rice production (box 1.3). silicon can improve rice crop resistance against patho- gens, pests and abiotic stresses such as salts, drought and storms, as well as preventing the uptake of toxic metals (cooke and leish- man 2011; guntzer et al. 2012). but in some of the vietnamese pad- dies, plant-available silicon concentrations are below critical values. to better understand the si-cycle in irrigated paddy fields, researchers studied 4 vietnamese and 3 philippine regions (10 fields per region). the concentrations of readily available si in the topsoil (estimated by extracting si from soil with acetate solu- tion) were found to be significantly higher for philippine than for the vietnamese regions (klotzbücher et al. 2015). a larger pool of weatherable primary silicates in philippine soil is the (possible) main reason for the finding. box 1.3: silicon as a limiting factor silicon deficiency in irrigated rice paddies within some areas of vietnam is a key limiting factor to rice yields: plant-available si concentrations in topsoils of paddies greatly differ between philippine (141–322 mg si kg−1) and vietnamese (20–51 mg si kg−1) regions. higher si concentrations in the philippines are due to recent rock formation by active volcanism, and a large si input due to mineral weathering in recent geologic history. land use can also affect plant-available si in topsoils (klotzbücher et al. 2016). mean si concentrations in rice straw ranged from 3.0 to 8.4% within the studied regions. for most of the vietnamese fields they were lower than the critical value of 5.0%, suggesting a si limitation to plant growth. in fields with low si availability, both si concen- trations in the rice straw and acetate-extractable si in topsoil (i.e. dissolved and adsorbed si) were low. such a relationship was not found for fields with high si availability, presumably due to a maxi- mum si uptake capacity by rice plants. (klotzbücher et al. 2016). silicon fertilization experiments in lowland rice in vietnam (marxen et al. 2016) prove the positive effect on rice yields (figure 1.47). increasing si availability in a soil with originally low plant-available si increases si uptake by rice plants and plant productivity (total above ground biomass and grain yield) as well as the decompos- ability of the produced straw. current results show that si fertili- zation could increase yields in some regions in vietnam, but no cost-benefit analysis has been carried out so far. a common practice of many vietnamese farmers is to ‘export’ si from fields by removing straw residue with the harvest. on silicon- deficient soils a first step to improve the silicon supply to plants would be to change the current harvest residue management sys- tem and leave straw on the fields. additional silicon fertilization could further increase yields, if si deficiency indeed is the bottle- neck to plant growth. to make effective decisions about suitable fertilization, soils need to be analysed, and farmers provided with relevant information about what kinds of nutrient are needed in each case. 1.3 eco-engineering an interesting strategy is the purposeful design of agricultural sys- tems that integrate natural elements of ecosystems to improve production or remedy negative impacts of production. using eco- system services (ess) in this quasi-technical way is termed ‘eco- engineering’. examples are presented from: • the philippines: transferring the concept of flower strips along production fields into lowland rice production systems • brazil: using a composition of plants and bacteria as a natural purification plant for fish ponds figure 1.46: dumped coconut husks near a local factory, brazil. (marianna sieg- mund-schultze) figure 1.47: grain yield of test fields with different amounts of si fertilization (vietnam): control - no fertilization; 0.4 t si/ha testing an application rate that would be feasible for farmers to apply in economic terms; 17.3 t si/ha testing a high application rate to produce silicon-rich straw for laboratory experiments; dm: dry matter (marxen et al. 2016).
38 making sense of research for sustainable land management ecologically engineered rice production in the philippines biodiversity for rice production context: high input of agro-chemicals in lowland paddy rice production systems problem: biodiversity degradation/ decline in intensely used monocul- tures; increasing use of pesticides; cause of secondary pest outbreaks, etc. solution: informed and lower use of pesticides/ agro-chemicals, inte- grated/ biological pest management/ ecological engineering message: harnessing the natural processes of nature can bring surpris- ingly large benefits to help solve agricultural problems in a creative way in rice production systems, mainly lowland paddy rice, one crea- tive measure to improve biodiversity is to decrease or even stop using pesticides and to turn towards integrated biological pest management or ‘ecological engineering’. the newly introduced concept of ‘ecological engineering’ aims primarily at the regula- tion of pest species through the management of natural enemies’ habitats (diverse, flower-rich and complex in structure). other eco- system services, such as pollination, cultural services, aesthetics and the recreational value of agricultural environments may be simultaneously enhanced with the same measures. biological pest control, pollination services and landscape aesthetics can benefit from the establishment of flower strips around rice paddies at the local level, and in the rice production landscape of munoz, nueva ecija, region of central luzon, philippines (see technology ‘eco- logical engineering in rice’ page 263). abundance and species richness of functionally different taxa (e.g. bees, hoverflies, beetles, spiders, parasites, and birds) can be increased by sown flower strips in agricultural landscapes. many studies have evaluated the beneficial effects of flower strips in industrialised countries. this is a test of how best to transfer this concept of biodiversity-friendly management options for inten- sive crop production systems in the tropics, and especially in rice (westphal et al. 2015). first research results show that biological pest control, pollina- tion services and aesthetics can benefit from the establishment of flower strips in rice production landscapes (figure 1.48). the nectar-producing plants led to a measurable effect on primary productivity in the form of enhanced grain yield that in turn led to changed farm practice in the form of reduced spraying inten- sity, while providing increased economic benefit. however, more experimental studies are needed to test the benefits of different figure 1.48: numbers of predators on pests in rice fields without, and with, the presence of nectar-producing plants (sesame) on bunds around the fields, philippines. the treatment are se–sp+: no sesame border, crop sprayed; se+sp+: sesame border, crop sprayed; se–sp–: no sesame border, crop unsprayed; se+sp–: sesame border, crop unsprayed. (gurr et al. 2016) plant species. rice farmers can better appreciate the benefits from regulating ecosystem services and should be involved in the devel- opment and implementation of ecological engineering. combin- ing participatory approaches and mass media campaigns with the establishment of flower strips and other beneficial habitats has the potential to increase sustainability of rice production in asia. eco-friendly water purification in the itaparica reservoir of the são francisco river in brazil clearing polluted water from fish ponds context: the recent development of commercial aquaculture (mainly in net-cages within the itaparica reservoir, but also nearby in land-based tanks using water from the reservoir) is threatening water quality in the reservoir, which is used for irrigation water, drinking water and leisure activities problem: pollution of water going into the reservoir through surplus fish feed, droppings, and fish drugs solution: land-based aquaculture and eco-friendly water purification (‘green liver’) instead of nets in the lake message: it is important to recognise when pollution from productive activities begins to have negative impacts: and then to strive to control this by biological means wherever possible, without compromising production the recent development of commercial aquaculture (mainly in water net-cages within the reservoir, but also nearby in land- based tanks using water from the reservoir) is threatening the water quality of the reservoir, which is used for irrigation, drinking water and leisure activities. surplus feed from net-cages, along with droppings of fish, increase the nutrient content of the reser- voir water, in particular p, but also residues from fish drugs. land-based aquaculture (excavated fish ponds next to the reser- voir, but using its water) has the potential to reduce harming the reservoir’s water body (less eutrophication, less veterinary medi- cine etc.). however, when the pond water is replaced with fresh water, the effluent from the ponds needs to be treated before releasing it into the reservoir/ river. with growing water scarcity, water quality can once again become an issue. the ‘green liver’ system has been tested as a prototype in one location of the res- ervoir. installed between the fish ponds and the reservoir, it is able to purify aquaculture effluent from land-based water tanks, complying with official regulations for water quality. first runs have been optimized to purify water from fish drug (oxytetracy- cline) residues (see technology ‘green liver’ page 167). table 1.3: swot analysis of the ‘green liver’ technology (erika marques) strenghts weaknesses • clean technology • sustainable use of natural resources • compliance with legislation • reduction of harmful environ- mental impacts of fish farming • cheaper implementation costs compared to other purification technologies • requires periodic maintenance • the efficiency of the system varies depending on season • water quality degradation due to plant senescence • it can be invaded by fish (and fish feed on the macrophytes) • it can form a deadly trap for unherded small ruminants opportunities threats • favourable climate • hundreds of dams, where it can be applied • income and work opportunity for local population • seasonality • the common water hyacinth (eichhornia crassipes) can invade the reservoir and become a plague if not well maintained
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 39 experiences showed that maintenance of the ’green liver‘ sys- tem needs close monitoring and management. young fish enjoy feeding on the macrophytes responsible for water purification in the ’green liver‘. thus fish spawn or fingerlings (small fish) need to be filtered out of the effluent before it reaches the ’green liver‘ ponds. the filtering of water flowing into the ’green liver‘ needs close observation, avoiding any by-passing or overflow. the whole system requires a goat-proof fence – because goats often jump into the ponds. before upscaling the technology, fur- ther long-term monitoring, and socio-economic impact and fea- sibility studies are needed. major impact will only be visible if many fish farmers in the region began to use it, or if monitoring and sanctions were being enforced and/or an incentive system established. then the technique could become valuable. so far, there is no monitoring of effluent quality, and the cheapest and easiest way to discard untreated effluent is simply to channel it back into the lake (table 1.3). 1.4 adapted livestock management other examples of a combination of agricultural production (here livestock) and sustainable use of natural environment preventing its overuse are related to: • improving livestock management by additional fodder produc- tion on natural and semi-natural areas, and • improving grazing management figure 1.49: herds of zebu cattle in the coastal plain area, madagascar. (johanna goetter) figure 1.50: zebu cattle grazing in the plateau area, madagascar. (johanna goetter) figure 1.51: feeding of samata (euphorbia stenoclada) to zebu cattle in the coastal plain area, madagascar. (johanna goetter) grazing and fodder management in madagascar samata fodder production and improving rangeland areas in madagascar context: livestock herders in the mahafaly plateau region face seasonal water and forage shortage, epizootic diseases and an increasing number of livestock raids problem: privatization, overexploitation of natural samata vegetation (open access) due to changing herding patterns influenced by increasing droughts and insecurity problems solution: fodder production (samata nurseries and transplantation), bet- ter pruning practices that enable regrowth of trees (sustainable harvest- ing protecting samata stocks) message: it is often best to try to strengthen indigenous systems that have worked in the past rather than seeking exotic remedies: in this case the assisted propagation of native fodder trees on the semi-arid mahafaly plateau region in south-west mada- gascar, the local agro-pastoralist population rely strongly on live- stock keeping (figures 1.49 and 1.50). possibly related to ongoing climate change with shorter rainy seasons and more droughts as well as risks of cattle raids on the plateau, the return of the herds to the coastal plain tends to start earlier each year (goetter 2016). as a result, the pressure on the natural vegetation by livestock increases in the coastal plain (feldt and schlecht 2016). during the dry season, the livestock keepers use the cut branches of a tree locally named ‘samata’ (euphorbia stenoclada), an ever- green succulent, for feeding their animals, especially their zebu cattle (feldt 2015) (figure 1.51).
40 making sense of research for sustainable land management the testing of different methods of artificial propagation of euphorbia stenoclada gave the following results: the best seed germination rates were observed for non-treated seeds (80%), fol- lowed by those treated/ soaked in distilled water before plant- ing (67.5%). for cuttings, the experiment showed 100% mortality of cuttings planted under the shade. the best performance was achieved with cuttings raised in the sun, not treated by hormones and placed in white sand, which represents the natural conditions of the region (90% survival after 5 month). cuttings under these conditions also showed better survival rates and growth in com- parison to non-treated seeds (figures 1.54 and 1.55). in conclusion, propagation with cuttings is the preferred method. it is also technically much easier to apply as there is no need for treatment of seeds and seedlings. as a consequence, several local farming communities were trained in the vegetative propagation method, and small tree nurseries were established together with local communities and schools (figures 1.56 and 1.57, see technol- ogy ‘samata propagation’ page 227 and video). besides the cultivation of samata, recommendations were devel- oped for sustainable harvesting of samata trees in the form of culturally-adapted comic strips (see approach ‘comic style envi- ronmental awareness’ page 235). the new practice was widely adopted by the local population (adoption rate 80%). figure 1.52: undisturbed samata (euphorbia stenoclada) stand. (johanna goetter) figure 1.53: a degraded samata stand, madagascar. (johanna goetter) samata trees used to be the dominant species of the shrubland around the coastal villages, but overexploitation and unsustain- able cutting practices do not allow the trees to recover completely, and may even lead to their death (figures 1.52 and 1.53). on 70 observed plots with different distances to the next village (up to 2.5 km) the average mortality rates of trees utilised in this way were between 13 – 22%, with the highest rates close to the vil- lage (ahlers 2014, goetter et al. 2015a). today, many open access stocks of samata in the coastal plain have been privatized by indi- vidual users, especially the ones closer to the villages. as a con- sequence, the remaining open access stocks are heavily used and thus degraded, while the pressure on private stocks is much lower (goetter and neudert 2016). samata also seem to suffer from the changing rainfall patterns, which result in decreased growth rates. to alleviate overexploitation of the natural dry season fodder tree samata in the coastal plain, different methods of artificial propa- gation by cuttings and via germination of seeds were tested. in a nursery, cuttings and seeds were grown under different condi- tions regarding the substrate (red soil, white sand, calcareous soil) and shade versus sun. cuttings were either treated or not treated with the hormone aib (alpha amino-iso-butryc acid, 0-500 mg/l). for the germination experiment, different seed treatments were applied: soaking with distilled/ boiling water, treated with sulfuric acid, and/or seed scarification. figure 1.54: survival rate of young e. stenoclada trees from seedlings and cuttings, madagascar (n=20 each). (herinavalona rabemirinra) figure 1.55: growth of young e. stenoclada trees from seedlings and cuttings, madagascar (n=20 each). (herinavalona rabemirinra) seedlings seedlings cuttings cuttings
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 41 changing grazing management in the caatinga brazil grazing management in the caatinga, brazil context: degradation of the dry forest caatinga ecosystem/ natural caatinga woodlands problem: overgrazing by goats and donkeys, no controlled grazing man- agement and additional overexploitation for firewood, charcoal and timber solutions: rotational grazing/ zoning, conservation/ protected areas, more organized herding and choice of livestock, cultivation of fodder crop, other sources for firewood and charcoal: management of an inva- sive species as well as coconut shells (waste) message: degradation of forest is as serious a problem as deforestation in many parts of the world: apart from self-imposed community rules and regulations, there are several tried and tested technical methods of tak- ing pressure off the forest in the são francisco river basin, brazil, overgrazing and brows- ing by ruminants (mainly goats, sheep and cattle, but also feral donkeys) is leading to degradation of the dry forest caatinga ecosystem. so far, there is no overall grazing/ browsing manage- ment plan (for goats, sheep, or cattle), a low level of cooperative practice (and willingness to do so), limited economic resources of smallholders, and lack of knowledge of innovative approaches and technologies. figure 1.56: workshop on propagation of samata held for the local population in the research camp of the university of hamburg, madagascar. (corina müller) figure 1.57: planting of a rooted samata cutting from the first community nursery in the village of ampotaka, madagascar. (yedidya ratovonamana) figure 1.58: boxplot of lizard species richness showing significant higher species richness in macambira than in caatinga vegetation. (maike guschal) figure 1.59: distance between patches of natural aggregation of macambira turned out to be a significant explanatory variable for species richness. patches next to other patches showed higher species richness than isolated patches in caatinga, brazil. (maike guschal) solutions to be considered are rotational grazing (strategic resting of areas to regrow and regenerate), effectively fencing-off either livestock or agricultural plots and conservation/ protected areas. other solutions are cultivation of fodder crops, and the use of crop by-products, or understorey grazing in irrigated coconut or fruit tree plots. division of grazing land into zones, including con- servation zones, and zone-wise rotation of pasture land to avoid uncontrolled overgrazing of caatinga dry forest vegetation needs to be discussed and decided upon at higher administrative and political levels – since zoning needs enforcement for its implemen- tation if there is no community cooperation. another option that is currently preferred by consumers and land users is switching from goats to sheep. goats are known to be selective grazers, but mainly browsers, and thus have an advantage. they can derive a much more nutrient-dense diet from harsh vegetation resources than sheep or cattle are able to. the often-cited damage caused by goats only occurs if grazing pressure is much too high. sheep are basically grazers, in comparison they are less able to make use of natural bush or tree vegetation, and primarily graze the understorey, the grasses and forbs. sheep are more easily man- aged than goats, and well-suited to an organized grazing regime that could support sustainable use of the caatinga. neverthe- less, goats, besides their specific adaptation to climate and feed resources, have a high cultural status in the region and goat meat is much appreciated by the local population. however both spe- cies have pros and cons. integrated crop-livestock management
42 making sense of research for sustainable land management could reduce the pressure on caatinga vegetation by allowing small ruminants to feed on crop by-products or residues. corral- ling of animals overnight has additional benefits because it con- centrates manure, which can be used to fertilize soils. the mix of patches of pasture with shrubs and trees with deeper roots produces higher soil biodiversity that can be beneficial in plant adaption to different weather conditions. from a conserva- tion perspective, any change or decline in biodiversity is bad. how- ever, from a livelihoods perspective, people have needs that create a footprint. from a sustainable use perspective, the two goals need to be balanced. a way to preserve native vegetation such as macambira (encholirium spectabile) – which is also important to protect tree seedlings, small fauna, as well as ground-breeding birds – is by selective cutting, that is sparing well-connected large patches and only cutting, when really needed, smaller patches which are distant (figures 1.58 and 1.59; guschal et al. in prepa- ration). 1.5 managing natural and semi-natural systems expansion of intensified use or conversion of marginally suitable, and so far extensively used, land is increasing in many parts of the world, while simultaneously in some regions extensification is tak- ing place. both developments mean a challenge for future land management: preventing overuse of natural systems by developing an integrated mix of protection, sustainable use and extensive agri- cultural production when population pressure threatens the over- use of these semi-natural or still pristine ecosystems. on the other hand, in areas abandoned by intensive agriculture, new manage- ment opportunities arise or new ecosystems develop. both situa- tions pose new challenges and opportunities for sustainable land use and management practices to keep livelihoods and biodiversity/ ecosystems in a healthy balance and to make best use of synergies. improved production on land assigned for intensified, but sustain- able, agricultural use reduces the pressure on other areas currently under extensive use: namely semi-natural or natural land, and it means that these systems can be kept intact. in the following integrated management of forests and non-forest products are addressed at the local level: • caatinga ecosystems, brazil • protection of wild yam in madagascar • reducing pressure on forests in madagascar new strategies for the use of caatinga dry forests in brazil caatinga forest/ woodland in brazil context: overuse of caatinga woodlands (slow recovery), use of material for households (building and fuel), conversion into cropping and over- grazing problem: soil erosion by wind, overgrazing and excessive extraction of plant material, birds and game lead to loss of biodiversity solutions: sustainable use strategies for native species especially umbuzeiro trees within and outside of their natural environment; protect existing and establish new conservation areas (network of conservation areas) message: important natural systems (such as the caatinga forests of bra- zil) need to be maintained as far as possible: protection is one option but there are also possibilities of deflecting attention from the forest by encour- aging planting of useful tree species on farms and elsewhere in the semi-arid north-east region of brazil in the são francisco basin, removing the slow growing natural vegetation of the caat- inga forest for human use renders the soil susceptible to erosion by wind and water. caatinga means ‘white forest’ with small thorn trees (seldom taller than 6 m) that shed their leaves seasonally. the understorey is mainly composed by bromeliads, small cacti, grasses and annual plants (figure 1.60). water scarcity and droughts, as well as decades of overexploitation of trees, is triggering stress on both floral and faunal biodiversity, especially in the natural system of the caatinga dry forest. impor- tant species are the native brazil plum called umbuzeiro (spondias tuberosa) and a bromeliad locally termed macambira (encholirium spectabile), which helps to hinder soil erosion. leaves of macambira are used to make a type of bread, and when burned it is used as cattle feed. using caatinga and sustaining its services including productivity in the long-term needs a sensitive approach, avoiding overgrazing and excessive extraction of plant material, and birds and game that form part of the overall ecosystem. approximately half of the total caat- inga area has already been overgrazed or converted to other uses. caatinga use comprises browsing and grazing by animals (livestock and feral donkeys), cutting wood for fuel and charcoal (to provide fuel for cooking, bakeries and other industries), for construction and for animal fodder. in the caatinga dry forests, macambira is an important host for amphibians, birds and bees, and protects seedlings such as the young and vulnerable umbuzeiro tree. scarce fodder, especially during droughts, leads to the cutting of trees and other plants as forage, thus reducing cover and slowing regeneration of dry forest. another difficulty is the absence of a control mechanism for conservation areas, which are easily invaded either by landless people seeking farmland for themselves, or residents of the area looking for forest products. the result is, instead of conservation, degraded forest through slashing, cutting, browsing and collect- ing forest produce. furthermore, conversion of natural habitats into cropland leads to increased pressure on the natural vegeta- tion. especially in the drier and drought-prone semi-arid areas, this is a risky development. projections of different socio-economic and climate scenarios (sres) show that a further increase of crop- land is highly probable at the expense of pasture and natural veg- etation (figures 1.61 and 1.62). the average of four future development scenarios projected a sim- ilar picture: (figure 1.61), pasture (extensive) and natural vegeta- tion cover will decline and crop land will increase, in which fodder figure 1.60: large macambira group in a well preserved caatinga area, brazil. (marianna siegmund-schultze)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 43 crop land pasture natural vegetation a1 a2 b1 b2 2005 − 2035 change in area in mio ha −6 −4 −2 0 2 4 6 figure 1.61: projected change in land use area in the são francisco river basin, brazil in million hectares from 2005 to 2035 of the four socio-economic and climate scenarios (sres: a1, a2, b1, b2). (biewald et al. 2014, based on naki- cenovic et al. 2014) fodder sugarcane maize soybean a1 a2 b1 b2 2005 − 2035 change in area in mio. ha −2 −1 0 1 2 3 4 5 figure 1.62: projected change in cropland area for fodder, sugar cane, maize and soybean in the são francisco river basin, brazil in mio ha from 2005 to 2035 of the four socio-economic and climate scenarios (sres: a1, a2, b1, b2). (anne biewald) (intensive) and sugar cane will be on the up, in comparison to decreasing areas of maize and soybean (figure 1.62). sugar cane is very controversial because of its high water demand and use as a biofuel crop. fodder is also questioned because it favours less efficient meat diets instead of directly securing basic human food needs. the most obvious solution to reduce pressure on, and conserve, natural systems in the são francisco river basin is the protection of already existing, and the establishment of new, conservation areas. the development of detailed species inventories in differ- ent areas based on scientific biodiversity monitoring support the establishment and recognition of conservation areas for caatinga, including umbuzeiro tree regeneration areas. the mere establish- ment of conservation areas is, however, not effective if there is no clear and realistic management and monitoring plan – and ensur- ing that the plan is followed and put into action. keeping people and livestock out of an area is a demanding task – requiring skilled and committed personnel, fences, compensation payments, and alternative living and working options for the riparian dwellers. an alternative to increased conversion to irrigation intensive agri- cultural production is a mixed strategy of small and medium-scale production opportunities, which are well-adapted to the local con- ditions, with sustainable use of the natural environments that sur- round those production areas. rainfed agriculture is very risky, and seldom successful in the studied semi-arid area of the são francisco basin. almost all cropland farmers have access to at least partial irrigation options, for instance small reservoirs, which dry out from time to time. in order to reduce dependency on irrigation, a com- mon and well-adapted tree species, spondias tuberosa (umbuzeiro), is being promoted. active management and umbuziero tree planting would regenerate the tree population, and increase the production base for the use of the tree’s fruits. umbuzeiro is a multi-purpose tree, which produces fruits for people and livestock, fresh and dry leaves as a feed for goats and sheep, stores water in the root sys- tem, offers shade and has a cultural connotation. sustainable use strategies for the umbuzeiro tree should provide an incentive to maintain the native vegetation, and at the same time improve income opportunities for small-scale family farming figure 1.63: umbuzeiro tree in the caatinga, brazil with heavily grazed under- storey. (marianna siegmund-schultze) (figure 1.63). it can be established within irrigation projects as well as outside in caatinga areas used for grazing. leaving indigenous vegetation that protects naturally germinated tree seedlings has multiple advantages. one of them is biologi- cal pest control (see technology ‘biological pest control page 171 and video). studies in smallholder public irrigation schemes have shown that yields of crops did not increase with herbicide appli- cation, suggesting that farmers can refrain from using herbicides and instead rely on the natural enemies of the pests that live in the vegetation of the understorey and in field margins (cierjacks et al. 2016). amphibians and reptiles that live in the understorey can feed on insects considered pests, such as locust, caterpillars and beetles. an advantage is that an herbaceous layer in a tree planta- tion can be grazed mainly by sheep, giving a dual advantage: by producing animals and simultaneously maintaining the weed bio- mass at an acceptable level. moreover, organic fertilizer alone (such as sheep or goat manure) led to similar yields of banana and coconut as application of mineral fertilizer (cierjacks et al. 2016). hence, farmers who have access to sufficient manure can refrain from buying and applying mineral fertilizer.
44 making sense of research for sustainable land management to easily communicate these recommendations for sustainable har- vesting of wild yam, comic-style illustrations of visual narratives were designed, showing two contrasting scenarios of sustainable – and unsustainable – harvesting techniques (figure 1.66, see approach ‘comic style environmental awareness’ page 235). in order to decrease the pressure on wild yam (dioscorea spp.) and to ensure the in-situ conservation of wild germplasm, cultivation of yam (cultivated and wild species) is strongly recommended on the mahafaly plateau. vegetative regeneration with the upper part of the tuber, and mini-sets were tested in the field. the mini-set tech- nique involves the cutting of ‘mother’ seed tubers into small sets/ pieces of 25-100 g (mini-sets) with a sufficient periderm/ skin from which sprouting occurs after replanting. the differences between tuber and mini-set regeneration were not significant. however, sprouting performance significantly differed between soil types and wild yam species. the use of locally available manure has been reported to increase the yield of cultivated and wild yam species (andriamparany 2015). in order to reduce the pressure on the tamarind, other more abun- dant tree species with rapid growth such as acacia bellula in the coastal zone and albizia polyphylla on the plateau are recom- mended for charcoal production. traditional techniques of char- coal production yield 12 – 35 % of the original biomass as charcoal, which is relatively high, but leaves room for improvement. in addi- tion, the establishment of tamarind tree plantations in villages as well as enhancing its contribution to peoples’ diet through the promotion of more elaborate processing and marketing of local products will help to protect wild tamarind. reducing pressure on forests in madagascar managing forests and non-timber forest products of madagascar context: increased pressure on forests resources and land use and land cover change, slash and burn cultivation due to population growth and low productivity problem: deforestation and overuse of natural vegetation thus scarcity of food and other products, which are collected from the forests (vicious cycle) solution: cultivation by intensifying and making other land use systems more productive and efficient, develop concepts for attractive sustain- able forest use, restoration and reforestation activities on abandoned farmlands, community-based sustainable forest management message: pressure on forests can only be relieved by increasing produc- tion elsewhere – including agroforestry on farms protecting natural vegetation in madagascar managing wild yams and tamarind trees in the savannah of madagascar context: overuse and unsustainable collection of non-timber foresproducts (ntfp) in natural habitats needed to ensure food security and health care problem: population pressure and erosion of traditional taboos leading to overuse of yams and tamarind as supplementary food, medicine and for charcoal production solutions: – awareness-raising for sustainable harvesting of yams – cultivation of yams (with different results on different soil types) – use alternative tree species than tamarind for charcoal production – develop tamarind plantations in villages and better processing for food message: protect natural biodiversity from pressure/ overuse by devel- oping alternatives and sustainable use strategies: however awareness- raising is key wild yam (dioscorea spp.), medicinal plants and tamarind (tama- rindus indica l.) are important non-timber forest products (ntfp) in the mahafaly region of sw madagascar. they are frequently col- lected from natural habitats, and used in various ways by the local people to improve food security and health care. yam is mostly consumed in addition to the daily staple of cassava and maize. however, yam species distribution models and maps showed that the population of wild yam is scarce, and mostly located in restricted areas of open and dry spiny forest where overharvest- ing combined with unsustainable harvest methods threatens the wild yam population (andriamparany et al. 2015). the multipur- pose tamarind trees are mainly used as supplementary food (their fruits are consumed), but also for medicinal purposes – and for traditional ceremonies as they are considered sacred. the tradi- tional belief system, which was fundamental to sacred tree con- servation, appears to be gradually eroding and local people tend now to ignore taboos to log tamarind trees for charcoal produc- tion, and slash and burn agriculture. today, tamarinds belong to the preferred tree species for charcoal production (due to their high calorific value), resulting in a significant density and biomass decline on the plateau during the past 10 years (ranaivoson et al. 2015; figures 1.64 and 1.65). to prevent further degradation and overuse, awareness-raising regarding sustainable collection methods of forest products (wild yam and medical plants) is strongly recommended. after harvest- ing wild yam tubers, collectors should be encouraged to replant the upper part of the tubers in the soil. this action will not only ensure the regeneration of tubers, but will also reduce soil degradation due to the holes left after harvesting which capture runoff and sediment. figure 1.64: logged tamarind tree for charcoal production. (tahiry ranaivoson) figure 1.65: changes in the density of tamarinds on the mahafaly plateau and littoral area, madagascar from 2004/ 2005 to 2012. (tahiry ranaivoson)
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 45 figure 1.66: a scene from the comic showing an unsustainable harvesting technique (top, red) and a recommended sustain- able harvesting technique of wild yam, madagascar (bottom, green). (david weiss) in the mahafaly region of south-western madagascar, ongoing population growth, increasing aridity and unsustainable land use techniques have increased the pressure on forests resources and triggered land use and land cover changes (lulcc) (figure 1.67). over the past 40 years, forest losses amounted to 45% and have led to increasing savannah formation and forest fragmentation. deforestation was greatest in remote locations, and near to small settlements that are poorly connected to infrastructure and main markets, and are relatively young. major direct drivers are slash and burn agriculture (figure 1.68) and charcoal production (figure 1.69) which play an important role in income generation. overex- ploitation of wild species and wood resources, as well as grazing and browsing, may further contribute to forest fragmentation pro- cesses (brinkmann et al. 2014). the loss of natural forests directly affects peoples’ livelihoods since smallholder farmers rely on natu- ral forest products to sustain their daily needs, especially during periods of crop failures. these are fall-back resources for human nutrition and natural medicines. the malagasy farmers are aware that slash and burn agriculture destroys their forest resources. however, they will most likely continue to practice it as long as income alternatives and other promising crop cultivation techniques are lacking – and open space to grab land is available. thus, one potential solution to deforestation is to provide local communities alternatives to slash figure 1.67: general land cover change (lcc) trends from 1973 to 2013 for the whole study region and population trends from 1993 to 2013 for the three districts (betioky-sud, toliara ii and ampanihy in sw madagascar) (brinkmann et al. 2014). and burn cultivation by intensifying production on existing land, and making other land use systems more efficient (improving soil fertility; using drought resistant crop varieties etc.). this will reduce the pressure to further convert forest into agricultural use. additionally, making more attractive the sustainable use of the for- est and of its multiple services has the potential to reduce further deforestation at the landscape level. to achieve this, community- based sustainable forest management is often considered a prom- ising approach, as it not only increases the value of forests for the local population by providing wood and ntfps, but also contributes to the long-term conservation of the forest ecosystem and its bio- diversity. however, results show that the available standing wood stock and growth rates of tree species used for construction, hous- ing or charcoal production are very low in the dry forest ecosystem in the area (not only compared to tropical rain forests, but also com- pared to tropical dry forests in other regions). this poses an obstacle to the successful implementation of sustainable forest manage- ment in the study region. the situation can be improved through the application of silvicultural techniques to increase growth rates, such as enrichment planting of valuable tree species, or thinning of the forest to reduce competition for trees that are selected for future use. further, forest restoration and reforestation activities on abandoned farmlands are recommended to reduce the pressure on remaining natural forests.
46 making sense of research for sustainable land management • making sure that land management does not degrade the natu- ral resources of soil, water and vegetation, while maintaining ecosystem function and services at the heart of sustainable land management. • research results show impacts of different land management practices. some of them lead to degradation of the vegetation, the soil and the water resources. other practices illustrate the potential for improved land management through diversified mixed cropping, grazing and forest/ woodland systems in which land users seek a balance between low risk, stable production and practices with higher risks and potentially greater gains. opportunities and principles for land management in rainfed agri- culture for soil, water and vegetation are as follows: • permanent high degree of cover protects the soil surface from heavy storms, and from exposure to the sun and wind. it thus protects the land from erosion and evaporation loss, and encourages water infiltration. essential is maintenance of crop residues, mulching, rotation, intercropping and agrofor- estry (including nitrogen-fixing legumes), planting of adapted species (e.g. salt/ drought tolerant), conserving natural vegeta- tion (e.g. forests, riparian forests). cover is key, if not the key, to improved land and water management. • minimum soil disturbance by no-till or minimum tillage and direct seeding of crops: leaving more residue and green cover provides environments for enhanced soil biotic activity, and maintains more intact, interconnected pores, and better soil aggregates. carbon dioxide (i.e. ghg) emissions are reduced. improved soil nutrient and water-holding capacity, reduced pests and diseases results; increased farm income too – though there may be a need to adapt or replace current farm machinery. • soil amendments by manuring and composting, green manur- ing, additions of biochar and fertilizer are essential. these all help by building up soil organic matter (som) which aids soil structure and health, as well as fertility. compost and manure help to close the nutrient cycle – and integrated crop-livestock management has a central role to play. appropriate supple- mentation (of limiting nutrients) with inorganic fertilizers is often required. another potential is trapping of sediments and nutrients in areas with soil and wind erosion. • adapted irrigation water management for improved drainage, salt flushing and water use efficiency can help in specific areas. • cultivation and selection of the most adapted and appropriate crops: drought tolerant, salinity tolerant, adapted to available nutrient levels and the local soil properties. avoiding depletion of soil fertility and water resources, or the diversity of the sur- rounding vegetation. figure 1.68: slash and burn for cultivating maize on the mahafaly plateau. (katja brinkmann) figure 1.69: deforestation driver: charcoal production on the mahafaly plateau. (tahiry ranaivoson) conclusions the challenges addressed by research at the local level are related to ongoing or increasing land degradation of soil, water and vegetation. soil fertility decline due to: • loss of soil cover, loss of soil organic matter, decline in soil struc- ture – as a consequence of soil erosion by water; • agricultural intensification with lack of organic fertilization and amendments, a significant increase in inorganic fertilizer appli- cation, a simplification or abandonment of crop rotations, and a trend towards growing more cereal crops which are vulnerable to losing their productivity due to nutrient mining; and • soil salinization and pollution through intensification in conven- tional agricultural systems, including irrigation. growing water stress due to: • increasing demands especially on irrigation water; climate change already affecting rainfall and irrigation water availability; • recurrent drought and flood events, and non-adapted land use leading to the paradox that in the same place, at different times, there can be either too little or too much water; • climate change (rainfall patterns and amounts) and climate extremes make efficient use of rainwater now, and for the future, an increasingly pressing issue; • inefficient rainfed and irrigation water use; • non-productive evaporation of rainfall or irrigated water with- out conservation measures: currently between 40-70% and this large loss is unrecognised (figure 1.70); and • surface runoff is both loss of water and the main cause of land degradation by soil erosion: therefore, the need to manage water better in all zones. degrading vegetation and cover in natural, semi-natural systems: • increasing pressure on natural and semi-natural habitats threat- ening biodiversity and ecosystems. challenges and opportunities for rainfed agricultural systems at the local level the challenges for land management in rainfed agriculture for soil, water and vegetation are as follows: • first and foremost, the nexus between soil, water, and veg- etation must be recognised and respected, and interventions should be aimed at addressing all of them.
chapter 1 local slm strategies: the soil, vegetation, water and climate nexus 47 • decreased land degradation – especially the loss of surface water and erosion and downstream sedimentation by applying the above principles and (where necessary) utilising cross-slope barriers with vegetative or structural barriers trapping sedi- ments and nutrients. • harvest water in all systems from small-scale subsistence farm- ing to commercial crop production. water harvesting and stor- age in the soil during times of rainfall excess and using during times of water deficits has great potential for further application especially in arid and semi-arid environments. but even in the humid climates periods of water shortage occur and water har- vesting practices play a crucial role in bridging these dry spells or seasons. • even though not explicitly proven by the research projects, many promising land management practices improve the micro- climate by protecting soils and water resources from exposure to wind and the sun. they balance extreme temperatures and reduce exposure of the natural resources to radiation, wind and temperature stress. water – the limiting resource in irrigated agriculture – challenges and opportunities in areas with low and insecure rainfall, irrigation continues to play an important role in increasing crop production and food supply. currently globally 20% of the agricultural land is under irrigation and produces 40% of the total agricultural production. however, freshwater withdrawals for irrigated agriculture is about 70% of total freshwater use (fao 2014). water scarcity, for irrigated crop production is a common challenge. the challenges for irrigated agriculture are: • water already is, and will become, more and more a limiting factor in agricultural production, be it rainfed or irrigated. there are conflicts over water between different users and uses (agri- culture, industrial and domestic). already ongoing over-exploi- tation of the water resources will have serious repercussions and drawbacks. • climate change and climate extremes are likely to affect water availability with increasing droughts, dry spells, increased rain- storms followed by expanded dry periods leading to increasing water scarcity and hence decreasing crop yields and risk of crop failures – as well as availability of water for hydropower genera- tion and other uses. • coupled with water scarcity and current irrigation practices is the severe expansion and severity of salinization in the soil, and also of surface and groundwater resources. intrusions of salt water into freshwater aquifers is a global and growing threat to freshwater supplies of cities and well as irrigation supplies. the opportunities and principles for irrigated agriculture are: • due to water scarcity and high investment costs for irrigation, the first principle is related to non-irrigated areas to make best use through rainwater and adopt water conserving practices in order to reduce the demand for further irrigation water. • harvest water wherever possible. water storage and harvesting has great potential for further application especially in arid and semi-arid environments. multiple claims on the use of reservoir water needs strong management skills – especially balancing the claims for hydropower, irrigation and ecological flows. • the following principles are additional and related to irrigated small, and large-scale, land management: – – sprinkler – or even drip irrigation – rather than flood irrigation – – improved timing of irrigation – – choice of drought resistant/ tolerant or water-efficient crops: sugar cane is controversial in brazil because of its water consumption and use as biofuel figure 1.70: productive water (transpiration) and water losses (evaporation and runoff) without water conserving measures in drylands. (liniger et al. 2011) – – consider carefully intensive production of cotton in arid areas because of its many trade-offs with water availability and salinization – – re-use drainage water – – introduce water quotas/ pricing to make water use more effi- cient, and by reducing demand, ‘release’ extra water becomes available for natural vegetation – – adapt irrigation management to local soil and water condi- tions to avoid or decrease salinization integrated management of natural, semi-natural systems the challenge is to sustain and improve livelihoods – but not at the expense of degradation and over-exploitation of natural and semi- natural ecosystems. this implies coping with the multiple demands for food and non-food production including biofuels, fodder to be supplied from natural forests, woodlands and grasslands. the challenges are to: • reduce deforestation and conversion of forests/ natural habitats into agricultural or urban land • reduce wood extraction, and overexploitation of wild species • avoid overexploitation for charcoal and fuelwood production • limit overgrazing and overexploitation of natural vegetation by livestock • manage the increased pressure on natural systems during the dry season and drought years to supply food, fodder, biofuel and timber and non-timber products the opportunities and principles for the management of natural, semi-natural systems are to: • reduce pressure on (semi-) natural systems by intensification of production on the current agricultural land • build fodder banks and introduce multiplication of fodder plants • introduce zoning, and rotational grazing • integrate crop and livestock management • value the natural environment and develop practices for its use and preservation • develop alternative use and income generation by adding value to the semi-natural state of the land e.g. through ecotourism • develop practices of careful management of semi-natural areas, trying to reconcile conservation and use • integrate conservation/ production practices into ecosystems for better service provision, and combine with carbon sequestra- tion: think ‘multiple co-benefits’
48 making sense of research for sustainable land management landscape management – adapting to climate change chapter 2 north sea germany, hanspeter liniger
49 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change at the landscape or watershed level, different land uses and their management are combined and connected. this is often from a mountain top to the slopes and onto the valley or coastal shoreline, or within a watershed from the humid upstream mountain areas to the dryland areas or flood plains. landscapes and watersheds can be small or relatively large, but always there are connections or dependencies between the different elements within. the most obvious example is water with its origins and supply from the upstream areas down to streams, rivers, lakes, swamps or the sea. the landscape level integrates various local land management practices and their impacts and interrelations. these landscapes can embrace contrasting natural environments (humid-arid, steep-flat) as well as the human population that inhabits and utilises them (farmers, pastoralists and other rural and urban dwellers). introduction because of the environmental and human interactions, the chal- lenges are to reduce the conflicts and damaging impacts arising from unsustainable land management within one part of the land- scape and its impacts in the adjacent/ dependent part (off-site). or, in a positive sense, the opportunities are to enhance synergies of local good land management of one group of land users in one area of the landscape with other land users and uses in other areas - or to compensate for negative impacts in one area by positive ones in the other, resulting in an overall positive impact. interactions and interdependence can be at different scales, between the same and different land use systems neighbouring each other or within a watershed or ‘windshed’ far apart, causing and/or being affected by major off-site impacts. common con- necting agents at the landscape level include water (watershed), wind (‘windshed’: including the area affected by winds and wind- transported elements such as dust, sand, soil, and pollutants), veg- etation and natural corridors (forest strips, hedges, for animals like predators, etc.) for biodiversity and pest and disease management. as interactions between different land uses and users are even more prominent at landscape level/ scale than at the very local scale, they also become more complex, especially when it comes to the interaction between land users and land uses. strategies for production, climate change mitigation and adapta- tion, and preservation of ecosystems have to be integrated from local to regional, and from national to international scales to develop reliable and sustainable solutions. the ‘water topic’ natu- rally is most prominent in this chapter because the water cycle crosses scales, whereas soil (except for soil erosion by wind) and vegetation are less mobile.
50 making sense of research for sustainable land management examples of these integrated strategies at the landscape level can be seen in three areas: • river basin management the most prominent need for cooperation is in river basin man- agement, dealing with multiple and often conflicting claims (hydropower, agriculture, industry, natural ecosystems and households) on water availability, multiple impacts on water quality under changes related to climate, but also demands for services within river basins or watersheds. • protection and use of riparian forests for ensuring water quality riparian forests are, or should be, protected for their multiple effects (groundwater recharge, water quality improvement, pre- venting soil loss, biodiversity). rivers transverse the whole land- scape and thus, such riparian forests are important throughout. these ecosystem services (ess) become especially visible in com- bination with adjacent crop cultivation – both rainfed and irri- gated. • coastal zone management in coastal zones, different land uses have to be combined to sustainable land management (slm) strategies especially in situ- ations where a changing climate leads to rising sea levels and a change in the freshwater – saltwater balance. an important practice is preserving or restoring marine ecosystems as natural coastal protection. practices described in chapter 1 are referenced here to show their effects on a larger scale, and in combination with other measures and land uses. 2.1 land and water management in river basins a river basin is the geographical area where all the runoff water is drained by a river and its tributaries and is conveyed to the same outlet. land and water uses upstream affects water availability for downstream societies. changing, and in most cases increasing, upstream and downstream claims on – and uses of – water are challenges for management. additionally, land use changes might lead to higher runoff and risks for floods in the downstream areas and to droughts and desertification on the other hand. the chal- lenge is to deal with both water scarcity and flash floods; both are likely to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. the main drivers of change are increasing pressure from popula- tion growth, with ever greater demands for water, energy and food. the high complexity of the interaction between different water and land uses within a river basin, as well as the investi- gations into different scenarios of future development requires support from science – including integrated modelling methods. however, research often lacks resources as well as cooperation from various stakeholders and sectors involved in a river basin manage- ment – having different, and partly hidden, interests. four examples of land and water management in river basins are presented as follows: • water management in the vu gia thu bon (vgtb) river basin in central vietnam • water management in the okavango basin and delta • managing water scarcity and quality in the são francisco river basin, brazil • measures to restore water-environment interactions, são fran- cisco river basin, brazil water management in the vu gia thu bon (vgtb) river basin in central vietnam matching hydropower, irrigation, drinking water needs and protection of lowlands from salt water intrusion (vietnam) context: modification of the hydrological system through damming and diversion of river water for hydropower generation; increasing climate variability and climate change effects (less rain and uneven distribution); salt water intrusion due to lack of discharge from upstream; downstream water scarcity due to over-abstraction (irrigation and domestic water use) problem: – water scarcity in dry season for all users – increasing risk of salt water intrusion affecting irrigation and domestic use solution: model-based and integrated river basin management; facili- tated dialogue/ platform; coordinated river basin water management to serve all needs in different seasons (mix of measures); adapted hydro- power reservoir operation to downstream demand; improved water use efficiency and prevented salt water intrusion by mix of measures message: solutions to fulfil multiple demands for the catchment’s water resources can best be achieved by a mixture of decision-support based on scientifically sound system understanding and modelling and discus- sion platforms between stakeholders: both local and from the scientific community context in tropical catchments e.g. of south east asia, most attention is paid to flood risk management, although water shortage and droughts are the most frequent and devastating disasters in terms of economic losses (navuth 2007; adamson and bird 2010; geng et al. 2016; terink et al. 2013). catchment systems on the one hand are modified by various human interventions causing water scarcity, and on the other are exposed to frequent droughts. the vu gia thu bon river basin (vgtb) in central vietnam is a heav- ily modified system due to hydropower development and opera- tion as well as intensive, irrigated agriculture. additionally, water scarcity in the vgtb river basin is exacerbated by large-scale cli- matic variability, causing increasing meteorological and hydrologi- cal drought events, and increasingly uneven distribution of rainfall. the river basin consists of two main river systems, comprising the vu gia in the northern part, and the thu bon river in the south- ern (figure 2.1). the northern catchment of the vu gia is drier and smaller than the larger and wetter southern catchment of the thu bon. but the water demand in the lower reaches and delta of the vu gia is much higher than that of the thu bon, due to larger irri- gation schemes in the delta and the city of da nang. despite this imbalance, water is diverted from the vu gia river to the thu bon and several hydropower dams in the upper catchment are influ- encing water discharge in the river (figure 2.1). the vu gia-thu bon river basin is ranked fourth in vietnam for potential hydropower generation capacity after the da, dong nai and se san river systems. the total generation of hydropower was 3,985 twh in 2013 (ministry of industry and trade 2014). if com- pared to an average consumption of 1415 kwh per capita at the country level, the total electricity produced by hydropower in the vgtb outweighs the estimated consumption (total 3.5 twh). in 2013, six large-scale hydropower plants, the a vuong, song tranh 2, song con 2, song bung 2, and song bung 6, came into operation. in addition, the dakmi 4 hydropower station has been operating since 2012, and is diverting water from the vu gia to the thu bon to increase its efficiency (figure 2.1). the diversion reduces vu gia’s discharge to the lower areas of the basin, in which large areas of irrigated agriculture and da nang city are
51 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change situated. another diversion at the quang hue river in the lowlands was established in the 1980s to prevent flooding of the city of da nang. it still diverts water to the thu bon taking away water from the vu gia before it reaches the large irrigated areas and the city. in the dry season, and especially in times of drought, this leads to shortages in irrigation water and drinking water supply for the city of da nang. in addition, it further increases the problem of salt water intrusion in the vu gia. figure 2.2 shows the volume of water taken away from the vu gia river at thanh my station due to hydropower operation upstream (see figure 2.1). the dashed line shows the observed discharge volume dur- ing the dry season of 2013 (from 01 april to 01 september) while the upper black line indicates the natural discharge with- out hydropower impacts. due to hydro- power operation, the discharge in the dry season is reduced to about half. increasing water demand from the demand side, water shortage is caused by increasing water demand for food, energy, tourism and industry due to population growth, urbanization and soci- oeconomic development. so far, there is no drought risk regulation in vietnam and this is compounded by a lack of information and research on drought impacts, frequency and characteristics. hence, based on a complex assessment and a modelling framework, initial results related to drought characterization for the vu-gia sub-basin – as well as recom- mendations for appropriate management strategies – have been determined. as shown in figure 2.2 the impact of hydropower development upstream has reduced downstream dry season discharge of the vu gia river to about half (at times even to 40%) affecting the water supply of about 1.7 million residents and rice farm- ers. the potential impact of hydropower projects on downstream water availability was not discussed with downstream water users and other relevant stakeholders dur- ing the development of hydropower con- struction plans. this has directly led to water availability problems and conflicts, especially affecting the drinking water supply plant, cao do, of the city of da nang – and rice irrigation also. hence, in order to improve the decision-making process and to solve the water scarcity prob- lems in the region, the simulation results were discussed with the hydropower generators and the water users in the estuary. general management recommendations for the decision-makers in management of the vgtb river basin are as follows: • establishment of an independent platform for the stakeholders involved to become aware of the seasonal demand of all water users and to improve allocation; • optimisation of hydropower/ reservoir operation based on mul- tiple objectives (e.g. irrigation, floods, disaster management, and environmental flows); • development of a drought management plan for the vu gia river to ensure adapted management of water resources; • establishment of an early warning system, based on improved climate and discharge monitoring, especially in the upstream mountainous part; and • improvement of the monitoring framework: establishing hydro- meteorological stations, especially in the upstream part of the basin. figure 2.1: topographical map of the vgtb river basin highlighting the hydropower plants/ reservoirs and the two diversions from vu gia to thu bon, vietnam (nauditt et al., 2016). figure 2.2: impact of dak mi 4 hydropower operation and the consequent diversion of water from vu gia to thu bon on the discharge of the vu gia river measured at thanh my station, vietnam at the border of the upland catchment to the delta region in 2013 (see also figure 2.1) (nauditt et al. 2016).
52 making sense of research for sustainable land management the special case of salt water intrusion sea level rise, decreasing river flow to the delta region due to growing upstream damming and diversion for hydropower gen- eration, as well as river water abstractions for rice irrigation, have led to a growing risk of saltwater intrusion during the dry season in the delta region. the immediate challenges related to decreased dry season flows are: • improper spatially and temporarily water allocation due to lack of effective cooperation among different water users, both up- and downstream; • diminished flow of vu gia during the dry season, which cannot repel saltwater intrusion at the intakes of irrigation pumping stations, and urban water supply schemes; • sea level rise and amplified tides increasing the intrusion of salt- water; and • yield losses and problems with urban water supply during peri- ods of saltwater intrusions. drought disasters in the vgtb river basin estuary are essentially characterized by salinity intrusion. saltwater intrusion is recog- nized as a severe threat to the local socio-economy in the popu- lated vgtb estuary. water above the salinity threshold of 1 parts per trillion (ppt) can enter up to 15 km landwards during dry peri- ods. values exceeding 0.1 g/l are a threat to drinking water, and consequently force the drinking water supply plant at cau do sta- tion (figure 2.2) to stop their water abstractions from the vu gia main stream where it is located. for agriculture, the salt threshold of 1.0 g/l for irrigation is applied and when salinity in river water exceeds this value, pumping stations are turned off. figure 2.4: controlling drainage flows from paddy farms to reduce discharge of drainage water and reusing it for irrigation. this improves irrigation efficiency, and reduces the demand for irrigation water from the rivers – and does not deplete the river flow and thus hinders saltwater intrusion, vietnam. (trinh quoc viet) currently existing measures to address this problem are: • building temporary sandy saltwater obstruction dams during dry periods. these dams are destroyed during the first floods of the rainy season (figure 2.3); • operating the barrage system to facilitate discharge from upstream to push back salt water; • reducing irrigation return flow, storing it and reusing it (figure 2.4, see technology ‘reuse of return flow in rice’ page 271); and • installing standby pumping stations further upstream, where they are not affected by salt water and can provide fresh water for the water treatment plant, cau do, that supplies water for the city of da nang. in a modelling and scenario development exercise, the spatial and temporal salt water intrusion risk and the spatial vulnerability of different land users (irrigation schemes and settlements) was cal- culated (viet, 2014). the impact of saltwater intrusion on agricultural production in the vgtb lowlands was calculated through the application of a numerical model-based risk assessment framework. after model calibration, five modelled-based scenarios (table 2.1) were run to simulate changes in salt water intrusion under different frame- work conditions: • different conditions of river discharge from upstream; • alterations in water use due to land use changes: required irriga- tion demand and domestic water use; • changes through sea level rise; • human intervention by adaptation measures. no scenario (s) influencing factors discharge from upstream of thu bon and of vu gia (m3 /s) baseline year 2005 water demand for irrigation and for domestic use (m3 /s) sea level rise with/ without adaptation measures s1 current state thu bon: as in 2005 vu gia: as in 2005 irrigation as in 2005 domestic as in 2005 0 cm without s2 mid-term without adaptation measures (~2030) thu bon: as 2005 + 40 m3 /s vu gia: as 2005 irrigation as 2005 -1 m3 /s domestic as 2005 +1 m3 /s + 15 cm without s3 as scenario s2 as scenario s2 as scenario s2 + 15 cm with s4 long-term without adaptation measures (~2080) as scenario s2 irrigation as 2005 -1 m3 /s domestic as 2005 +3 m3 /s + 50 cm without s5 as s4 as scenario s2 as scenario s4 + 50 cm with table 2.1: scenarios for dry season river discharge to assess the risk of salt water intrusion in thu bon and of vu gia rivers, vietnam. figure 2.3: a temporary saltwater obstruction made of sand on the vinh dien river, vietnam. these structures will be destroyed by the first floods of the wet season. (trinh quoc viet)
53 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change figure 2.5: saltwater intrusion hazard (swi) for the current state (scenario 1), mid-term 2030 (scenario 2 and 3) and long-term 2080 (scenario 4 and 5) in the delta of the vu gia and thu bon rivers, vietnam , without/with adaptation meas- ures. (trinh quoc viet) the baseline is the discharge and water demand for irriga- tion water as measured in 2005 (a relatively dry year). the dis- charge of the thu bon river in scenario 2-5 is increased by 40 m3 /s due to the operation of the dakmi 4 power plant and its diversion of water from the vu gia river. in the vu gia river this is calculated to be compensated for by the reser- voirs operative after 2017. the changes in water demand in scenario 2-5 are based on the calculation of land use changes due to increasing expansion of cities into agricultural areas, which increases domestic use and decreases the demand for irrigation water. the adaptation measures incorporated in the model are: • control of the water diver- sion from vu gia to thu bon by building a regulatory installation at quang hue (a diversion in the lowlands), thus reducing the diversion of the calculated 40 m3 /s (see figure 2.6, measure no. 2). • obstruction of salt water in the vu gia delta (new per- manent weir instead of tem- porary sand dams) (see figure 2.6, measure no. 3). the modelled outputs of these scenarios were used to iden- tify the pumping stations that were being subjected to salt- water intrusion. the hazard to a pumping station is also a threat to the irrigated areas that receive water from the stations. these hazards were mapped (figure 2.5) and adaptation measures were suggested to address saltwater intrusion. for the current state scenario (s1), around 7,000 ha of agricultural land are under risk. although saltwater intrusion increases without counter-measures under the model, in 2030 and 2080 less agricultural land would be affected because of the conver- sion into settlements – although the severity of the risk would be increasing. scenarios s3 and s5 show the capability of adaptation measures to minimise the negative impacts of saltwater intrusion, as compared to s2 and s4 respectively. based on these scenarios a proposal for adaptation measures was suggested to address saltwater intrusion (figure 2.6). these meas- ures were formulated through field investigations, the consulta- tion of local experts and numerical simulation: 1) modification of the barrage operation redistributing upstream flow of estuarine tributaries by using the existing 4 barrage system. this is technically feasible with- out any further investment, but would require close cooperation between irrigation companies and water supply plants. 2) controlling the water diversion from vu gia to thu bon via quang hue river the quang hue diverts approximately 35 - 43% upstream flow of the vu gia to the thu bon. vu gia’s diminished flow can cause severe saltwater intrusion downstream, where a large amount of freshwater is required for irrigation, salt control and urban uses. regulating this diversion flow helps to increase vu gia’s flow into the delta. current 2030 2030 2080 2080 20302030 20802080
54 making sense of research for sustainable land management 3) construction of a saltwater obstruction a new concrete dam as a saltwater obstruction is proposed downstream from the pumping stations on the vu gia river, instead of sand dams (see figure 2.3 page 52). this will be built in 2017. it will control saltwater intrusion into the lower parts of the vu gia and keep it away from all pumping stations even under extreme low flow. 4) improving irrigation efficiency by use of return flow from paddy farms substantial amounts of water applied to paddy farms are ‘lost’ in drainage, and it is valuable to store the drained water for re-irrigating in water shortage periods. this has been applied very successfully at tu cau irrigation scheme, which is severely affected by saltwater intrusion, and is being piloted in other schemes (see figure 2.4 page 52). 5) ensuring discharge from upstream by coordinating hydroelectric reservoirs a multi-reservoir operation procedure is required to coordinate the discharge release of reservoirs. a minimum flow of approx. 150 m3 /s in total is needed to control saltwater intrusion with- out any other measures. during the dry season of 2014, under the coordination of quangnam people’s committee, hydroelec- tricity reservoirs contributed positively to control saltwater intru- sion (figure 2.7). in the dry season, available discharge regularly falls below the required 150m3 /s. thus a combination of measure 5 with the other measures is needed to prevent saltwater intrusion. saltwater intru- sion in the vu gia thu bon and other coastal areas is becoming a severe problem, and is receiving increasing attention from local and national water stakeholders in the fields of hydropower gen- eration, irrigation, resource management, environment and water supply. the need for cross-sector coordination and cooperation to develop joint management strategies for the river basin is becom- ing increasingly evident. beyond analysing problems and developing model-based recom- mendations, research institutions are able to take a neutral, objec- tive, position within this ‘stakeholder landscape’ and can help balance the benefits and responsibilities between the different interests. a first step to create the necessary platform and support dialogue between the different groups of water and land users is the vgtb-river basin information centre in da nang established by the research project (figure 2.8; see chapter 5 page 114). too much water/ flash floods the vu gia thu bon lowlands in the rainy season is character- ized by short and large-scale fluvial floods. minor fluvial floods may occur more than once per season while extreme fluvial floods occur every 20 - 30 years. the ongoing land use change, and cli- mate change in the upstream mountainous area together with the ongoing reservoir management will intensify the flooding. while damage to agriculture is low, floods in the vgtb lowlands are causing significant damage to settlement areas. development plans foresee major changes focusing on an enlargement of urban and industrial areas. this intensive expansion is taking place within the floodplains. flood risk scenarios for 2030 have been developed to compare what is likely to happen if adaptation measures are implemented or not. the scenario for flood protection shows that the simulated hydrau- lic measures (additional discharge and river deepening) will not be sufficient to cope with flood risks. the simulation results led to the recommendation to focus on ‘flood adapted land use’. this implies keeping the regularly flooded areas as free as possible from sensi- tive land use (mainly settlements and agriculture). heavy tropical rainfall can fill reservoirs within one day, and afterwards lead to flooding if water from the rivers cannot be discharged fast enough. figure 2.6: recommended adaptation measures to address saltwater intrusion and their location in the lowlands of two river deltas, vietnam. brown circles indicate pumping stations for irrigation water and red lines indicate temporary dams to stop salt water intrusion. (viet 2014) figure 2.7: an trach barrage on the vu gia river, vietnam. a similar weir could be constructed further downstream as permanent protection against salt water intrusion (measure no. 3). (trinh quoc viet) figure 2.8: stakeholder workshop in vietnam: presentation of modeling results of different scenarios for coastal zone management and its effects on salt water intrusion. (alexandra nauditt)
55 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change water management in the okavango basin and delta upstream-downstream water relations within the okavango basin context: the okavango delta with its rich biodiversity is dependent on the current water regime, where the uplands in angola (forests and swamps) buffer the flow and extraction of water along the river. but irrigation is increasing, especially in namibia affecting flow rates (and nutrient inputs) in the dry season, while the effects of cc are leading to higher and more frequent floods in the wet season and reduced flow in the dry season problem: rice production developments may result in eutrophication of the water in the catchment. currently, increasing yields and responding to growing food demands by rapidly growing populations is through expan- sion, but often on unsuitable land. additionally, the growing demand for irrigation reduces flow into the lower parts of the river (delta) in the dry season solutions: – river basin management across sectors and borders (e.g. okacom is a tripartite board with members from angola, namibia and botswana that meets to discuss issues), integrated cc-adaptation planning – sustainable intensification and crops adapted to natural conditions, not only to conserve land but also water; instead of large-scale indus- trial agriculture with irrigation etc. – balanced water needs for production and biodiversity in the upper regions of the basin message: to protect biodiversity and secure environmentally important river flows while feeding a growing population across three national fron- tiers requires cooperation, coordination and consensus the okavango basin includes areas of angola, namibia and the delta region in botswana with its famously rich biodiversity. the survival of this internationally recognized biodiversity hot spot is dependent on sufficient discharge of the okavango river and clean water, which is affected by many water and land uses throughout the catchment. overall river basin management is essential, based on sustainable land management strategies balancing people’s needs, seasonal water availability and nature conservation require- ments. this integrated management approach is challenged by the fact that users from different countries and different land uses benefit unequally from the scarce resource: the water of the oka- vango river (figure 2.9). the water regime annual flow rates from the angolan highlands to the okavango delta have been simulated with calibrated hydrological models. an upstream-downstream natural flow pattern, and the hydro- logical regime of the major tributaries from the angolan high- lands and the middle reaches at the angolan-namibian border, have been assessed. the majority of the water flow is generated during the rainy season in the angolan highlands in the catchments of the two main tribu- taries cuito and cubango (figure 2.10). here, peatlands within the figure 2.9: overview of vegetative areas in the okavango catchment with the location of the four core research sites: cusseque (cu); caiundo (ca); mashare (ma); seronga (se). the outline of the catchment in the climate scenarios below is slightly different and shows the whole hydrological catchment. (jona luther- mosebach) discharge [m 3 /s] figure 2.10: discharge of the oka- vango river at four water gauges from north to south: cubango/ cuito, mohembo (namibia) and maun (bot- swana) in relation to the precipitation measured at two stations in angola (menongue and cuito cuanavale). the discharge at the station in maun is mul- tiplied by 10 to illustrate the migration of the peak of the water flow towards the dry season. during the angolan civil war from 1975 until 2002 , most data got lost and measurement equip- ment destroyed. only old data from the archives were available. (hendrik göhmann) cuito cuanavale cuito mohembo cubango
56 making sense of research for sustainable land management valleys stabilize water quality and buffer peak flows. the river water entering the middle reaches in namibia is of very good quality and only minor fluctuations can be detected during the year. further- more, the load of nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus decreases towards the okavango ‘panhandle’ which indicates that the river system is able to chemically buffer a certain amount of nutrients in the river discharge (vushe 2014). the cuito, a main tributary with a strongly buffered flow regime, crosses the kalahari basin without substantial conflux over a stretch of 280 km. due to considerable meandering, the main stream has a length of about 450 km and a slope of only 0.2 m km-1 . about 650 km2 of wetlands on sandy soils are associated with this river section, and these are able to store water in times of upstream peak flows – and to release water in times of low flows. the cuito has a more even flow pattern, without the high peaks due to the rainy season in the summer (november-march). it is also the river that provides the delta with the necessary flood during the dry season (see red line in figure 2.10). however, this discharge would be reduced if plans for large-scale irrigated rice production along the cuito arm were implemented. water that is generated during the wet season in the highlands of angola feeds into the delta during the dry season, making it a hugely important refuge for wildlife during harsh times, when water is limited in the surrounding area (figure 2.11). the flood reaches its maximum extent during the dry season (june to august) and provides the delta’s biodiversity with water at a time when it is otherwise scarce. the current climate projections for the water flow regime, including all likely future changes, result in both higher and more frequent floods in the wet season, and reduced flows during the dry season. here, the impacts of climate change up to 2030 will only have minor effects on the amount of river water reaching the delta. in contrast, land use/ cover change will influence the flow pattern more. the change in flow patterns will mean a dramatic impact on the lower reaches of the okavango river (proepper et al. 2015). a changing climate increases fluctuations of water discharge the future climate change scenarios for the catchment of the oka- vango generally reveal decreasing availability of water due to an increase in temperature and a decline in precipitation. for the far future (2071-2100), the regional climate model remo, enforced by two different general circulation models (gcms): echam and ec-earth, projects an increase in temperature of 2.0°c to 3.0°c under the low emission scenario (rcp4.5) (figure 2.12 a/c) and of 5.0°c to 6.5 °c under the high emission scenario (rcp8.5) (fig- ure 2.12 b/d) for the basin. furthermore, the projections indicate change in mean daily precipitation between -1.5 mm and +1.0 mm over the whole basin under the low emission scenario (figure 2.13 a/c). under the high emission scenario, the regional climate model projects a reduction of up to -2.0 mm for almost all areas of the basin, except for the uppermost north showing an increase up to 1.5 mm (figure 2.13 b/d). the wetter highlands under both models will become wetter, while the drier lowlands will become drier. this is much more pronounced in the high emission scenar- ios compared with the low emission scenarios. the high emission scenario reflects ‘business-as-usual’. projected climate change will affect the current rainfall pat- tern, by producing a shortened rainfall season (20 days reduc- tion) and a partly reduced amount of precipitation in this part of the headwaters. current average annual rainfall is 725 mm in the catchment. furthermore, the middle and lower reaches may face considerable changes in their already low amounts of annual rainfall (-150 mm to -250 mm) and an increased tempera- ture (+1.5°c to +2.5°c)]. model simulations show that changing climate conditions up to 2030 will affect the amount of river water flowing towards the delta by less than 4% in general (pos- itive and negative). quantitative elaboration is difficult, as the comparison of simulated data for projections into the future and data analysis from historical measured values are not consistent. but the general trends suggest that water will be more scarce during the dry season, and this will affect all of the current land uses. managing these fluctuations and scarcities requires a basin- wide cc adaptation strategy. figure 2.11: map showing the enhanced vegetation index (evi) derived from modis terra 16-day-compos- ites for the okavango delta and surroundings. the evi relates to green biomass cover and is illustrated as examples from the wet (03/12/2010) and the dry season (12/07/2010). additionally, the flood extent of the delta is shown. the delta is fed by water from the angolan highland areas. (marion stellmes)
57 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change figure 2.12: projected changes by the regional climate model remo for annual mean temperature [°c] for 2071-2100 compared to 1971-2000, okavango basin. the upper row shows the echam and the bottom row the ec-earth forcing (gcm models). left: low emission scenario (rcp4.5) and right: high emission scenario (rcp8.5). (torsten. weber) figure 2.13: projected changes by the regional climate model remo for december-february mean daily precipitation [mm] for 2071-2100 compared to 1971-2000, okavango basin. the upper row shows the echam and the bottom row the ec-earth forcing (gcm models). left: low emission scenario (rcp4.5) and right: high emission scenario (rcp8.5). (torsten. weber) changing water demand by land use along the river the water of the okavango, throughout the entire catchment area, is utilized in various ways to meet social needs and to provide food stability and wellbeing. major settlements along the river, as well as small villages along tributaries, extract drinking water from its reaches. due to the sparsely populated catchment area, water abstraction for domestic supply has only a minor influence on flow rates and river discharge into the okavango delta (figure 2.14). until now, the production of agro-industrial goods along the rivers has been focused along the riverside in the namibian part of the catchment. on these agro-industrial sites river water is utilized for large-scale irrigation techniques to grow cash crops such as maize in the wet, and wheat in the dry, seasons (box 2.2). box 2.2: water withdrawal for irrigation in namibia the current water extraction in namibia is calculated to 4.3 m3 /s in total, future plans to expand irrigation agriculture on an area of 156 km2 in namibia are restricted to a total of 22.5 m3 /s river water extraction. the current water withdrawal before the cuito confluence reaches around 2.3 m³/s and must not exceed 5.5 m³/s, while downstream areas currently abstract around 2 m³/s, but will reach 17 m³/s through future planned schemes (liebenberg 2009). figure 2.14: okavango river and floodplains near rundu, namibia in the wet season. (alexander gröngröft)
58 making sense of research for sustainable land management in addition, within the headwaters in angola, a number of large irrigations projects have recently been established, and others are in the planning stage. the rapid expansion of water extraction for irrigation in the headwaters is likely to affect dry season flow rates, and water quality by the accumulation of nitrate from fertilizers washed into the river. significant expansion of dryland fields in the area of the miombo and baikaia woodlands in angola has already been observed. around the centres of urbanisation and along the lines of set- tlements the proportion of smallholder fields has doubled in the last 20 years. this deforestation will affect the flow regimes in the headwaters of the catchment by increasing total flows in the wet season (see chapter 3 page 82). runoff simulations that include deforestation effects lead to a stronger flood pulse during the rainy season, and stable or reduced low flow patterns. the peak flows appeared to be increased by 7% in general. the okavango delta in botswana is dependent on inflow and evaporation. if inflow is reduced in the middle regions through increased irrigation and more conversion of forest to cropland in the upper regions, water supply and thus biodiversity is threatened by water scarcity and salinization. climate change increases stress on both. a basic recommendation from current research is to improve monitoring and gain a better understand- ing of the water regime of the delta to be able to determine the minimum flow necessary to prevent degradation and loss of bio- diversity in the delta. this knowledge is vital for sustainable man- agement of the rest of the basin. optimized distribution of agricultural production the biophysical conditions (climate, water availability and soil fertility) for crop production are crucial to the flow regime – but are relatively unequally distributed within the okavango basin. whereas in the central and northern parts of the okavango catch- ment, summer rainfalls tend to be sufficient for the production of maize, cassava and other crops, contrastingly, in the southern part, local farmers regularly experience years of low rainfall with low yields or crop failures, despite the focus on pearl millet as the main staple crop – an indigenous cereal that is well adapted to dry spells (weber 2013). yet expansion of land for crop production in the sparsely populated zones – and thus ‘unused’ areas of sub- saharan africa – is often seen as an option to cope with future food demands. this is an illusion. the preferred landscape units for crop production are upper floodplains, dry river beds and fossil alluvial deposits, where soils are substantially more fertile than in the expansive areas of deep kalahari sands. estimation of the yield potential shows that, irrespective of landscape units, nitrogen in particular is deficient and in some places phosphorus also. traditional crop produc- tion with low grain yields per hectare depends on the possibility of continuous expansion of fields into pristine areas in search of increased soil fertility (figure 2.15). crop yields in the okavango region vary with the climatic gradient from the head to the tail of the basin. stable and comparably high yields in the semi-humid highlands of the upper catchment in cen- tral angola are in strong contrast to the low and erratic yields of the semi-arid sections of the lower okavango basin. the latter phe- nomenon is partially caused by using rainfed farming practices that are better adapted to more favourable agro-climatic conditions and lower population density – as in the angolan highlands – which are poorly suited to the soils and climate of the lower and drier basin. to a certain extent, these practices have been ‘imported’ through the migration of people and their customs to the semi-arid areas of the river basin. however, in the delta region of the catchment a farming practice known as molapo farming is practiced in many villages adjacent to the delta. molapo farming is ‘flood retreat agriculture’: namely the practice of planting crops on floodplains directly after the receding floods, which allows crops access to soil moisture in the absence of rainfall in the late dry season. roots grow down and track the water table as the flood recedes. water available for plants production, through both irrigation and precipitation is becoming scarcer due to climate change (through projected temperature increase and reduction of precipitation; see figures 2.12 and 2.13 page 57), and increasing water abstraction from the river by spread of large-scale irrigation. low soil cover on fields with plants of pearl millet and maize further leads to high amounts of water loss by unproductive surface evaporation (figures 2.16 and 2.17, box 2.3). box 2.3: riverine forests and their role in evapotranspiration as the okavango delta has no outlet, about 96% of the water inflow is lost via evapotranspiration (et). riparian woodlands occupy only 7% of the area but account for approximatly 27% of the total evapotranspiration. thus any change of the riparian vegetation will have a significant impact – either if it decreases in extent, leading to higher water tables and flooding – or if it increases in area, water availability will correspondingly diminish with relative drying up of the delta. (lubinda 2015) in the future, the zone that is proposed for significant expansion of intensive agriculture is in the middle (mostly namibia) and upper parts (mostly angola) of the basin. these areas will be increasingly irrigated for crop production, leading in turn to more pressure on the river water resources during the dry season. to fulfil the needs of a growing rural population and change in consumption patterns for higher yields, the research project has proposed sustainable intensification of smallholder production on the soils best suited to agricultural land use (see technology ‘con- servation agriculture’ page 247 and chapter 1 page 30). in the southern, semi-arid, part of the catchment, crop production on deep sands depends on rainfall amounts and patterns in the grow- ing season, which is associated with risks of crop failure. here, woodlands are better adapted due to their deep rooting system, which is able to (i) take up water from deep layers in dry spells, and (ii) to prevent nutrients from leaching. these conditions lead to adequate growth of trees, and wildlife with high biodiversity and thus the potential to use these areas to provide ecosystem services rather than being cropped. this strategy would not only provide better food security but also decrease the pressure on water and thus reduce threats to the okavango delta. figure 2.15: slash and burn farming in the woodlands of the upper catchment of the okavango in cusseque, angola in 2016. (stephanie domptail)
59 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change managing water scarcity and quality in the são francisco river basin, brazil managing too little – as well as too much - water context: a massive expansion of irrigation area for energy (mainly sugar cane for biofuel) and food crops is expected; expansion into natural vegeta- tion (caatinga and riparian forests/ buffer zones); cc will increase weather extremes and evaporation problem: – water scarcity, even with the reservoirs – low soil quality in some areas limiting growth – soil erosion during heavy rainfall on uncovered soil with off-site dam- age (floods and decreased reservoir volumes) – reduced water quality in reservoirs due to multiple causes (incl. agro- chemicals, aqua-culture and urban waste water) solutions: cross-sector management of a complex system, mix of technologies and governance – use water more efficiently, e.g. micro-spray or drip irrigation, choice of less water-demanding crops and water pricing – take all water users into account (required by law but not imple- mented), especially to avoid abrupt water level changes triggered by the electricity sector – sediment retention dikes in dry river beds (multiple uses) – conserve/ restore riparian forests as buffers – incorporate fertilizer into the soil to reduce p losses by surface runoff, land-based aquaculture instead of net cages in lakes, measures at the source of pollution (e.g. mining industry), monitoring protocol message: expansion of irrigation brings extra production but at the expense of water supplies: where water is short for other requirements a raft of different measures needs to be planned and implemented to offset the shortfall the population within the são francisco river basin, brazil, is increasing, and food and energy demand along with it. as a con- sequence, a massive expansion of the irrigation area for energy (mainly sugar cane for biofuel) and food crops is expected. in gen- eral, irrigation area expansion is considered a major rural devel- opment measure in brazil. however, water for irrigation will be even scarcer than it is already today – and regional differences in soil types will be a limiting factor on agricultural production. the more fertile soils in the middle portion of the river basin are predetermined for expansion, whereas the highly populated semi- arid lower-middle region need income generation options for peo- ple, calling for an increase in irrigation. according to modelling results (see chapter 1 page 42), cropland will further expand at the expense of natural vegetation (caatinga in the semi-arid por- tion of the river basin) and pasture; land allocated for maize pro- duction will decrease, while it will increase for sugar cane. this will elevate the water demand for irrigation in a semi-arid area. at least part of the agricultural area expansion will be at the expense of areas with natural vegetation, ever more threatening the caat- inga woodlands with their unique and climate-adapted biodiver- sity. figure 2.18 is an overview of the são francisco river basin. this land conversion would increase the potential for soil erosion when soils are, at least temporarily, uncovered, and threaten the quality and quantity of water resources when vegetative buffer zones along water bodies or around sources are removed. figure 2.16: relationship between actual transpiration and evaporation based on a thirty-year soil hydrological model run for dryland fields representing the core sites cusseque, mashare and seronga (lars landschreiber unpublished data). figure 2.17: uncovered soil gives rise to high rates of unproductive surface evaporation, okavango basin. (alexander gröngröft) figure 2.18: overview of the são francisco river basin (siegmund-schultze et al. 2015b). % of precipitation
60 making sense of research for sustainable land management as the water demand of different users increases in the future and water becomes scarcer, the challenge is how to assure that there is no waste and overuse of water, and how to allocate the scarce water amongst potentially conflicting uses within the river basin. besides satisfied water demand in the future (table 2.2), the occur- rence of consecutive dry years is likely to increase – and this even in the wetter climate scenarios. hence, planning for prolonged drought periods will be required in any situation. table 2.2: projections of future water demand covered in the são francisco river basin, according to different climate scenarios and two study periods (mean of study periods). percentage covered: available/ demand x 100. (hagen koch) wet climate scenarios dry climate scenarios period available (m3 /s) percentage of demand covered available (m3 /s) percentage of demand covered 2021-2050 412 87 % 325 48 % 2070-2099 420 88 % 139 29 % results in relation to improved river basin management indicate that all relevant plans (particularly those f hydropower and irriga- tion) must be coordinated and take into account that there will be less water available in the future. some of the plans for additional irrigation schemes are unrealistic under the projected climate con- ditions. it is also the case that, for the local population, these plans are often not transparent. there is an existing river basin commit- tee, however the role of the different sectors, agencies and minis- tries involved is not always clear. the problem heightens with the increasing water scarcity caused by growing demand and climate change factors, and can only be partly mitigated by many addi- tional dams. under the current and predicted droughts there will not be sufficient water to satisfy all the claims made on it. the são francisco river basin is highly regulated by man. water quantity is a question of legal and illegal withdrawals and res- ervoir management. low water level periods resulting from poor rainfall can easily be turned into high water level periods – but only as long as reservoirs are full. to complicate matters further, periods of high rainfall could be accompanied by low water levels, while water is being stored in the reservoirs. while regulation of the water flow has buffered and secured the water flow during a series of drought years, if climate change and increasing demands are combined, future low flow might not be secured. so far, deci- sions on water release are primarily based on national energy needs rather than negotiation among all water user groups. a participatory management practice, based on the above men- tioned river basin committee, accounting for all different water uses is required by law. the adaptation of the established insti- tutions to the new participatory process has not yet taken place (siegmund-schultze et al. 2015a). more efforts by all people and institutions involved are needed to champion further collaboration and fair allocation of water. managing too much water even though climate scenarios project different trends in terms of mean annual rainfall, a general finding is that temperature and weather extremes will increase, meaning that severe droughts will last longer in the future and heavier rainstorms are expected both in humid and semi-arid environments. depending on the land management, this would result in high runoff and consequent soil erosion during heavy rainfalls. this impacts downstream areas with flooding along the river and the reservoirs, as well as increased sedimentation – initially in the first reservoir in the sequence of the three major ones. before the completion of the reservoirs, river flow fluctuations were much more pronounced than afterwards. beside their use for hydropower, the reservoirs were built to reduce flood risks. yet, given more extreme future weather events, the capability of the reservoirs to prevent future risk of flooding is not clear. today there are regulations for maximum flow of the rivers. as long as the reservoirs can store water and the flow is regulated accord- ingly, the settlements will not be inundated. this regulatory capac- ity of the reservoirs could be surpassed if, instead of the more probable consecutive dry years, the opposite was to occur: con- secutive wet years. there are regions where all climate models give the same trends. north-east brazil seems to be a region, where many models still have problems with precipitation. hence, some climate models do not yet have the accuracy to provide projec- tions at the required regional scale to assess those extreme events. to prevent erosion in cases of heavy rainfall in otherwise dry areas, installing artificial barriers – namely stone check dams, or dikes - in dry river beds has been tested in a few communities of the são francisco river basin. these dikes (a well-known traditional sys- tem used in many parts of the world) as in the example of the ‘conceito base zero’ turn erosion by water into a benefit, through accumulating sediments deposited by storm water. these nutri- ent-rich sediments provide extra soil with better water-holding capacity for crop growth. although the region of itacuruba has a relatively flat topography, soils are very sensitive to erosion. the climate is semi-arid; rainfall averages are about 400 mm annually, though in drought years rainfall may not even reach 100 mm. furthermore large parts of the annual rainfall can sometimes occur in periods of a few hours, causing flash floods. streams in the semi-arid region are intermit- tent, only carrying water immediately after rainfall events. figure 2.19: dike (check dam) near to a pankarará indigenous village shortly after construction (left), two years later with grass and trees (right), são francisco river basin, brazil. (pierson barretto) 2021-205041287 % 32548 % 2070-209942088 % 13929 %
61 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change figure 2.20: construction of a dike in the quilombola community poço do cavalo (left); transport of stones for the construction of a dike (right) são francisco river basin, brazil. (pierson barretto) check dams (dikes) are water and sediment harvesting systems. dikes reduce flood speed and erosion, increasing water infiltra- tion, and reduce the amount of sediments ending up in lakes and reservoirs. this contributes to improving water quality, while also increasing the availability of water for the environment and for economic uses. the improved soil water conditions nearby the dikes allow grass and trees to grow, which can be grazed and browsed by livestock and can sustain bee-keeping (figure 2.19). during the dry period, people determine the location of crescent- shaped stone walls (termed ‘eye-brow’ terraces or ‘half-moons’ elsewhere in the world) to be placed across the stream flow. the stones are stacked without using cement (figure 2.20). this can be organized as a community activity, to be implemented within one day. a sediment marker is placed to monitor the development of sediment retention. the activity is based on labour input only. the existence of nearby stones is a prerequisite. to reduce flood risks and sedimentation flow to the reservoirs, vegetated buffer areas (as stipulated by law) would need to be conserved and/or restored and settlements must not be estab- lished too close to the shore. restoration of vegetation and ripar- ian forests around sources, and along river banks, for improving infiltration and groundwater recharge is an on-going activity, pro- moted by the river basin committee and nowadays implemented with the support of governmental programmes as well (see sec- tion 2.2 page 63). managing water scarcity/ too little water as weather extremes are expected to increase, periods of prolonged drought will also become more common not only in dry, but also wetter (semi-humid to humid) environments. therefore, the pres- sure on available water resources is increasing (figure 2.21). at the same time, the demand for water and its abstraction is increasing. in the upstream areas, i.e. the generally wetter part of the basin, droughts are expected to lead to reduced water flows and low lev- els in the reservoir. in the middle and downstream areas, expan- sion of large irrigation schemes will increase demand for, and use of, water. furthermore, the large reservoirs in this section of the river basin and the open irrigation channels are subject to enormous losses of water due to evaporation (figure 2.22). a challenge connected to water quantity is the management of flow (via reservoir management) leading to abrupt water level fluctuations in the reservoir, which are very different from natu- rally occurring seasonal changes over the year. abrupt changes negatively affect reservoir ecology (drying out of macrophytes, which release high amounts of nutrients into the water) and nega- tively affect users who have to respond to water level changes (for instance, a boat moored in the morning may be beached at the end of the day). during droughts, low river water levels will increase the sedimentation already within the river, impeding or at least further complicating the river’s use for transport. a first step to improving water allocation is investment in irrigation infrastructure with reduced water loss and better water use effi- ciency. a change of infrastructure to the more efficient drip irriga- tion (see chapter 1 page 33) would be effective in reducing water demand. another step for regions with uncertain water availabil- ity is to avoid cultivation of water-demanding crops such as sugar cane, and instead favour plants which are less water-demanding such as coconut and food crops. simultaneously, planners of new irrigation schemes should harmonize development plans with water permit organizations (at federal or state level, depending on the type of the river) and organizations responsible for water management (river basin committees) in order to estimate future water availability, and follow decisions on prioritization of water allocation. figure 2.21: empty water body after a dry period, brazil. (maike guschal) figure 2.22: view over outskirts of petrolândia town with some irrigation along the reservoir's shoreline – the huge surface area of the itaparica reservoir, brazil supports substantial evaporation losses. (verena rodorff)
62 making sense of research for sustainable land management modelling future water quantities and river flow under differ- ent land use patterns (swim model, magpie model) and differ- ent climate change scenarios, allows the estimation of how much water will be available for irrigation in the future. a model-based upstream-downstream water management plan has been sug- gested for improved allocation of water, including the ecosystem as a ‘water user without a voice’. the simulated options include a reduction of water level fluctuations in the reservoir to (i) 0.5 m per year, (ii) a maximum of 5 cm per day, and (iii) accounting for a minimal ecological flow (koch et al. 2015). all options have an impact on hydropower generation. limiting daily fluctuations to a 5 cm maximum turned out to be the most flexible, the easiest and most realistic management option to implement. the remain- ing flow capacity can then be allocated for generation of hydro- power and for consumptive use. the recognition of consequences, and probable quantitative outcomes of management decisions, is not easy due to the inherent complexity. finally, hydrological, and hydro-economic modelling as well, are means to quantify and com- pare outcomes. the modelling shows the consequences of reser- voir release rules for water users, and serves as a foundation to discuss regulations with members of the river basin committee, and a base for the negotiations between the different users and uses. impacts of human activities and storm water events on water quality sediments and nutrients entering surface waters from diffuse sources (e.g. erosion, interflow, or groundwater) and from point sources (e.g. wastewater treatment plants or sewer systems) impact on, and cause a decline in water quality. reduced river flow or direct addition of nutrients from aquaculture can exac- erbate water pollution (for example eutrophication), in particular in reservoirs and lakes. nutrient (n and p) emissions to surface water, instream transport and retention as well as the resulting water quality was modelled using moneris. the major source of nutrient emissions was urban areas, where households were con- nected to a sewer but not to a treatment plant: this turned out to be the major polluter. the few wastewater treatment plants that exist are often designed to reduce the biological oxygen demand but barely retain nutrients from the effluents. since the major population lives in the upstream area of the watershed, the greatest share of emissions originates from this part. furthermore, favourable climatic conditions in the upstream catchment lead to intensified agriculture, which causes additional nutrient emissions. in spite of high nitrogen losses due to denitrification during trans- port in the river system, emissions from the upstream catchment provide the major share of nitrogen in the lower sections of the são francisco also. in the case of the itaparica reservoir, located in the sub-middle region of the watershed, 90% of the entire nitro- gen load enters the reservoir with the discharge of the main river são francisco, exceeding by far emissions from the adjacent catch- ment of the reservoir. in the direct, sparsely populated and less intensively used catchment of the reservoir emissions are mainly caused by erosion, interflow and from urban areas, entering the reservoir, in particular, during storm water events in the short rainy season. diffuse nutrient emissions from agriculture are an emerg- ing threat, and are likely to increase in future with the expansion of irrigated and intensified agriculture. currently, however, nutrient concentrations are low in most river sections as well as in the reservoirs and eutrophication is, so far, only a temporary threat. the latter is, in particular, the case for bays of the reservoirs, mostly isolated from the main reservoir body, where longer residence time and less water exchange favour algal growth and eutrophication. tracer transport simulations (fig- ure 2.23) show that the bay’s water flow behaves differently from the reservoir’s main flow. pollution resides for a longer period of figure 2.23: water residence time in a bay of the itaparica reservoir, brazil under low (a) and high (b) water level conditions. note: the arrow indicates the reservoir’s main stream flow. (elena matta) figure 2.24: green liver system for treating aquaculture effluent, brazil. (johann köppel) (a) constant low water level (b) constant high water level after 1 month after 1 year
63 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change time in a bay and the phenomenon cannot be improved by flood- ing the reservoir since residence time in the bays is even longer under high water levels. it is recommended that water monitoring and abstraction of drinking and irrigation water take these spatial differences into account. water users should be aware that water pollution in the bays can be increased and remain high for a longer period without being diluted than in the reservoir’s main stream. emissions from agricultural areas are expected to increase because of planned expansion of agricultural land in the catchment. an analyses of regional agricultural cultivation practices resulted in two major findings: first, the degree of phosphorus saturation (dps) of soils is generally low, indicating low risk of p losses in the studied region. second, the common practice of top-dressing/ broadcasting with fertilizer (portuguese: adubação de cobertura) results in high risks of p losses from farm land. incorporation of fertilizer into the soil should reduce the risk of p losses, and also potentially be beneficial for plant growth. this combination of different measures addressing specific sources of water pollution within the river basin can improve the overall water quality of the são francisco (figure 2.23). this also includes a new technology to naturally clean water from fish ponds before discharging it into the reservoir (figure 2.24; see technology ‘green liver’ page 167 and chapter 1 page 38) within a simulation model, a tracer was applied uniformly, with an initial concentration of 10, in an outer bay area with a consist- ently low water level (a). after one month, ca. 65% of the tracer was still retained in the bay, while after one year 15% remained. in the same simulation, but in a bay with a high water level (b), after one month, ca. 80% of tracer was still retained in the bay, but in this case after one year the amount retained was more than 20% (matta et al. submitted). 2.2 riparian forest and water quality management riparian/ gallery forests are a specific type of buffer zone in the river basin providing a set of ecosystem services that affect many other land and water uses. riparian forests – that is strips of trees along rivers – have positive effects including: • providing a buffer and filter, and improving water quality of riv- ers in areas of intensive agricultural production system; • preventing soil erosion alongside rivers, and bank erosion, as well as filtering sediments out of runoff water from farmland before discharge into rivers and reservoirs; • providing a zone which enhances groundwater recharge; and • slowing down and reducing peaks of high flows and floods (and accumulating sediments) thus reducing flood risks and associ- ated damage. three examples of land and water management in riparian forest are presented below: • spring and gallery forests protecting water in mato grosso region of the amazon in brazil • riparian forests and salinity management in the tarim basin, china • water protection zones for springs and rivers in rubber plantations, china spring and gallery forest protecting water in mato grosso region of the amazon in brazil spring and gallery forests as an effective buffer to hold pre- cious soil and fertility context: a high yield production systems with fluctuating rainfall pat- terns - efficient use of scarce water for today and in the future; if gallery forests are cut, springs and small rivers dry up problem: deforestation due to expansion leads to higher runoff, erosion and less infiltration, higher peaks/ lower dry season flows during the year solutions: protect spring and gallery forests as buffer zones to protect water quality and prevent erosion. if converted to cropland use contour banks and no-till farming message: naturally occurring forests around springs and rivers (gallery or riparian forests) are very important for multiple reasons and are priori- ties for protection in the mato grosso region of the amazon in brazil challenges of water management are focussed on efficient use of scarce water for today – and the future. due to the pronounced seasonality of precipitation, water management and land use have to cope with the dual risks of water erosion due to heavy rainfall during one period, and water scarcity at other times. the region is also affected by ongoing land use change as forest is converted to pas- ture – and then after several years of use to cropland (figure 2.25). figure 2.25: deforestation along the br-163 highway: pará in the pioneer zone (left) and mato grosso, brazil with large-scale soy plantations (right). (stefan hohnwald)
64 making sense of research for sustainable land management the deforestation front is moving from the drier areas, formerly covered with cerrado dry forest, into the wetter areas of the ama- zon rainforests. between the high intensity agricultural production areas that were converted in the 1960s, and the still intact forests, land use is a mixture of cropland, pastures and gallery forests left along rivers (figure 2.26). to study water quantity and quality under different land use sys- tems, micro-watersheds with different land uses within two meso- catchments in the amazon area (still intact forest and pasture) and in the cerrado/ savannah area (cropland, pasture and remaining cerrado forest) were compared (figure 2.27). the data showed that pastures in both areas have higher runoff with the associated danger of soil erosion, especially after heavy rain events and peak flows. spring and gallery forests can act as effective buffers to hold precious soil and retain fertility. water quality in the streams has not yet been negatively affected by agriculture, and is well protected by gallery forests – to the extent that crystal clear water was running in the smaller streams. this shows that agricultural soils, after management of 30 years and a buffer with natural veg- etation, still possess the ability to store and buffer nutrients and maintain their fertility. the removal of forest cover associated with agricultural expansion changes the water balance within a watershed. in this context, river headwater catchments play an important role in understand- ing the influence of human and climate changes on streamflow dynamics. their relatively small contributing areas make them highly responsive to changes in water flows. to verify the hypothesis that clearing of native vegetation for agri- cultural development in the amazonian agricultural frontier leads to an increase of river discharge with higher flood risks, two pairs of headwater catchments were examined. in both, the cerrado and the amazon ecotones, the measured river discharge is higher for the pasture land-use type (figures 2.28 and 2.29) for most of the study period. this is attributed to the compaction of upper soil layer by cattle grazing and machinery use in the pasture areas, leading to reduced water infiltration rates and higher overland flow. in phases of conversion of forest to pasture, and of pasture to the mono-cropped agro-landscapes, surface runoff and soil erosion peak because of uncovered soil. they decrease again after the new land use is established. in the established cropping sys- tems, the erosion problem has been addressed through the adop- tion of practices of contour earth bunds and no-till agriculture (see chapter 1 page 25). thus runoff and erosion are lower than in pas- ture systems: a surprising finding. figure 2.26: cerrado dry forests (c) and gallery forests (g) along a river bed within intense soy production cropland (s); 1: evergreen gallery forests and 2: cerrado forest patches. (stefan hohnwald) figure 2.27: tested micro-catchments (black circles) in a larger meso-catchment (red line) in central mato grosso (rio das mortes) with mixed land use: cropland catchment (santa luzia), cerrado with mixed forest and shrub catchment (fazenda rancho de sol), and pasture catchment (fazenda gianetta). (carbiocial)
65 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change figure 2.28: discharge (q) and rainfall records for a savannah forest catchment (qcerrado) and a pasture (qpasture) in the dry forest of the cerrado, brazil. (carbiocial) figure 2.29: discharge (q) and rainfall records for a rainforest catchment (qforest) and a pasture (qpasture) in the rainforest of the amazon, brazil. (carbiocial) in this context, the hydrological soil water assessment tool (swat) and erosion simulation models (erosion-3d) were used to assess the impacts of deforestation and conversion to agro-pastoral land- scapes under different land management in the cerrado (savan- nah) and amazon (rainforest) vegetation. figure 2.30 shows the increase of runoff and erosion risk in relation to land use. runoff increase is highest for pasture, and the erosion risk is highest for the fresh deforested cerrado, followed by crop- land under conventional tillage. the results also show that contour earth banks/ bunds significantly decrease runoff and erosion risks for both pasture and cropland. the lowest risks are associated with the combination of both land management methods for cropland. because spring and gallery forests act as buffer zones, improving water quality, one important governmental edict to protect water quality is the obligatory protection of gallery forests in brazil. the law protects 50-80 m wide buffer zones, measured from river banks, and is controlled by the (strict) brazilian institute of environ- ment and renewable natural resources (ibama, the administra- tive arm of the brazilian ministry for environment) through satellite images, and exacting financial punishments for non-compliance. the ecological effects of these buffer zones is also being inves- tigated in relation to c-sequestration (soil buffers). the project provides answers to the ecological and economic benefits of the protection of gallery forests and springs for the micro-catchment, as well as the whole river basin (macro-catchment). figure 2.30: risk increasing factor (fold change) due to different agricultural land use practices after conversion of cerrado. forest equals 0. (marcus schindewolf and jürgen schmidt)
66 making sense of research for sustainable land management in cases where the gallery forests are intact, the water quality of the springs is very high, even in areas of large-scale industrial pro- duction systems with use of agro-chemicals. also, if spring and gallery forests are cut, springs dry up and after heavy rainfall events soil, nutrients, and agrochemicals are eroded and washed down into the lower parts of the catchment. the for- ests filter the runoff water and soil is deposited in them. in addi- tion, gallery or riparian forests provide habitats for biodiversity. water salinity management in the tarim basin and the potential role of the riparian forests, china high water consumption for cotton in desert conditions, water stress and a potential contribution from riparian forests context: due to the low precipitation and high evaporation rates, the region’s water supply depends solely on the river problem: upper basin increase of irrigation and water use, middle and lower basin too little water from the river; glacier/ river water only secured until 2050, then decline. use of groundwater for irrigation, not enough groundwater recharge through flooding solutions: river basin water management – preserve/ re-establish riparian forests for ess (windbreaks, groundwa- ter recharge, reduced erosion, biodiversity etc.) – allow natural summer floods esp. in the middle basin for riparian for- ests and groundwater recharge – mix of irrigation with groundwater and river water based on season combined with more efficient use of water resources – mosaic of fields and natural vegetation message: riparian forest have a potential role in addressing water short- ages downstream. they bring other benefits too, and should be protected and nurtured as a valuable contributor to the environment – and agri- culture the tarim river in north-west china runs along the northern rim of the taklamakan desert. its water originates in the glaciers of the tian shan mountains. due to low precipitation and high evapora- tion rates, the region’s water supply depends solely on river water. the tarim river has its highest flow during summer due to glacier melt. farmers are tending to expand agricultural fields in the upper reaches, consuming more water and leaving less for the middle and lower reaches of the tarim river. due to poor water allocation arrangements, too little water is available in the lower reaches, leading to the drying-up of this region. climate change models project that, due to global warming, addi- tional glacial water will be available in the river for the forthcoming decades until 2050. however, afterwards, river flow in the sum- mer period will decline. as glaciers are going to provide less water, supplies for irrigation will be become increasingly limited during the summer period, and sustainable water management options will be needed to mitigate the problem. the pressure on ground- water use – even though prohibited by law- is likely to increase. in addition, since crop production is prioritized, the natural vegeta- tion and riparian forests are suffering additional water stress, and the ecosystem services provided by them are decreasing: providing habitats for unique plants and animals, diminishing effects of sand storms and soil erosion, providing wood supply – and, especially, groundwater recharge. for improving groundwater recharge in the tarim basin, three key steps need to be undertaken (i) provide a greater area for natu- ral flow along the river banks (i.e. do not allow encroachment), as the original slow flowing and meandering river favoured high groundwater recharge within the adjacent riparian area; (ii) allow ‘ecological flooding’ of natural riparian areas in the upper and middle reaches of the river, as in the summer the river has its high- est peaks and floods due to snow and glacier melt. this will con- tribute to groundwater recharge and therefore to the preservation of natural vegetation; and (iii) enhance the infiltration rate in these groundwater recharge zones by establishing additional areas with riparian forests. the importance of groundwater recharge within and along the river during the year and especially in the summer flood peaks is summa- rised in figure 2.31, showing the annual groundwater recharge and discharge in the middle reaches of the tarim river for 2012. the highest groundwater recharge takes place within the tarim river itself, followed by the flooded area and the riparian forest region. looking at the tarim basin as a whole gives a different picture. the flooded areas and the riparian forests contribute the most – by far – to the total ground water recharge of the basin, and hence are a crucial component of an intact ecosystem. in addition to water scarcity for the natural vegetation, a major prob- lem is salinization of the intensively irrigated cotton fields. therefore the interactions between large, continuous irrigated fields with vari- ous irrigation water sources (river water with low salt loads and pumped groundwater with high salt loads) and the natural vegeta- tion along the river have been investigated focusing on: • the impact of varying irrigation water origins on the groundwa- ter levels, and the salinization of the cropland itself, as well as the surrounding natural vegetation; and • the role of the natural vegetation during the natural flooding period in the summer. the effect of irrigating cotton fields on the groundwater level, and salt concentration in the irrigated area as well as in neighbouring natural vegetation, was explored by using a groundwater model in mike she. irrigation can originate from groundwater (despite it being forbidden) or from the tarim river. these two water sources have different effects on the groundwater, and therefore on the neighbouring natural vegetation (figure 2.32). in cases where groundwater is pumped for irrigation, water is taken from the same small groundwater system and is applied to the upper topsoil, where evapotranspiration leads to loss of water figure 2.31: annual recharge (positive values) and discharge in mm (negative values) from different regions and land uses in the middle reaches of the tarim basin (83.3 km2 ; keilholz 2014, huttner 2015).
67 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change affecting the overall water balance, and the groundwater flow gradient is directed to the fields. linked to this groundwater gra- dient also, salt loads from the surrounding area, which is covered with natural vegetation, are mobilized and transported below the field. the increased evapotranspiration, which is enhanced by the fine texture soil and the high groundwater table, leads to inten- sive accumulation of salts under the field. if water from the tarim river is applied for irrigation, additional water is added to the local groundwater system, and therefore a groundwater flow gradient from the field to the surrounding area evolves and the salts are flushed to deeper soils and to the surrounding area, which leads to unfavourable conditions for the natural vegetation. this process is illustrated in figure 2.33. table 2.3: summary of the effect of the differing sources of irrigation water on the groundwater level and the salinization at different distances to the irrigated field. red arrows indicate undesirable effect; green arrows indicate desirable effect (keilholz 2014). impact on irrigation with river water (profile 2) irrigation with groundwater (profile 1) groundwater level (in irrigated and surrounding areas) salinization of irrigated area salinization of surrounding area (natural forests) the two dimensional effect in the distance and the depth of the field is even more surprising. for profile 1 the pumped ground- water results in the fact that salts are mobilized around the field, where the natural vegetation exists, and is transported towards the field. there the salts accumulate markedly under the field. for profile 2, an adverse effect can be observed where the salts are transported from the field towards the surrounding soils under the natural vegetation (table 2.3). accordingly, two management solutions were identified: • currently there are large areas of continuous fields. a better management practice would be to integrate smaller agricultural fields and natural vegetation. in such a mosaic, the natural veg- etation benefits from the irrigation water. as an additional ben- efit, smaller non-continuous irrigated areas leave more space for natural vegetation. those areas function as natural flooding zones during the summer floods caused by discharge peaks of the tarim river, and thus contribute to the necessary ground- water recharge. • by applying good irrigation management, the combined use of river water and groundwater for irrigation can minimize the negative effect on the surrounding natural vegetation. for example, if the irrigation during the vegetative period in the summer is through groundwater, the inundation of the fields in the winter and spring (using stored water from the reservoirs) should be done by river water to recharge the groundwater, and thus lower the salinity. figure 2.32: groundwater table changes through irrigation along the tarim river, china (september 2012). red dots near profile 1 indicate a lowered groundwater table in and around the field irrigated with ground- water, which is pumped from the saturated zone under the field. blue dots at profile 2 indicate a higher groundwater table for a field which is irrigated with additional river water. this difference in groundwater level is highlighted again in the cross-sectional view of the two profiles in the right of the figure (keilholz 2014). source irrigation with groundwater (a-b) irrigation with river water (c-d) profile 1 profile 2
68 making sense of research for sustainable land management figure 2.33: salt concentrations through irrigation (from 1. january to 1. september 2012) along the tarim river, china. in profile 1 (irrigation with pumped groundwater) the salt loads are transported from the surrounding area of several hundreds of meters and accumulate significantly under the field. in soil profile 2 (irrigated with river water), the salt loads under the field are pushed to the surrounding area, where the natural vegetation suffers. the cross-sectional view illustrates the positive and negative salt concentration changes, related to the different groundwater gradients, which are caused by the two different irrigation water origins (keilholz 2014). in this context, the function of riparian forests to recharge ground- water with less saline river water is even more important. an addi- tional recommendation is to take some areas out of agricultural production, and thus irrigation, especially in the upstream part of the river. in addition to more water availability downstream, this would solve a chain of interconnected problems. less irriga- tion overall would lead to lower groundwater levels and thus to a decrease in salinization, and consequent abandonment and wind erosion (see chapter 1 page 28). the chinese government is cur- rently planning measures accordingly. water protection zones for springs and rivers in rubber plantations, china water protection zones and riparian buffer zones for improved water quality context: improve the water quality in a rubber-tree dominated watershed problem: decreasing quality of drinking water in intensely used rubber plantations, over-use of agro-chemicals solution: integrated water management concept: water monitoring, capacity building, water protection zones (pollution partly due to erosion from plantations -> see chapter 1) message: the maintenance and improvement of riparian forests is impor- tant everywhere – but it can directly contribute to improved quality of drinking water in areas of intensive agricultural production in rubber plantation areas in china’s south-west province of yun- nan, water quality and availability are major issues. there are dif- ferent perceptions of the problems by farmers, authorities and scientists. farmers observe a reduction of drinking water quantity, particularly in the dry season, which they link to expansion of rub- ber cultivation. however, poor quality of drinking water is seen as a central problem rather by scientists and regional administration, while farmers do not perceive it a serious problem even if they report high turbidity after rain and ‘rusty taste’ of drinking water. as stakeholder workshops demonstrated this is primarily due to a lack of understanding of hidden health risks – especially those associated with pesticide overuse. to improve water quality in a rubber-dominated watershed, like the naban river watershed in yunnan, an integrated water man- agement concept has been developed. key components of the concept comprise water quality and quantity monitoring, capac- ity building workshops concerning the understanding of interac- tions between land management practices, pesticide application and water quality. water quality monitoring showed that, especially after rainfall events, turbidity as well as concentrations of microbial pollutants and agricultural chemicals (nitrogen, phosphorous, pesticides) are increased. promising measures to avoid hazards to humans and the environment are increased vegetation cover to reduce erosion in the rubber plantation (see technology ‘native trees in rubber monocultures’ page 191 and chapter 1 page 28 figure 1.26) and the establishment of water protection zones and riparian buffer irrigation with groundwater (a-b) irrigation with river water (c-d) profile 2 profile 1
69 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change zones (see figure 2.35). in regard to drinking water quality, this is particularly important because non-treated surface water is used as drinking water in this region (figure 2.34). to protect water quality and quantity, a water protection zone sur- rounding the water source of each village can be established. the main objective of the water protection zone concept is to mini- mize anthropogenic and natural hazards and risks, which could lead to the deterioration of the water resources within the catch- ment area of drinking water abstraction points. this is achieved by avoidance of contaminants and enhanced natural attenuation of contaminants, and results from a set of different regulations, land use and land management restrictions, capacity develop- ment, awareness-rising and further measures. as a result, expen- sive and complicated end-of-pipe water treatment can be avoided or reduced (krauss 2016). special attention has been given to developing riparian buffer strips and the ‘water protection zone concept’ in accordance with local regulations and management strategies (figure 2.35). for example, reduced chemical weeding in rubber plantations leads to reduced runoff and soil erosion, and hence a lower sedi- ment supply to water pathways (see chapter 1 page 28 figure 1.25). in combination with intercropping trials in rubber planta- tions, these experiences are being used to define the width of different protection zones and to develop specific management measures. the ‘water protection zone concept’ consists of four different zones: three water protection zones and one riparian forest protection zone. this helps to balance the local socio-eco- nomic trade-offs. the purpose of the core zone/ water protection zone 1 (wpz 1) is to protect the abstraction point/ water spring against direct pol- lution and access by animals and unauthorized persons. this area should be fenced within a radius of 20 to 50 meters around the abstraction point. the second zone (wpz 2) allows low-impact agriculture, without use of agrochemicals. this zone is larger than the core zone, and aims to stop deforestation in order to decrease soil erosion. the third zone (wpz 3) covers the largest area around the water source. in this zone, specific pesticides, heavy met- als, industrial chemicals or radioactive substances are prohibited, high erosion agriculture is restricted as well, but use of fertilizer is allowed. the riparian buffer zone is located within wpz 2. it expands to at least 20 meters on each side of the stream, and natural vegeta- tion reduces the input of solids, organic matter and contaminants. further measures to protect riparian forests and water quality are: figure 2.34: collection point for surface water: the common way to secure water supply for villages, china. (surumer) figure 2.35: water protection zone (wpz) concept for a rural mountainous area in tropical south east asia – surface water. (krauss 2016) • capacity development and awareness-raising workshops e.g. on the use, impact and fate of agrochemicals, and on intercommu- nal cooperation; • acquisition of necessary land by the water supply utility; • financial incentives to encourage farmers to change to agricul- tural practices which have less negative impacts on the drinking water quality measures to restore water-environment interactions, são francisco watershed, brazil: the role of water user associations water user associations and community-based management to ‘revitalize’ the watershed context: protecting springs and controlling erosion, effectively contrib- uting to increasing the quantity and quality of water problem: degradation within the watershed, ‘reservoir comes first’, scarce water solution: promote environmental awareness, soil conservation meas- ures, reforestation of riparian forests, establish conservation areas/ buffer zones, pes message: some actions in watersheds can be best planned and under- taken by water user associations, if appropriately informed and guided for the large são francisco watershed in brazil a participatory committee was formed in order to steer it: comitê da bacia hidro- gráfica do rio são francisco or (cbhsf). among other matters, the cbhsf promotes the restoration of degraded areas to create alternatives for environmental preservation (figure 2.36). the pri- mary objectives were the protection of springs and control of ero- sion, effectively contributing to increasing the quantity and quality of water (figure 2.37). further objectives were renovating streets in order to reduce siltation of the water bodies through drain- age, and adopting soil conservation measures. the measures were selective and had a demonstrative character (to promote environ- mental awareness), and were not linked to broader policies or pro- grammes. the process begins with citizens suggesting new projects, which were then discussed and decided in regional, technical, and plenary sessions. the committee, via its executive agency, issues public calls for tenders. the cheapest wins. the agency contracts one company for assessing the situation and preparing a project plan, another for executing the works, and a third for inspecting the works.
70 making sense of research for sustainable land management the projects were paid via water fees. since 2010, water users who take up more than 4 l/s from the watershed’s main river – the são francisco river – are required to pay for their right to use water. the implemented measures involved the reforestation of riparian forests, in particular with native species, around springs, headwa- ters and along river banks. engineering works include the fencing of springs and conservation areas, the building of terraces and contour banks, and constructing street gutters, rainwater reten- tion basins and speed bumps. one project included payments for ecosystem services (pes). workshops with neighbouring commu- nities were part of the projects’ method of discussing aims and progress. signboards complemented information and awareness- raising. about 30 single projects have been completed within five years all over the watershed, and new ones initiated. the committee and their implementation of the projects faced challenges. first, measures were undertaken by companies with lit- tle specific knowledge; works did not fulfil the goals or were even counterproductive – for example fencing-off not only of livestock, but also of wild game from access to water. people also criticized the fact that only registered companies were awarded contracts while informal local groups might have been better prepared for performing the tasks. another concern was the small-scale of the measures, leaving doubts about their overall effectiveness. finally, completed projects were inaugurated, while a monitoring and maintenance plan was not put in place. 2.3 coastal zone management and eco-drr for landscape management, another special zone within river catchments is the coastal zone. in two very different contexts, a strategy for ecological disaster risk reduction (eco-drr) has been developed as a cost-efficient solution to protect the coastline from erosion, and as an adaptation strategy to climate change: • realignment of the flood protection and land use change of northern germany • protection of sand dunes and mangroves in the coastal zone of vietnam figure 2.36: newly completed conservation area fenced-off from livestock and people são francisco basin, brazil. (http://cbhsaofrancisco.org.br/o-cbhsf/) figure 2.37: barraginha – small pond for rainwater harvesting and control of sediment in the bahian city of cocos. (http://cbhsaofrancisco.org.br/cbhsf) realignment of the flood protection and land use change of northern germany flood prevention of germany’s low coastal zone context: due to climate change more water in autumn and winter (increase of water table and water to be discharged to the sea), less water in summer and sea level rise are projected. sea level rise will prevent effective discharge of excess rain water during winter. different adapta- tion measures are being tested on the north and baltic sea coasts problem: – increased inland-water levels in winter and increased salt water intru- sion in summer – salinization of groundwater and ditch water solution: creation of water retention and storage capacity, and water management measures to adapt (multifunctional landscape) north sea: water retention areas (polders) to buffer water levels during the year -> lower costs for pumping, lower risk of floods and salt water intrusion (but need to take land out of intense production); during the summer the retention area water can be used to increase pressure against salt water intrusion and dilute ditch water in the drier summer season baltic sea: realignment of areas for reed cultivation (c-storage) and as a buffer; extensification of land use to pastures with salt tolerant plants message: coastal zone management will become an increasing problem with climate change and sea level rise, range of measures will be needed to tackle this problem and needs to be planned as soon as possible within germany’s coastal lowlands, future water and land man- agement is expected to be threatened by the following climate changes and related impacts: (i) more precipitation in autumn and winter, and extreme rainfall events causing increasing floods as the excess water cannot be drained and discharged rapidly enough to the sea, (ii) the sea level rise will hinder the natural discharge of the freshwater to the sea, and salt water intrusion will increase salini- zation of the soil and the groundwater, and (iii) drier summers will increase water stress in agriculture. the combination of rising sea levels and the greater quantities of water that need to be drained and discharged to sea, will mean that the current pumping capac- ity to drain the lowest part of the coastal area (near to, or below sea level) would have to be increased at high costs. for the period of 1971 to 2100 figure 2.38 illustrates the amount of rainfall, water use by evaporation of the water surface and tran- spiration by the vegetation and the water that can be naturally discharged during periods when the sea water level is lower than the level in the retention area and the amount that needs to be pumped into the sea. the prediction for the future is based on a medium scenario of climate change (a2) with a medium level
71 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change of sea water rise (0.8m). the graph shows a trend with increas- ing rainfall, slightly increasing evapotranspiration due to increase in temperature but a clearly decreasing natural drainage and dis- charge of the inland water into the sea. the result is a strongly increasing amount of inland water that needs to be pumped up to the sea level requesting increasing pumping capacity and costs (trend scenario, red line). under the scenarios water management and carbon sequestration, where large areas will be reserved as ponds or lakes for water reten- tion, the pumping will be reduced (orange line, figure 2.39 left and middle, see technol- ogy ‘polders without agriculture’ page 219 and video). if some of the lowest inland areas can be flooded during the highest rainfalls and the drainage ditches are broadened then the quan- tity of water that needs to be pumped can be reduced even more (purple line). this is the sce- nario the stakeholders proposed during meet- ings for planning adaptions to climate change. the scenario developed by the stakeholders assumes that the lowest areas are flooded during the high rainfall periods in spring with broadened ditches and this would reduce the volume to be pumped to almost one third of the amount under current management (figure 2.39 right, see technology ‘polders to improve water management’ page 215 and video). figure 2.38: rainfall (black), evapotranspiration (green), natural drainage (blue) and amount of water to be pumped from 1971 to 2100 (red) assuming a medium scenario (a2) of climate change and sea water level rise of 0.8m for the business as usual (‘trend’) scenario in red (top). the volume of pumping under two scenarios, the carbon sequestration scenario with a large water reten- tion area and the stakeholders’ choice of reserving the lowest areas for flooding is shown in orange and purple (bottom), north sea coast, germany. (comtess 2016) figure 2.39: illustration of maps for different scenarios for the north sea coast, germany: left ‘water man- agement’ (adapted land use), middle ‘carbon sequestration’ (without agriculture) and right the ‘stakeholder scenario’ (improved water management). (comtess 2016, udo schotten) water management carbon sequestration stakeholder scenario
72 making sense of research for sustainable land management the coastal zones of the north and baltic sea have different char- acteristics. the low-lying areas of the north sea are protected by a massive sea wall (up to 9 m high) against storm surges. the mainland is drained by a dense network of rivers and ditches to make agricultural land use and settlements possible (figure 2.40). at the baltic sea coast, the tidal influence is not so great and small embankments are sufficient to protect the narrow band of below- sea level coastal land. even though the baseline conditions of both coastal regions are very different, the impacts of climate change will have similar con- sequences. therefore, various measures to deal with these impacts can be examined in both regions and the transferability of the results tested. for example, on the north sea coast, the develop- ment of water retention areas in mainland areas, lying under sea level, to avoid uncontrolled inland flooding is a new approach and might be a solution. for the narrow strip of below sea level areas on the baltic sea region, ‘managed realignment’ is an approach that can increase resilience against climate change. managed rea- lignment means that the existing embankments will be opened to allow a more natural dynamic of water flows, and the devel- opment of areas influenced by the water levels of the baltic sea. along the baltic coast, an increase in pressure of saline groundwa- ter due to sea level rise is expected. saline groundwater reaches further landwards from the coast. this leads to salinization of ditch water. ditch water is used by cattle for drinking. on the north sea coast, a clay layer prevents the rise of saline groundwater in most areas. but at some spots peat layers enable saline groundwater to rise. on the baltic sea coast there is no clay layer to prevent the figure 2.40: flooded coastal lowlands due to heavy rainfalls in krummhörn, north sea, germany. (jan van dyk) figure 2.41: simulation of salt concentration on the peninsula of michaelsdorf (baltic sea, germany). with increasing sea levels, the salt concentration on the peninsula increases. the highest salt concentrations in 2010 are close to the sea and are expected to spread to the central parts of the peninsula by 2100. (comtess) influx of saline groundwater in the embanked coastal sites. for the peninsula of michaelsdorf the increased influx of saline groundwa- ter is shown in figure 2.41. construction of water retention areas enables storage of excess freshwater in autumn and winter, to reduce flood risk in coastal lowlands caused by heavy rainfall. during the dry summer peri- ods, the stored freshwater in the retention areas can be used for irrigation – and to dilute saline ditch water. the stored freshwater also acts as a counter-pressure against saline groundwater from the sea. in the higher parts of the managed realignment areas on the baltic coast, with lower flood risks, a change in land use from arable fields to pastures increases resilience against salinization. on coastal grasslands there are many plant species adapted to saline groundwater and flooding with sea water. the salt grass- lands can be used for grazing or forage production. flooded areas with brackish water can be used for reed production (box 2.4). during the wetter winter periods, the retention areas store excess water to prevent flooding of inland areas and reduce the amount of freshwater that needs to be pumped into the sea (see chapter 3 page 86). the simulation of different climate change scenarios included changes of runoff and water discharge (due to higher rainfall amounts and extreme storms) from the land towards the sea and the expected sea level rise, which reduces the time the water can discharge naturally into the sea. within the water retention areas, and on sites with managed realignment, agricultural land use is adapted to higher water levels and possible flooding. within these
73 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change areas, the current intensive grazing for dairy farming and cropland production will be changed to extensive grazing, open waters and wetlands covered with reeds. with changed land use within the water retention area, the landscape is transformed from a mono- functional landscape to a more resilient multifunctional landscape (see technology ‘polders without agriculture’ page 219 and tech- nology ‘polders to improve water management’ page 215 and video). the new land use and management of the lowlands is less vulnerable to risks, requires reasonable investments to establish, but creates new opportunities for productive and protective sys- tems, including opportunities for recreation, nature conservation and tourism. these land management systems are the proposed alternatives to huge investments to adapt the drainage system to increasing water levels. however, there will always be a trade-off with production and agriculturally productive land. box 2.4: natural reeds as an alternative production for various purposes natural reeds in brackish water produce comparable amount of biomass to that obtained from maize cultivation (in mown reed stands in north-western germany: 13 tonnes of above-ground dry mass per hectare per annum; in mown reeds: 15 tonnes of above-ground dry weight per hectare per annum). in contrast to maize cultivation there is no need to invest in soil cultivation, sowing, fertilization or crop protection. reeds can be used for direct combustion, to obtain biofuel, or in biogas plants. besides this, use of reeds in the industrial sector is also possible (insula- tion panels etc.). further usable applications of reeds are currently being intensively researched (comtess). figure 2.42: identification of native tree and shrub species in a dune area in central vietnam. (udo nehren) figure 2.43: planting mangroves to protect coasts: associated with people’s life development in vietnam. (lucci) ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and adaptation in coastal zone of vietnam protection of sand dunes and mangroves in coastal zones of vietnam context: reduce the risk of coastal hazards and adapt to climate change problem: destruction of protective natural coastal zones (sand dunes and mangroves) through land use change solution: awareness-raising and enforced coastal protection (mix of measures) message: coastal ecosystems are coming under threat throughout the tropics and elsewhere, and action is necessary – for example to re-estab- lish mangrove forests – but alongside this there is an urgent need for awareness-raising along the coast in vietnam, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduc- tion (eco-drr) and adaptation (eba) are considered suitable strat- egies to reduce the risk of coastal hazards and adapt to climate change. the potential of dune systems (figure 2.42) and small mangrove remnants (figure 2.43) for coastal protection in quang nam province (project research area) is summarized in table 2.4. ecosystem ecological status recommended eco-drr/eba measures coastal dunes medium to high degradation due to: (a) replacement of native vegetation by non- endemic monocultures such as casuarina and acacia species (b) agriculture and aquaculture activities; (c) infrastructure development; (d) sand extraction; (e) waste disposal (a) establishment of awareness-raising and environmental education for coastal population on the multiple ecosystem services coastal dune systems provide; (b) enhanced implementation of environmental legislation so that coastal forests on sandy shores are designated as ‘protection forest’ (c) monitoring of land use changes in the coastal zone, as large stretches of coastal dunes are still being converted into agricultural land or shrimp ponds, and sand extracted for construc- tion purposes; (d) development of community-based restoration and conservation programmes including affor- esting measures with native trees and shrubs; (e) provision of financial incentives for coastal communities to actively support coastal dune con- servation mangroves very high degradation status; most mangroves have been lost and the few remaining rem- nants are small and highly degraded due to wood extraction and waste deposition large-scale restoration of mangroves is difficult, due to land use pressure (infrastructural devel- opment, intensive land use). suggestion: improvement of ecological status and connection of remaining remnants. community-based restoration programs of native species should be devel- oped and supported by government and development/ aid projects. to achieve good protection against typhoons, a mangrove belt of at least 200 m width is recommended. table 2.4: ecological status and recommended eco-ddr/eba measures for coastal dune systems and man- grove remnants in the coastal zone in quang nam province, central vietnam
74 making sense of research for sustainable land management conclusions overall challenges and opportunities the growing demand for more land and water for agricultural, industrial and urban use and further societal claims are leading to changes in land use and management alongside challenges to find appropriate slm practices that deliver services for people. these include changes: • within the main land use systems – often non-sustainable inten- sification. • conversion of natural and semi-natural land into agriculture and the conversion of agricultural and natural land into settlements, infrastructure and urbanization. • upstream land use and management affecting or conflicting with downstream uses. what is required includes the following: • acknowledging the multiple demands on land and its resources while attempting to reconcile the various claims. • recognising both synergies and trade-offs between local and regional or landscape interests and potentials: interactions and interdependencies must be acknowledged and accommodated in planning and management. • limiting expansion or reducing the area where a particular land use is causing problems and has negative impacts. • taking into account water availability and quality – which con- sistently affects land use and management (and vice-versa). • using opportunities and rewards for carbon mitigation and bio- diversity protection. • reducing disaster risks through landscape management that recognises climate change impacts while assigning space for dif- ferent purposes and services provided. • using scenario building and modeling impacts as a knowledge- based tool that can deal with complex interactions and processes related to land management and its impacts. results provide the basis for negotiation and informed decision-making. • utilising research – not just for analysing problems and develop- ing model based recommendations – but as neutral arbitrators within this stakeholder landscape. • above all is the need for better cross-sector cooperation and coordination through integrated landscape management. this is a core part of sustainable development: while not new, it needs to be repeated – and put into action. river basin management within river basins, watershed or catchments the dependency between upstream and downstream resource users is very high. the key connecting agent between upland and lowland systems is water: its various facets remain a key area for research. manage- ment is very complex as it must connect various scales, stakehold- ers and interests with numerous interactions and dependencies. a main concern is that upstream land use can cause either too much water flow in the lowlands or too little: • too much caused by inappropriate land management upstream resulting in high runoff, erosion and floods and sedimentation downstream. • too little when upstream overuse of river water for growing demands for irrigation or hydropower causes water shortage downstream (or diminishes the water quality). • in addition, climate change is leading to changes in rainfall and temperature: increasing rainfall or decreasing rainfall or pro- longed dry and hot spells, droughts which causes new/addi- tional challenges. for all further research projects, the key challenge will be to project and explore options for the future as both climate and land and water management are changing. the opportunities that have been identified are as follows: • development of an overall management plan involving all water users, and uses, to plan and regulate water distribution and land use. adapt the plan continuously. • improved governance of hydropower and irrigation water man- agement. • improved land management to cope with extreme rainfall events and store the water in the soil or excess water in reser- voirs in upstream areas. • developing water storage systems and managing them effec- tively (including reservoirs and barrages/ weirs). • use of water efficiently during dry periods in both rainfed (e.g. conservation agriculture no-till, minimum tillage, agroforestry, intercropping etc.) and irrigated land (e.g. re-using return water). • choice of land use according to available water (e.g. no high water demanding crop production in areas with water scarcity to reduce water demand for irrigation). riparian forest and water quality water quality is decreasing in several of the regions from within agriculture (agro-chemicals) as well as from the outside (salt water intrusion, eutrophication). these problems often increase with water scarcity. indirect water pollution, coming from inappropriate land use needs to be identified and quantified in order to develop appropriate countermeasures. pollutants mainly come from (i) soil erosion and agro-chemicals – including fertilizers which lead to eutrophication of rivers, reservoirs and groundwater, and (ii) irri- gation drainage or return water polluting water bodies leading to eutrophication or chemical pollution. the opportunities identified can be summarised as: • erosion reduction through better local land management. • adapted irrigation management preventing salinization of soils. • protection of riparian forests and vegetation, as well as water protection zones. • protection and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests.
75 chapter 2 landscape management - adapting to climate change coastal zones major changes in water use and management within river basins due to hydropower and over-abstraction as well as major changes of land use may lead to lower flow to the coastal regions during the dry seasons and higher peak floods during the rainy seasons. climate change leads to rising sea levels, and changes in seasonal rainfall patterns, and climate extremes and/or land management cause: • increased flooding due increased rainfall and extreme events. • salt water intrusion due to reduced river flow in the dry seasons due to over-abstraction of the river water for irrigation. • salt water intrusion in rivers or lowlands and in the groundwater due to increased sea level (in combination with above). • opportunities identified and principles for improvements: • regulations and agreements between upstream and down- stream users guaranteeing a minimum dry season flow. • creating flood retention areas to temporarily store freshwater and release it during dry seasons and low flows, simultaneously preventing rise of saline groundwater. • hindering salt water intrusion by blocking sea water flow into rivers during low flows, reducing ground water use and abstrac- tions from the rivers. • ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (eco-drr) to protect the coastal zone from erosion, salt water intrusion and to adapt to cc. to achieve significant impact, it is clearly evident that research must be implementation-oriented. however, research often lacks resources as well as cooperation from various stakeholders and sectors involved in river basin management – having different, and partly hidden, interests. furthermore, even implementation- oriented research is a half-way stage in the overall process of trans- formational development. but it is a step in the right direction.
76 making sense of research for sustainable land management mitigating climate change chapter 3 brazil, stefan hohnwald
77 chapter 3 mitigating climate change society can rightly claim how land is used in relation to climate change mitigation with its consequences of global warming and projected negative impacts on ecosystem services and on people. various synergies and trade-offs of climate change mitigation measures have already been presented and discussed in the previous chapters. this chapter now focuses on the potentials of different land use and land management practices, in cases where climate change mitigation – especially carbon sequestration – was the primary goal. both soil and vegetation hold and store carbon (c). carbon stocks and their dynamics are very diverse and depend on many factors. land use change and the management of soil, water and vegetation can decrease these c stocks and by turning them into greenhouse gases (ghg) which are emitted into the atmosphere. conversely, other practices increase c-sequestration (storage) above and below ground. in the first case, land becomes a ‘c-source’ and in the latter a ‘c-sink’. reducing carbon dioxide (co2 ) and other ghg emissions plays a central role in global efforts towards climate change mitigation. introduction the main factors determining ghg emissions, or mitigation of these, are land use and management, as well as type of soil, soil moisture content, groundwater levels, vegetation cover and cli- mate. generally speaking, there is a gradient from wetlands and forests with high c-storage potential, to pastures/ grasslands with medium potential, to cropland with medium to low potentials, and finally to settlements, with low ghg storage potential. within these land use types there are differences in respect to ghg emis- sions depending on the specific management practice put in place. despite these differences due to practices, the gradient between the land use types is the most important determinant. thus, from a climate change mitigation perspective, it is most important to try to prevent conversion to a land use with lower c storage potential, and even to try to reverse land conversion wherever possible. different soil types have very different potentials for c storage. for each of them the variability is high, as illustrated from the tyumen steppe of western siberia in russia (figure 3.1). in this region, the highest stocks are found in organic soils (his- tosols) and the deep black (‘black cotton’) soils (chernozems and phaeozems). the black soils are suitable and valuable for agricul- ture due their high amounts of stored soil organic carbon (soc) and the fertility that this confers. croplands are mainly located on these deep fertile black soils. other soil types are not fertile enough to be suitable for production. for example, the organic histosoils are too wet for crop production. forests and grasslands, however, grow on a large variety of soil types.
78 making sense of research for sustainable land management after the break-up of the soviet union, vast areas of cropland were abandoned, and as a result carbon sequestration took place because of the lack of ploughing and the consequent increase in natural vegetation. as illustrated in figure 3.2, for each of the soil types given in figure 3.1, different land management resulted in very different levels of carbon stocks. when cropland is aban- doned and left for natural vegetation to grow, the accumulation of the carbon is highest for soils with the greatest storage potential (i.e. chernozems) and this equates to relatively high mitigation of climate change. in addition, the highest level of carbon sequestra- tion is found in the upper part of the soil profiles, and the amount of soc stored there is positively related to the time since abandon- ment: the longer the fallow period, the more the carbon (schier- horn et al. 2013; kurganova et al. 2014). the analysis for the whole russian federation shows that about one third of all arable land has been abandoned for 20 years, and that for the area abandoned the black chernozems have built-up organic c the most (figure 3.3). this demonstrates the potential of grassland preservation and grassland restoration. thus, ‘extensifica- tion’ through the abandonment of cropland and its reversion to nat- ural vegetation has a substantial capacity to build up carbon stocks. how far russia may be affected by future land use changes remains a matter of debate. land use change to cropland will impact nega- tively on climate change. from this point of view, natural grasslands and peatland ecosystems should be preserved, as they have high figure 3.2: average carbon accumulation rates in five main soil groups in rus- sia for the first 20 years after abandonment of cultivation (1990-2009). there is a significant difference between the soil groups: albeluvisols (ab), luvisols (lv), chernozems (ch), kastanozems (ks) and other soils (os). mg: megagrams, se: standard error, conf. int. confidence interval (p<0.05). (kurganova 2014) organic carbon stocks and are very sensitive to altered management system (for example through drainage and ploughing; batjes 2002). another factor determining whether land is a source or sink of c is the water level and its dynamics. again, there are differences between soil types. methane emissions (methane being a pow- erful ghg) and carbon dioxide sequestration in soils depend on the groundwater level, and soil properties – whether they are ‘organic’ or ‘mineral’ soils as illustrated from the north sea coast in germany (figure 3.4). in organic soils with low groundwater levels (- 40 to -100 cm mean annual gwl) high emissions of co2 occur (up to 40 t co2 /ha/ year). on mineral soils, very low co2 emissions take place with low water tables. with groundwater levels rising to less than 10 cm beneath the surface, or when the surface is flooded, carbon sequestration in soil starts and increases with increasing water lev- els in both soil types. in wet situations with water levels higher than 20 cm below soil surface, methane (ch4 ) emissions increase and reach higher values in flooded areas (water levels 10-40 cm above surface). methane emissions do not differ between organic and mineral soils. the ’global warming potential‘ (gwp) shows the warming resulting from the sum of ghg emissions and car- bon sequestration. for both soils, the ideal ground water level for minimising ghg emissions is 10 cm below the soil surface (-10 cm) although there still is a slight global warming potential due to the emissions that do occur. the variability of soil types, land uses and groundwater levels makes it difficult to assess and compare c-storage potential of different land use types and hence to come up with general and robust recommendations. highlighted by the research conducted in the bmbf-slm programme, the following examples of climate change mitigation are classified: • developing nationwide strategies for climate change mitigation; • preventing conversion of land; • reversing land conversion; • restoring wetlands and organic soils; and • reducing emissions from agricultural practices. figure 3.3: categories of farmland in the russian federation and the contribu- tion to carbon sequestration of abandoned croplands after the break-up of the soviet union. albeluvisols (ab), luvisols (lv), chernozems (ch), kastanozems (ks) and other soils (os); ha: hectare, tg: teragrams, c a-1: carbon per year (kurganova 2014). figure 3.1: mean carbon stocks in kg/m2 for the major soil types in the tyumen steppe of western siberia in russia (project data; kg/m2 x 10 = mg/ha). the mean value for kastanozems is taken from batjes (2002). (tim-martin wertebach)
79 chapter 3 mitigating climate change 60 40 20 0 -20 t co 2-eq ha -2 y -1 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 mean annual gwl [cm] carbon dioxide (co2 ) methane (ch4 ) global warming potential (gwp) net ghg emissions organic 60 40 20 0 -20 t co 2-eq ha -2 y -1 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 mean annual gwl [cm] carbon dioxide (co2 ) methane (ch4 ) global warming potential (gwp) net ghg emissions mineral figure 3.4: generalized model of global warming potential (gwp) and greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions of organic (left) and mineral soils (right) as a function of mean annual ground water level (gwl), germany. the emissions of the different ghgs are given in tonnes of co2 -equivalents per ha and per year to make them comparable. (a) for organic soils (blue) and (b) for mineral soils (yellow). (comtess 2016) 3.1 developing nationwide strategies for climate change mitigation climate change mitigation in germany: optimizing conflicting demands stakeholder involvement and scenario building for climate change mitigation in germany context: development of national strategies for climate change-mitiga- tion (cc-m). the goal of the german sustainable development strategy is to reduce conversion of land into settlement and transportation (gfg 2002) problem: how to satisfy the multiple claims and societal demands on land while reducing ghg emissions? current high level of land conversion to settlement, transportation infrastructure and crop land with impacts on ghg emissions solution: based on modelling and scenario building, different combi- nations of cc-m measures and their impact were assessed and used to develop recommendations for future land uses and management message: involve stakeholders in joint scenario building to help address conflicting demands in germany, there are many vested interests in land management, and a great number of stakeholder groups from agriculture, for- estry and settlement, as well as transportation sectors at regional and national levels who compete for the limited resource of land. land use conflicts occur when different actors address their own interests only regarding the utilization of one and the same area of land, or when stakeholders declare certain land uses as ‘a prob- lem’ and aim to achieve land use changes or restrict or ban use all together. stakeholders have different interests in land use, and their conflicts can be sectoral (within a certain land use: for exam- ple within agriculture) and/or cross-sectoral (between agriculture, forestry, settlements and transportation, and nature conserva- tion). conflicting interests also occur between different levels – namely local, regional and national interests. the german national strategy for climate change-mitigation (cc-m) illustrates many involved synergies and trade-offs between different land uses and management systems in view of achiev- ing climate change mitigation and other societal preferences and multiple claims (bmub 2014). to mitigate climate change implies a claim on land use by society at large. in order to achieve mitigation it is very important to reduce conversion of especially forests and grassland to settlement and transportation areas. the aim of the german government is to reduce the daily land loss to settlement and transportation from 74 ha in 2010 to 30 ha in 2020 (uba-fed- eral environmental agency, 2004). in 2000 land loss was around 130 ha per day. due to the complexity of processes under different land use, soil and water conditions it is important to assess effec- tiveness and efficiency of different measures, and to develop a suitable mix in order to reach the goals of cc-m without adversely affecting other societal preferences. based on modelling, differ- ent combinations of cc-m measures were assessed according to their impact on ghg emissions. the intention was to develop rec- ommendations for an optimal set of land uses and management. the land use conflicts which emerged from stakeholders in ger- many have been compiled and visualized, as a basis for negotia- tions between the stakeholders involved. figure 3.5 illustrates the complexity of claims and conflicts for the national and regional level in germany, and the challenge for research to come up with agreed scenarios for future development (steinhäusser et al. 2015). there are two types of conflicts: intra-sectoral and cross-secto- ral conflicts which differ regionally. cross-sectoral conflicts to be addressed at the national level are between the forestry and agri- cultural sector, mainly relate to the national law for (re)afforesta- tion due to other use (e.g. settlement areas, roads) on agricultural land. cross-sectoral conflicts also exist between the forestry and settlement and transportation (s/t) sectors, involving forest frag- mentation or the new usage of forest for renewable energy pro- duction like wind turbines. intra-sectoral conflicts include food versus animal feed production, and the additional demand on agricultural land for bioenergy production. at the regional level, the conflicts are multiple and occur also within and between sec- tors: between forestry and s/t including the reduction of forests due to recreation, tourism or gravel extraction, between agricul- ture and s/t – for instance changing the landscape through bio- mass production. intra-sectoral livestock farming versus horse husbandry, and wind turbines versus quality of life were also men- tioned by regional stakeholders. figure 3.5 illustrates the complex- ity of claims and conflicts at the national and regional level for germany, and the challenge for research to come up with agreed scenarios for future development. -100 -80 -60 -40 -2002040 -100 -80 -60 -40 -2002040
80 making sense of research for sustainable land management to overcome these conflicts, four land use scenarios termed ‘strat- egies’ were developed together with stakeholders. each strategy consists of a mix of measures within the sectors involved, namely settlement and transportation (s/t), agriculture and forestry. the focus of these four strategies is either on: (i) climate mitigation, (ii) production of biomass for bioenergy, (iii) nature and environ- mental protection, and/or (iv) climate adaptation. in each strategy, the combination of the sectoral measures differs according to the strategy focus. table 3.1 shows the measures available in the s/t and agriculture sectors that can be combined into an effective strategy in accordance with the overall focus. the best measures identified in the scenarios to contribute to cli- mate mitigation in germany are high-quality inner urban devel- opment (see technology ‘inner urban development’ page 199), preservation of existing grassland (see technology ‘grassland pres- ervation’ page 207), and adapted management of organic soils figure 3.5: national and regional land use conflicts from the perspective of different stakeholders, germany. (steinhäusser et al 2015, nina röhring) such as re-wetting, extensive grassland cultivation and high qual- ity paludiculture (peatland preservation) (see technology ‘adapted management of organic soils’ page 203). decrease conversion through inner urban development the business-as-usual scenario (implementing all politics and actions decided so far) shows that the share for s/t areas will increase until 2030 from 11.7% to 14%; compared to 2010, for- estry will increase slightly from 30% to 31%; and agriculture will decrease from 52.3% to 50%. the daily ‘consumption’ of areas for s/t will decline from 74 ha in 2010, to 45 ha in 2030 (goetzke et al. 2014, goetzke and hoymann in press). through high-quality inner urban development, the daily conversion to s/t could be fur- ther reduced. the scenario ‘climate mitigation’, in which all mitiga- tion measures are implemented, shows a potential decline of daily consumption of land for s/t use to 20 ha in 2030.
81 chapter 3 mitigating climate change due to the effects of climate change and the high vulnerability of s/t areas to climate change (e.g. increase of temperature or heavy rainfall), measures to adapt to climate change were also consid- ered, like more green and blue corridors in urban areas (e.g. areas facilitating wind circulation, water ponds, lakes, re-filling historic river beds: figures 3.6 and 3.7). in the scenario that places the preference for ‘climate adaptation’ the daily conversion of land to s/t declines to 40 ha in 2030. with this strategy, the target of the german government to reduce the daily land conversion to s/t areas to 30 ha in 2020 cannot be reached. in fact, the 30 ha target could only be reached by 2030, if all investigated measures for climate mitigation and climate adaption were to be combined. another consequence of land conversion to s/t is the decrease of areas with high quality soils for farming: these often border set- tlements. this leads to a decrease in land to produce food, animal table 3.1: measures that can be implemented under different land use sectors and strategy foci illustrated using the example of the ’settlement and transpor- tation‘ as well as the ’agriculture‘ sector. (cc-landstrad) settlement and transportation (s/t) sector agriculture sector demolition and reduction of sealed surfaces use of organic soil: – rewetting of peatlands – adapted grassland use on organic soil – paludiculture (peatland preservation) increase building density in new construction sites adaption of fertilizer/ manure management: – increase of use efficiency of mineral fertiliz- ers and n-utilisation from organic manure and slurry brownfield development/ reduce vacant lots replacement of fossil energy by bioenergy: – cultivation of annual plants – cultivation of perennial plants – reducing maize cultivation changes in modal split (use of different transportation) use of grassland: – preservation of grassland – when appropriate, conversion of arable land to grassland – extensive use of grassland – increase of the numbers of cuts of grassland strengthening of public transport expanding priority and reserved function areas development of urban green spaces centralisation of settlement structure feed, fibre or biomass for energy production and/or of areas for recreation, for biodiversity, and thus fewer areas to reduce ghg emissions etc. preservation of grasslands converting grassland to cropland enhances the mineralization of soil organic matter and leads to high emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (co2) and, to a much lower extent, nitrogen dioxide (no2 ). additionally, carbon losses during the first years of the conversion are much higher than carbon gains if cropland is converted back to grassland. it takes several decades to recover the organic matter that has been lost within a few years. thus, wher- ever possible conversion should be prevented in the first place. re-wetting of organic soils re-wetting organic soils decreases the emission of co2 and no2 but during the first years methane (ch4 ) emissions may be very high depending on the periods of flooding and the amount and degradability of crop residues. so, part of the ghg savings from reduced co2 loss might be outbalanced by methane emissions within the first years after re-wetting. depending on the water table regulation, and vegetation it can take decades before the full mitigation potential of re-wetting is established. high water levels lead to methane emissions because microbial consumption of methane in an aerobic soil horizon is then impeded: thus water level management is crucial. re-wetting to give a water level of 10 cm below the surface is considered ideal from a climate point of view, and prevents peat mineralization (figure 3.8). re-wetting 30% of the organic soils currently under agricultural use in ger- many would reduce the ghg emissions from the agricultural sec- tor by 8% (henseler et al. in preparation). figure 3.7: ‘settlements and transportation’ with green (e. g. parks) and blue (e.g. water bodies) corridors, germany. (johanna fick) figure 3.6: ’settlements and transportation‘ and green spaces in leipzig, ger- many. (dietmar kabisch) figure 3.8: prototype harvester for re-wetted areas. in order to retain some pro- duction from the wetlands part of the biomass is removed. (wendelin wichtmann)
82 making sense of research for sustainable land management 3.2 preventing land conversion the highest emissions from land use happen when land is converted: • from forest to pasture or cropland, and from grassland to crop- land through loss of carbon stored in the vegetation (especially forests), by erosion as well, through mineralization of organic matter, especially in the top soil because of surface disturbance; • from wetlands to agricultural land by drainage and mineraliza- tion of the accumulated carbon stock in the soil organic matter (through oxidation: basically oxygen joins with carbon to form the greenhouse gas, co2 ); • from forests, grassland, agricultural land to sealed soil surfaces in settlements and transportation by loss of carbon stored in the vegetation removed, and loss of capacity of the soil to sequester and store carbon. the following examples illustrate options for preventing conversion: • woodland and riparian forest protection and sustainable inten- sification of agriculture in the okavango basin (angola, namibia and botswana) • inner urban development to reduce land conversion in germany • grassland preservation and extensive use enhancing biodiver- sity, germany reducing forest conversion in the okavango basin woodland and riparian forest protection and sustainable intensification of agriculture in the okavango basin context: conversion of forests and woodlands to fields for small-scale agriculture threatening the long-term provision of ecosystem function and services related to water regulation and biodiversity problem: deforestation due to conversion into agricultural land and wild fires -> release of stored carbon in vegetation and soil solution: prevent woodland conversion/ protect existing forests and wetlands especially riparian forests with a mix of measures; intensify con- servation agriculture elsewhere to reduce pressure message: sustainable intensification of smallholder farming can help take pressure off the forest through techniques such as conservation agri- culture, especially in combination with agroforestry extent of land conversion loss of forests and woodlands by conversion, and wild fires caused often by forest clearance, threatens the long-term provision of ecosystem services and functions related to water regulation and biodiversity in the okavango basin. satellite image analysis illustrates that the conversion of forests and woodlands to areas used for small-scale agriculture was clearly the dominant land use change. continuous agricultural expansion was detected, rising from an annual rate of 5,275 hectares of forest cleared between 1989 and 1993, then up to 12,033 hectares between 2009 and 2013 (figure 3.9). this implies an increase in the annual deforesta- tion by a factor of 2.3 within 20 years. overall, about 258,000 hectares of forested areas were cleared for agriculture between 1989 and 2013 which is the equivalent of 5.6 % of the forests in the okavango basin. analysis of the satellite images (figure 3.10) confirmed that roads and settlements are major drivers and facilitators of change. deforestation and conversion to agricultural fields is mainly taking place along the roads and also in concentric circles around the cit- ies. this is due to better access to markets and settlements – and plans of the government to move people from the countryside close to towns and major roads after the termination of the civil war in angola (brinkmann 2003, schneibel et al. 2013). figure 3.9: annual expansion of agriculture due to conversion of forests in the okavango basin (black line). included is the trend line for all points (red line) and the corresponding r² (coefficient of determination). (schneibel et al. 2016). effects of deforestation for cc-mitigation: soils under natural woodlands are balanced at a particular level of carbon input from dead plant material – leaf litter etc. – and root exudates on the one hand, and decomposition by microbes on the other. this equilibrium is disturbed when woodland is cut and both wood and other vegetation removed in order to clear fields for agriculture, because carbon input is very significantly reduced and the existing soil carbon pool is quickly diminished. the conver- sion of woodlands into farmland releases the greatest quantities of carbon (box 3.1) compared to conversion into other land uses. this can be explained by the very low input of new organic matter into the soil. this is particularly true when land is cleared by burn- ing, and furthermore crop residues are also burned as part of tra- ditional subsistence agriculture. box 3.1: carbon release through deforestation of woodlands in the okavango basin the conversion of woodland to cropland for conventional small- holder agriculture leads to a carbon release of 50 – 63 t ha-1 in the miombo woodlands and 10 – 24 t ha-1 in the dry woodlands of northern namibia and botswana assuming that the above-ground woody biomass is burned, as it usually is (pröpper et al. 2015). to mitigate ghg emissions and favour carbon sequestration, woodland conversion into cropland can be avoided by intensifying agriculture on existing small fields using sustainable land manage- ment practices described in chapter 1, for example by no-till/ mini- mum tillage conservation agriculture, and associated techniques of adding carbon inputs in the form of manure, and (carbon-rich) crop residues used as mulch to improve soil fertility, suppress weeds and keep moisture in the ground (see technology ‘conser- vation agriculture’ page 247).
83 chapter 3 mitigating climate change figure 3.10: map of field expansion for five time periods between 1989 and 2013 with additional close-ups for the three cities chitembo, cuchi and menongue, in the highlands of angola. the colours represent differ- ent periods of deforestation for the establishment of new agricultural areas (schneibel et al. 2016). synergies with biodiversity and ess protecting woodlands and wetlands within the okavango basin not only mitigates climate change but also supports biodiversity and protects ecosystem functions important for water provision – securing both quantity and quality. avoiding woodland conver- sion (and woodland degradation) and maintaining a good balance between different land uses such as conservation agriculture on smaller fields (see technology ‘conservation agriculture’ page 247 and chapter 1 page 30), crop-livestock systems with manure pro- duction, timber production and nature conservation, will help pro- tect biodiversity. protecting river systems with an intact riparian forest has addi- tional benefits over and above maintaining carbon stocks. these include buffering river flows and floods, protecting rivers from nutrient and sediment pollution, and biodiversity enhancement (vushe, 2014, see chapter 2 page 55).
84 making sense of research for sustainable land management inner-urban development to reduce land conversion in germany compact settlements and re-greening of cities to ’make them cool‘ and reduce further expansion of settlements (germany) context: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions occurring through land conversion from forests, grasslands and agricultural land to new settle- ment and transportation areas problem: heat waves in settlement and transportation areas cause extreme temperatures in cities with sealed surfaces and little greenery leading to health problems and reduced quality of life solution: reuse of vacant lots, the use of gaps between buildings or the improvement of existing structures (e.g. additional floors) to spare land from conversion; ‘fresh air corridors’ and improvement of green areas in the city/ unsealing of sealed surfaces for cooling effects, improve existing land use in cities with green infrastructure/ combining houses with trees, cc mitigation and adaptation achieved message: to adapt to climate change and improve city life, make cities greener and more space-efficient to reduce pressure on adjacent farm and forest land; these measures can have also an indirect impact on reducing ghg emissions inner urban development, in this context, means reuse of vacant lots, the use of gaps between buildings and the improvement of existing structure (e.g. additional floors) (see technology ‘inner urban development’ page 199). this ‘compact settlement devel- opment’ encourages efficient use of technical and social infra- structure and thus indirectly contributes to the reduction of ghg emissions by reducing the pressure on forests, grazing and agri- cultural land. if the focus is on compact settlement development, farm and forest land can be spared from conversion. there are limits to intensification in cities. the increase of extreme weather events like heavy rain or very hot days (temperatures in excess of 30 °c) are forecast in germany. infrastructure damage caused by intense rains or floods, and extra costs incurred by air conditioning or even health-care will become more and more challenging. thus a mitigation strategy has to be combined with climate change adaptation measures to ensure ‘sustainable inten- sification’ of urban land use. inner-urban development in germany by creating ‘green and blue climate corridors’ (urban green spaces; small lakes and rivers), can help to cope with climate change impacts. high urban densities lead to an increase in the heat island effect (up to 4-6 °c difference) (zhou et al. 2013) and to increased rainfall runoff. a heat island effect of 5°c may not sound much, but on top of a temperature above 30 °c the increase can be substantial for human wellbeing and health. therefore, the revitalization of ex-industrial ‘brownfields’ must go alongside the transformation of impervious surfaces into pervious ones, and with the planning of corridors for air exchange. compact- ing settlements in some parts – but leaving green and blue areas in others reduces the expansion of settlements and prevents further overheating. such measures can make life in the city more resilient to climate change, more attractive – and ‘cool’. grassland preservation and extensive use in germany preventing grassland conversion through eu incentives, biodiversity and carbon benefits in germany context: widespread phenomenon of grassland conversion to cropland in eu countries problem: grassland conversion to cropland increases ghg emissions and reduces biodiversity solution: prevent conversion of grasslands and promote sustainable extensive use – keep and increase carbon stock – synergy with biodiversity under extensive use, as well as water quality (less agro-chemical use but lower production (economic trade-off) – the main argument against conversion to cropland for biofuels is the very negative ghg balance – focus on prevention because of the very long period before ghgs lost can be brought back into the soil and vegetation after conversion message: where there is pressure to convert grassland remember that prevention is preferable – for climate change and other reasons converting grassland to cropland causes high carbon losses during the first years; the opposite, reconversion to grassland, requires decades before sequestration of soil organic carbon to previous levels can be achieved. thus preventing conversion is the prior- ity (see technology ‘grassland preservation’ page 207). how- ever, increasing demand for cropland and related higher incomes is rendering the preservation of grassland, particularly when it is extensively managed, more and more difficult. but regulations are in place to prevent conversion: a recently adopted eu regulation declares any fallow land as ‘grassland under protection’ if it has not been cropped for 5 years. the consequence is that farmers bring fallows back into cultivation before that 5 year limit. figure 3.11: extensive grassland production in germany with a high variety of species. (norbert röder) figure 3.12: hay production from extensive grassland in germany. (norbert röder)
85 chapter 3 mitigating climate change converting grassland to arable also means loss of biodiver- sity: grassland is better at maintaining habitats than cropland. grasslands are usually less intensively managed than croplands and reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides is beneficial for water quality and biodiversity. an incentive for extensive use of grass- lands would be to subsidize suitable grazing management. com- pared to the widespread indoor housing of animals, extensive grassland grazing may be less profitable but has multiple positive effects on biodiversity, cc-mitigation – and meat quality (figures 3.11 and 3.12). 3.3 reversing land conversion once converted to intensively used land with lower carbon stocks, it takes time to re-establish the original c-stock when land use once again is extensified. the original conversion, from grassland to arable land, is typically motivated by the drive to intensify the use of land and improve its productivity. reversing means losing that productivity. thus it needs special circumstances to induce farmers to re-convert to pasture – such as arable systems becom- ing unprofitable (either declining prices, or diminishing fertility, or both). while it is rarely the primary goal of farmers, this re-conver- sion provides benefits in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and of biodiversity conservation. grassland restoration in the siberian kulunda steppe restoring the kulunda steppe – the value of biodiversity and improved grassland management context: meadow steppe restoration problem: natural steppe was converted into high production area -> loss of biodiversity and c-stocks solution: restoration of steppe by increasing the abundance of native steppe species. window of opportunity because of former abandonment of agricultural land which is not re-cultivated – support/ speed-up restoration practices – re-establishment of key species – stop overgrazing/ exclude cattle steppe takes several years to regenerate message: restoration of grasslands – where economically and socially acceptable – can bring boosts in terms of carbon sequestration and bio- diversity figure 3.13: experimental field for steppe restoration showing the fence for cattle exclusion under trial in the kulunda steppe, russia. (tatjana galcova) figure 3.14: medicago lupulina, a legume commonly known as hop clover, under test to enrich the kulunda steppe, russia. (tatjana galcova) in the course of the soviet ‘virgin lands campaign’ (1954-1963), the vast majority of the kulunda steppe was converted into inten- sive cropland. the remaining areas of natural steppe became increasingly fragmented, which in consequence rendered many native steppe species scarce and red-listed (aleksandrova et al. 2006). after the collapse of the soviet union this trend was reversed and abandonment of agriculture significantly decreased the extent of arable land in central asia (kraemer et al. 2015). this provided the opportunity to increase the abundance of native steppe species with the help of restoration measures. experience from prairie restoration of similar areas in north america indicates that the re-colonization of different key species may require spe- cific treatments to ensure success. in addition, overgrazing must be restricted to support the regeneration of vegetation. preliminary results of experiments revealed that cattle exclusion can considerably facilitate meadow steppe restoration (elesova et al. unpublished data; figure 3.13). however, their results also imply that only a few years of exclusion is insufficient for the regenera- tion of very degraded sites. field experiments in kulunda steppe restoration showed that isolation contributes to improve restora- tion, plant coverage and stocks of above ground biomass. how- ever, as already noted, re-accumulation of carbon stocks is much slower than the equivalent losses when grassland is converted to cropland. tests with re-establishment of species have determined that the best timing for sowing seeds in the dry steppe under a strip-till method (only narrow strips are tilled in the grassland) is during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of october. several steppes species were tested for reseeding, including legumes such as lotus corniculatus and medicago lupulina (figure 3.14).
86 making sense of research for sustainable land management 3.4 restoring wetlands and organic soils wetlands in the coastal zone in northern germany reduced disaster risks by extensification and adaption to climate change context: low lying coastal landscapes with extensive reed stands were drained for cultivation problem: cultivated land below sea level requires drainage and pump- ing -> expected increased problems under climate change/ predicted sea level rise; floods will cause methane emissions; intensification of land use decreases biodiversity and at the same time increases ghg emissions solution: – water retention areas (polders) and adapted/ diversified and extensive land use allow for both biodiversity increase (fauna) and carbon stor- age, also better climate change resilience – re-naturalization/ extensi- fication of unprofitable areas due to effect of climate change, land use change, changing land from c-source to c-sink – eco drr (disaster risk reduction using natural systems)/ management change; space for biodiversity – special situation in the baltic sea: realignment of sea walls (dykes) and opening areas to the seawater again. sediment deposition reacts with methane and mitigates emissions message: in coastal landscapes below sea level, climate change induced sea level rise can make land unprofitable due to increased drainage: thus the need to seek alternative remedies low lying lands (up to two meters below sea level) along the ger- man north sea coast need to be drained to be farmable. this land was converted from natural wetlands (salt marshes and bogs) to grasslands and croplands: the process of ‘impoldering’ means land is embanked by dykes to protect it against the sea and then drained. with climate change, higher precipitation and more extreme events are expected to become more frequent. also sea level rise is predicted. a dense drainage network prevents inland flooding today. but an increased risk of flooding is expected, as the capacity of the drainage network is limited. temporary flood- ing of intensively used agricultural land will lead to reduced pro- duction and high methane emissions, and therefore to a negative effect on climate change. a possibility to prevent flooding is the development of ‘water retention areas’ (see technology ‘polders to improve water management’ page 215, video and chapter 2 page 70). in general, water retention areas will be located in the low elevated parts of the landscape, to enable flow of water towards them. only a small embankment will be necessary to secure the surrounding land against flooding. the current land use within these areas will shift from dairy farming and arable land to extensive grassland use and open waters covered with (harvestable) reed stands (see tech- nology ‘polders without agriculture’ page 219 and video). along the baltic coast of germany a practice for ghg mitigation is the so-called ‘realignment’. seawalls are shifted landwards, and formerly protected land is exposed to seawater again. however this will change the amounts of ghg emitted (source) as well as carbon stored (sink) – dependent on various parameters. the main factors determining these levels are water levels and soil types. land under agriculture has limited capacity as a carbon sink, whereas wetlands have a high capacity for carbon sequestration in the soil. the less intensive the land use is, the more organic material is available for carbon sequestration. thus the wet condi- tions in water retention areas and in de-embanked coastal areas can increase the carbon sequestration rates within the landscape. reduction in intensity of land use or abandonment of intensive agricultural land will lead to more plant material available for permanent storage of this organic carbon in soils. within water retention areas with high groundwater levels (to cope with pre- dicted sea level rise and extreme events), the high water levels will increase carbon sequestration rates. the highest increase in car- bon sequestration will take place on wet, abandoned sites. the amount of sequestered carbon depends on water levels and the soils. organic soils are at risk of emitting huge amounts of co2 when drained. under wet conditions, these soils are able to sequester carbon, thus the water level should be kept near to the soil surface. by optimising water levels, the landscape is best able to accumulate organic matter (through peat formation) and there- fore sequester carbon. calculations of ghg emissions under different land use, sea lev- els, and climate change scenarios was done using modelling tech- niques (comtess 2016). the results show that natural growth of reeds and peat accumulation will take place in water retention areas and on sites with managed realignment, sequestering and storing up to 15 t co2 -equivalent per hectare each year in organic soil layers. in contrast, under typical water levels of intensively used grasslands (water level 75cm below soil surface) on organic soils, a net emission of approximately 30 t co2 -equivalent per hec- tare and year will occur (see figure 3.4 on global warming poten- tial page 79). for different scenarios, where climate change impacts were accounted for, the sums of co2 sequestration were modelled. this allowed comparisons between land use as well as projections into the future. the increase from 2050 onwards is due to sea level rise, which increases wetter areas (figure 3.15). figure 3.15: annual regional sums of climate change mitigation (sum of co2 sequestration minus greenhouse gas emissions) given in co2 equivalents per year under optimized carbon sequestration conditions (green line) and under business as usual (brown line), michaelsdorf (baltic sea, germany). the underlying model includes sea level rise and extreme weather events with wet and dry years. in wet years more carbon is sequestered, in dry years less. (comtess 2016)
87 chapter 3 mitigating climate change as noted, high water levels can lead to high emissions of methane (figure 3.16). these emissions may significantly increase by re-wet- ting land. therefore, there is a ‘golden’ balance to be found in land use and water level management to enable carbon sequestration without this being offset by increased methane emissions. on mineral soils, emissions of co2 are low, even with low ground- water levels and intensive land use. this is due to the low amount of organic carbon in the soils. yet on mineral soils too, methane emissions are significant when water levels are high or fluctuating. thus the water level must be managed here, too. on organic soils, there is a trade-off between c-sequestration at high water levels and high methane emissions (see figure 3.4 on global warming potential page 79). in the ‘realigned areas’ on the baltic coast a different dynamic is taking place. opening land to seawater leads to deposition of marine sediments in the water retention areas (figure 3.17). the sulphate in the marine sediments reacts with the methane in the soil. this chemical reaction transforms the methane into co2 (fig- ure 3.18). because methane is a much more active ghg than co2 in terms of global warming potential (though it has a shorter life in the atmosphere) this practice effectively reduces the overall ghg emissions and has a high climate mitigation potential. the poten- tial to combine benefits from climate change mitigation with bio- diversity in the coastal region of the north and the baltic sea is further explored in chapter 4. figure 3.16: high water levels with reeds leading to increased methane emissions at the german north sea coast. (martin maier) figure 3.17: managed realignment at the karrendorfer wiesen (baltic sea, ger- many). (jasmin mantilla-contreras) figure 3.18: sulphate (so2- 4 ) and methane (ch4 ) concentrations in inland and tidal marshes (floodplain) in the north sea coast, germany measured at soil depths ranging from 20 to 150 cm. the low methane emissions are clear when sulphate is present in the soil. the sulphate originates from marine sediments on the tidal marshes (witte and giani 2016). 3.5 reducing emissions from agricultural practices all soil conserving practices have the co-benefit of cc-m because of their protection of the topsoil in which high percentages of soil organic carbon (soc) are stored. the purpose of those practices is primarily to prevent land degradation such as erosion, and to increase soil organic matter to improve production as described in chapter 1. examples presented below focus on aspect of climate change miti- gation by: • land management practices that have been specifically re- designed to mitigate ghg emissions because of high emissions under the current practice. these include coping with water scarcity in vietnam to adapt to climate change. • land management practices that have been re-designed for sus- tainable intensification of production and have synergies with carbon sequestration in the kulunda and tyumen steppe of rus- sia (no-till management) and in the drylands of brazil (grazing management). reducing methane in rice production in vietnam reducing methane emissions by alternative wetting and drying in lowland rice cultivation of vietnam context: fast-growing populations demand higher rice supplies under increasingly difficult production conditions of declining water availability and water quality problem: methane emissions in paddy rice production. irrigated rice pro- duction will always produce methane. at the same time water availability is getting lower under climate change solution: alternating wet and dry cultivation – saving water, reducing methane emissions – no trade-offs with no2 emissions and yields message: altering cultivation practices – in this case by manipulation of irrigation periods – can have a significant impact on ghg emissions rice production in asia is facing tremendous challenges in the 21st century. fast-growing populations require higher rice sup- plies under increasingly difficult production conditions. among these are declining water availability and quality (tuong and bou- mann 2001, 2003). rice production under ponded water, how- ever, releases high amounts of methane (ch4 ), which has a global warming potential (gwp) 25 times higher than carbon dioxide (ipcc 2007). the ch4 emissions from rice fields in vietnam are currently estimated at 6.3 teragram per year (tg yr-1) (minh et al. 2015) corresponding to 50.5% of agricultural ghgs and 18.1% of
88 making sense of research for sustainable land management all ghg emissions in vietnam (monre, 2014). hence, there is a conflict between irrigation and ghg emissions in rice production. traditional continuous rice flooding (cf) and alternate wetting and drying (awd) irrigation technologies were compared in quang nam province, central vietnam, with respect to ghg emissions and potential yield trade-offs. the alternative wetting and drying (awd) technology is a water-saving and methane mitigation tech- nology that lowland (paddy) rice farmers can employ, primarily to reduce their irrigation requirement. rice fields under this technol- ogy are, as its name suggests, alternately flooded and dried (fig- ure 3.19). results from experiments proved that awd is a potent ghg mitigation option for irrigated rice in vietnam showing a reduction in ch4 emissions of 29% on average compared to con- tinuous flooding, as well as providing a higher grain yield of 4% on average over all sites and seasons (figure 3.20). increasing carbon stocks with no-till and minimum tillage in the kulunda steppe russia no-till and minimum tillage to prevent the next dust bowl in the kulunda steppe context: in the driest areas of the kulunda steppe, the beginning of desertification has already been observed. this also affects areas of intensive crop production: a ‘dust bowl’ needs to be averted problem: desertification by wind erosion, salinization and carbon loss – negative effects on production solution: no/ min-till: soils become a carbon dioxide sink rather than a source, using sustainable land use policies and practices that will allow for the stabilisation of agricultural production and simultaneous cc mitigation message: new cultivation practices based on reduced tillage can yield multiple co-benefits of production, soil conservation and reduction of ghg emissions in the driest areas of the kulunda steppe, the beginning of deserti- fication (i.e. land degradation by wind erosion and salinization) has already been observed. there is an urgent need to develop sustain- able land use policies and practices that will allow for the stabilisa- tion of agricultural production and the simultaneous sequestration of carbon. an important soil management challenge is that soils should become a carbon dioxide sink rather than a source, thereby conferring the region a positive role in respect to world-wide con- cerns about mitigating climate change. cropland in the kulunda steppe can provide large-scale mitiga- tion potential against greenhouse gas emissions over a long time period. the agronomic and economic aim for the kulunda steppe figure 3.19: paddy fields under ’alternative wetting and drying‘ in vietnam. (andreas havemann) figure 3.20: greenhouse gas sampling in the field at nam phuoc, vietnam. (tran dang hoa) is to implement farming practices that can harvest carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (through photosynthesis) and store it in the soil, based on no-till and minimum-tillage methods (see technol- ogy ‘minimum tillage’ page 251). research has shown that there is a significant relationship between soil organic carbon (soc) and aggregate stability in the soil. cropland has lower soc content and aggregate stability than natural (extensively or unused) soils. hence, with increasing aggregate stability, soc could be seques- trated and wind erosion would decrease (see chapter 1 page 20). therefore, a carbon cycle model was used to investigate into soil carbon changes under three scenarios (lpjml dynamic global vegetation model - bondeau et al. 2007, schaphoff et al. 2013): static land-use patterns, i.e. no change in current land-use: leads to a total soil carbon loss in the kulunda steppe over the 21st cen- tury of between 140 and 340 tgc, depending on the climate sce- nario and resulting emissions. assuming complete agricultural abandonment over the entire region: the climate-induced loss of soil carbon is more than made up for by a re-establishment of natural steppe and woody vegeta- tion and a corresponding net increase in soil carbon of 360 to 970 tgc over the 21st century. a complete conversion of all land to cropland (wheat): the cli- mate-induced carbon loss is accompanied by additional soil car- bon loss from land-use change, leading to overall carbon losses of 1050 to 1130 tgc over the 21st century (figure 3.21) figure 3.21: changes in soil carbon stocks under three land-use change scenar- ios, and future high emission climate change (sres a2 scenario) in the kulunda steppe. tgc: teragram carbon, lu: land use. (nakicenovic and swart 2000)
89 chapter 3 mitigating climate change conclusions land use change, land and water management, as well as climatic conditions determine how much carbon can be sequestered or is emitted in the form of greenhouse gases. related to climate change mitigation, the biggest challenge is how to turn the land from a c-source into a c-sink. land use itself is a factor determining ghg losses, and the process of land use change is often a ghg source in itself. major carbon and ghg emissions occur when: • land use is intensified resulting in: – soil disturbance, reduced aggregate stability and loss of soil organic carbon (leading to loss of soil fertility) – loss of vegetation and soil cover (bare soils) • land use is changed through: – conversion to a land use with lower c-storage potential e.g. forests to grasslands and cropland to settlement and transportation infrastructure • wetlands are drained and converted to grass and or cropland if land management is to contribute to mitigation of climate change, the carbon storage potentials of soils and vegetation have to be taken into account. this implies that the impacts of different land uses and groundwater management on carbon sequestration rate and total storage capacity should be known. a first strategy is to reduce emissions from land management changes and intensive cultivation which constitute a c-source • spare land with a higher c-storage potential from conversion, through sustainable intensification of land already in production (mainly cropland) • avoid or reduce major land use change (e. g. deforestation, fast urbanization/ erratic urban sprawl) • protect wetlands and grassland from conversion • improve production systems that currently release high ghg: e.g. reducing ghg emissions by drying and wetting of paddy (low land) rice fields. a second strategy is to protect existing c-sinks in soils with high carbon stock from ‘burning up’ carbon/ organic matter through oxidation • avoid excessive drainage, consequent oxidation (decomposition) and subsequent mineralization of organic soils, keep groundwa- ter levels at an optimal height (by regulating groundwater lev- els, protect, re-establish or restore wetlands) • avoid agronomic practices and production systems that accel- erate soil erosion, som decomposition and oxidation: replace with no-till/ minimum tillage, permanent soil cover, grazing land management etc • avoid clearance of bush/ forest associated with burning, over- grazing and overexploitation of vegetation, reducing above and below ground organic matter. a third strategy is to increase c sequestration and improve c-storage capacity • re-convert intensively used land to extensive systems, e.g. rewet- ting of organic soils, protection, extensification of intensively used cropland or grazing land; or reverse the original process of land conversion itself (e.g. back from cropland to grasslands restoration; recreation of wetlands) (from source to sink) • increase c-sequestration and storage/ stocks of mineral soils. apply practices/ agronomic management that improve above and below ground biomass production improved management of mineral soils through better cover and less soil disturbance can improve carbon stocks without having to increase groundwater levels. yet, with high water levels, carbon stocks can even be further increased but there is a risk of emis- sions of methane in both organic and mineral soils. some strategies for cc-mitigation including re-wetting of organic soils and extensification of grassland have clear co-benefits with both biodiversity preservation and increasing the resilience of the whole system, including cc-adaptation potential. climate change mitigation through improved land use and man- agement is often a compromise, especially due to the time period required and slow benefits accruing to the local land users. cc- mitigation is a long term investment with a long-term focus to achieve its goal and get some benefits. those who invest in improved land management do not get immediate and direct ben- efits from their improved land. yet, they make a contribution to society at large.
90 making sense of research for sustainable land management protecting biodiversity and ecosystems chapter 4 western siberia, wanja mathar
91 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems in previous chapters the following aspects also related to biodi- versity protection, regeneration and improvements are covered: • chapter 1: crop rotations, intercropping and flower strips instead of monoculture, integrated/ biological pest control • chapter 2: protection of riparian forests, eco-based disaster risk reduction (drr): where natural systems are included for the pro- tection against disasters • chapter 3: land management related to climate change mitiga- tion and enhancing recovery of the carbon stocks, in the soils, as well as above-ground. these land management practices often go hand-in-hand with supporting or enhancing biodiversity. in this chapter the focus is on biodiversity as the primary goal. several examples of biodiver- sity conservation and sustainable use of natural and semi-natural systems are presented. they address in particular: • management of protected areas • payment for ecosystem services biodiversity provides important ecosystem services (ess) for human needs, of which agricultural production and provisioning of water are key for food security. but current land use and land use changes often severely reduce biodiversity and ecosystem function (schulz et al. 2016; hansen et al. 2001). a main driver of biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystems is conversion of natural and semi-natural land use systems into agricultural land, settlements and transportation systems. natural forest, steppe, wetlands and grasslands are lost – further adding to the ongoing biodiversity crisis. a second threat to biodiversity is intensification of cropland and grazing land. this process threatens agrobiodiversity (crops diversity as well as wild species diversity on agricultural lands) and simultaneously leads to degradation of these agro-ecosystems. a third driver of biodiversity loss is overuse of natural and semi-natural land by, for example, non-sustainable collection of natural products and overgrazing. in some areas, it is a combination of population growth and poverty that lead to over-exploitation and deterioration of natural resources and agro-ecosystems. conversion back to grasslands (or other systems) or extensification of currently intensively used agricultural systems with low biodiversity can lead to recovery and improvement. on the other hand, in some areas, abandonment of existing agricultural systems with a high level of biodiversity can lead to a decrease of biodiversity. thus, it is imperative to analyse the local or regional context in order to identify suitable solutions for biodiversity protection. introduction
92 making sense of research for sustainable land management 4.1 managing protected areas protected areas are defined as a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effec- tive means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values (dudley, 2008). three examples of managing protected areas are presented below: • protected area concept in vietnam • enforcing protected areas in the são francisco river basin in brazil • protection within a much used agricultural area and creation of green / conservation corridors in mahafaly plateau in madagascar protected area concept in vietnam biodiversity research for designing protected areas context: as soon as roads are constructed, access to the last unspoiled forest areas is opened; often, roads are initially used for legal selective logging, but are subsequently used for illegal logging problem: deforestation through conversion, over-exploitation and plan- tation of exotic trees solution: install protected areas/ protect biodiverse forests, reforesta- tion with economically useful native trees; awareness-raising through research on biodiversity and the value/ benefits of biodiversity conser- vation; developing priorities and recommendations for decision-makers and stakeholders; ‘conservation concept’ and mapping overall protected area network message: biodiversity conservation in vgtb needs to go hand in hand with environmental education and provision of alternative ways of income generation to halt illegal logging in the long run vietnam is one of the few countries in the world with steadily increasing forest coverage – though much of this extra ‘forest’ comprises plantations. however, the area of native forest in vu gia thu bon (vgtb) watershed in central vietnam is steadily decreas- ing and the once continuous forests are fragmented by: • conversion of forest to agricultural lands, plantations, infrastruc- ture and settlement areas; • deforestation and degradation through exploitation for timber; • harvesting of wild plants and animals at unsustainable levels; • introduction of exotic (non-native) tree species. although located in internationally recognised ecological prior- ity areas adjacent to the annamite mountain range – which are known for their high levels of biodiversity (box 4.1), there is surpris- ingly little known about forest diversity and the patterns of tree species distribution. this is primarily due to difficult access to the remote mountain areas. as soon as roads are constructed, access to the last unspoiled forest areas is opened; often, roads are used for legal selective logging, but are subsequently used for illegal logging (figure 4.1). the distribution patterns of native tree species in vgtb river basin were assessed to identify priority areas for conservation, and thus for ess maintenance, and to develop recommendations for ade- quate forest management strategies. in vgtb river basin, an area of roughly 12.000 km , it proved diffi- cult to find areas of 1 km of continuous near–natural forest needed for an assessment of native tree species. this was due to exten- sive plantations of mainly (exotic, non-native) eucalyptus and acacia species. in three field campaigns, 187 tree species were identified in 16 plots of 1 km2 in the midlands and highlands of the vgtb basin. fieldwork, combined with tree species distribution modelling (max- ent), showed that the highest levels of potential tree species rich- ness lay in the highlands in the south of the vgtb basin, and in the west on the border with laos. the midlands demonstrated lower levels of potential tree species distribution, with only few remnants of near-natural forests in remote valleys and on steep mountain slopes. through an overlay of modelled tree species richness with the existing road network, less fragmented priority areas with high richness were identified for conservation (figure 4.2). box 4.1: forests in vietnam are highly diverse - but threatened seriously scarred in the years of the vietnam war between 1965 and 1975, the overall forest area has grown steadily since the early 1990s from approximately 25% of the country’s area in 1992 to more than 38% in 2005 (meyfroidt and lambin, 2008). accord- ing to the vietnam development report 2011 based on an over- view by the world bank from 2005, vietnam hosts 310 mammal species, 840 bird species, 286 reptile species, 162 amphibian spe- cies, 3,170 fish species and 14,000 plant species. the research on biodiversity came up with following recommen- dations for decision-makers and stakeholders in vgtb river basin: • centres of elevated modelled tree species richness found are recommended as priority areas for the creation of a biodiversity corridor in the vgtb basin. • in order to close the gap identified, a new protected area (‘core priority area’) should be established in its north-western area and be connected to existing protected areas to create north- east and east-west corridors. • plantations of native tree species, ideally with high economic and ecological value, should be introduced - as native tree spe- cies need less fertilizer and attention, thus allowing a more bio- diverse understorey. • awareness-building measures for the need of biodiversity conservation in general, as well as for the use of endemic tree species for income generation have to be carried out to sensi- tise local communities and demonstrate the benefits of nature conservation. figure 4.1: national road 14d of the asian highway connecting laos with vietnam and splitting the song thanh protected area, the largest in vu ghia thu bon (vgtb) river basin, into two parts. (ho dac thai hoang) 2 2
93 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems figure 4.2: linking priority areas for conservation to establish a biodiversity corridor from the north-south and east-west in the vu ghia thu bon (vgtb) watershed in vietnam. core priority and priority areas for future protection are outlined with an orange line and dotted line. the larger areas highlighted show the two axes of the proposed biodiversity corridor: in light red connecting along the north-south axis; in light blue along the west-east axis linking forest areas from laos to the sea. (claudia raedig) knowledge for protection of caatinga woodlands, brazil knowledge-based planning and protection of caatinga woodlands in the são francisco river basin, brazil context: the natural caatinga woodlands are under high pressure of exploitation and overuse - even under protection. recovery of forests is detectable in some areas but high biodiversity with a major share of the typical flora and fauna can only scarcely be found problem: degradation (esp. soil erosion), biodiversity loss and high ghg emissions, growing pressure, inadequate incentives / implementation of regulations (enforcement) to protect caatinga woodland, incomplete knowledge base and lack of monitoring solution: raise awareness, improve knowledge base, enforce monitoring, enforce implementation of existing regulations, develop an overall pro- tection plan: connected areas, good governance to protect a biodiverse system under pressure message: natural resource degradation can sometimes be better addressed through education and awareness-raising than legislation alone the best concept for protected areas is useless if it is not respected by the people living in the area. in the são francisco river basin in brazil the natural caatinga woodlands are under high pressure of exploitation. caatinga means ‘white forest’. small trees, on aver- age smaller than 6 m, which shed their leaves seasonally are com- mon. the understorey is mainly composed of small woody species, including small cacti and bromeliads, and during the rainy sea- son grasses and annual plants. although parts of the woodlands have been placed under protection, little or no control of these protected areas means that there is continued indiscriminate cut- ting of caatinga (figure 4.3). often, trees of the caatinga are used for timber for construction, charcoal production or firewood, lead- ing to lower forest densities. some areas are also converted into settlements while other areas are completely cleared for agricul- tural purposes. the ‘command and control system’ for the pro- tected areas is practically dysfunctional. apparently, the costs of enforcement are not outweighed by the expected benefits. this is leading not only to the loss of a unique and biodiverse eco- system but has climate change mitigation implications as well. the native caatinga vegetation and its soils are carbon sinks. conser- vation of the caatinga forests is crucial for carbon sequestration - and this is recognised, and different governmental regulations are laid down in the forest act. for instance, maintaining a buffer zone of native vegetation along water bodies and the conser- vation of a proportion of each farm for native vegetation are amongst such regulations (brazil 2012). nevertheless, other than in the mato grosso area in brazil, they are rarely enforced (see chapter 2, section 2.2 page 63). the consequences of this intensive land use on biodiversity sta- tus have been studied in relation to model species richness and identification of priority areas for protection (using maxent soft- ware). this exercise revealed the limited knowledge base regard- ing the caatinga biome. this lack of knowledge has influenced the results of biodiversity modelling, and may be also responsible for the fact that, in the past, the caatinga was not identified as a priority area for nature protection. so far, protection strategies have been focused on regions where there was more research and knowledge about biodiversity.
94 making sense of research for sustainable land management using the research data and modelling, the officially designed pro- tected areas in the são francisco river basin have been reassessed in view of the their current land use. about 9% of the protected areas in the studied caatinga woodland were characterised as being currently under intensive human land use. an analysis over time indicated rapid and increasing degradation process in the region around the itaparica reservoir, despite the fact that overall forest cover has increased in the entire caatinga region over the past decades (schulz et al. in press). this endangers the current and potential value of biodiversity and ecosystem functions of the caatinga woodlands, in particular: • the endemic fauna and flora is adapted to very harsh environ- mental conditions and thus has potential value as gene pool for plants and animals, as well as being a source of information regarding adaptation to a harsh environment; • the function of woodland to enhance groundwater recharge; and • the role of the existing woodlands in protection against deserti- fication and soil erosion (see chapter 1 page 42) in the são francisco river basin, and more specifically in the neigh- bourhood of the itaparica reservoir, an existing conservation area under state recognition (serra da canoa, figure 4.4) is being sup- ported by biodiversity and species lists monitoring. these data on species diversity (which is higher in the conservation area than outside) is needed to justify the conservation of the area and to prioritize its implementation. this supports the need for monitor- ing, reporting and eventually securing the protection of the area. a higher impact of protection is expected when the value of the caatinga woodlands is recognized at national level. research has also shown the need to connect existing conservation areas with additional new protected areas to create conservation corridors or “stepping stones” for the exchange and spread of animal and plant species. in order to sustain biodiversity management of the caatinga woodlands, the underlying knowledge base needs more atten- tion. there is a clear knowledge gap, especially when compared to other biomes, for instance, the amazon. there is not enough funding for monitoring campaigns. however, the poorly-studied caatinga biome should receive the same governmental recogni- tion as other tropical ecosystems. figure 4.4: diverse caatinga vegetation in the serra da canoa conservation area, brazil. (marianna siegmund-schultze) managing protected areas in madagascar research and community-based monitoring and corridors between protected islands, mahafaly plateau in madagascar context: the unique spiny forest ecosystem of madagascar with its high degree of endemic plants and animals is threatened by unsustainable land use techniques problem: deforestation, overuse and disconnected protected areas (no mobility for plants and fauna) and climate change solution: study habitat requirements for the protection of a biodiversity hotspot and apply a mix of measures – support long-term monitoring and awareness with para-ecologists and develop cost-effective monitoring (using flagship species) – overcome fragmentation by leaving / re-installing corridors, especially hedges – silvicultural measures in the forests to support sustainable use of tim- ber and ntfp – management of invasive species, monitor risk message: threats to biodiverse habitats may be best approached by a combination of technical measures – accompanied by training local com- munity members in monitoring averting biodiversity loss on the mahafaly plateau in madagascar is challenging. the unique spiny forest ecosystem of madagascar with its high degree of endemic plants and animals is threatened by unsustainable land use techniques, for example slash and burn, non-sustainable collection of natural products, and overgrazing (see chapter 1). these practices have led to a high rate of defor- estation (brinkmann et al. 2014) and the loss of biodiversity and forest-related ess. the conservation of one of the world’s biodi- versity hotspots is of global relevance. within the study region, the protected areas alone are unlikely to be adequate to conserve the endemic species, because even the large protected areas (such as the 220,000 ha tsimanampetsotse national park) are probably too small to maintain viable popula- tions of animal and plant species. this is especially so, since bio- diversity decline outside protected areas has negative impacts on the protected areas themselves (laurance et al. 2012). further- more, even without direct human disturbance, protected areas are subject to climate change. as a result, habitat suitability is affected. species survival depends on the possibility of moving to more suitable habitats. however, if protected areas become islands in a heavily used landscape, many plants and animals will not have this possibility. figure 4.3: view over sparse caatinga vegetation to the itaparica reservoir in ita- curuba municipality, brazil. (johann köppel)
95 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems monitoring biodiversity: in order to conserve the unique biodiversity, there is a need to study and separate direct human impact (e.g. destruction of natu- ral habitats) from long-term climatic changes (e.g. aridification). the development of mitigation strategies to counter loss of biodi- versity requires intimate knowledge of habitat requirements of the native plants and animals. by linking information about the current state of biodiversity in the mahafaly region to land management, the objectives of the study were to: (1) learn more about plant and animal responses to habi- tat alterations, (2) find options on how to integrate biodiversity conservation within the landscape outside the protected areas, and (3) provide methods on cost-effective monitoring of biodiver- sity components. baseline data collection and long-term monitoring of flagship species (charismatic species that gain people’s attention) in the spiny forest ecosystem are conservation priorities of madagascar national parks (mnp). one prominent example of a flagship spe- cies is the radiated tortoise (astrochelys radiata, figure 4.5). its distributional range has been drastically reduced within the last decades due to illegal poaching. it is listed as ’critically endan- gered‘ on the iucn red list (iucn 2015). the radiated tortoise is used as an important food for some of the local human population and provides cash income when sold on the regional and interna- tional market. further flagship species were monitored, such as the tortoise (hammer and ramilijaona 2009), the carnivore galid- ictis grandidieri (marquard et al. 2011) and the lemur microcebus griseorufus. research efforts are continuing to support the estab- lishment of long-term monitoring programmes in close collabora- tion with governmental and non-governmental organizations (e.g. world wildlife fund) and include people from villages surrounding the park. figure 4.5: radiated tortoise (astrochelys radiata): a flagship species for biodiver- sity monitoring in madagascar. (y.r. ratovonamana) figure 4.6: staff of madagascar national parks during a workshop on monitoring techniques: here, vegetation. (y. r. ratovonamana) long-term monitoring of the environment and biodiversity is a core duty of the madagascar national park (mnp), the national authority for protected area management in madagascar. how- ever, standardized and regular monitoring is hampered by poor data availability and quality, and a lack of sufficient staff for monitoring. the lack of staff was compensated for by deliberate integration of local people into the monitoring process. commu- nity-based monitoring and training and involvement of ‘eco- guards’ or ‘para-ecologists’ in monitoring techniques (agriculture and landscape ecology) and interview methods provided a prom- ising way forward to greater and more meaningful involvement of the community in monitoring and conservation (figure 4.6). developing/ protecting biodiversity corridors in the landscape: the populations of most plants and animals in the mahafaly region of south-western madagascar suffer from deforestation and forest fragmentation. options on how to integrate biodiver- sity conservation within the landscape - outside the protected areas - by developing a concept for a conservation network seemed the most plausible. reptiles as surrogate taxa (surrogate taxa are used widely to represent attributes of other taxa) were used to assess impacts of human land use on ecosystems. apart from birds, reptiles are the dominant vertebrate group in the study region, integrated in nutrient cycles both as predators and prey. they can play integral roles in ecosystem service provision- ing such as pest control. changes in their diversity are likely to cascade through the ecosystem. the effects of habitat alterations on reptile species richness and occurrence were examined (figure 4.7). the overall species rich- ness was negatively affected by human-induced land cover changes, reflecting a reduction in forest and vegetation cover. this relationship is non-linear, and there is a threshold of woody vegetation cover at about 10-30% remaining vegetation in the landscape, after which reptile species richness decreased markedly (nopper et al 2015). species richness protected forest degraded forest cutivated areas with hedges cutivated areas without hedges heterogeneous homogeneous structural homogeneity high low figure 4.7: schematic display of the relationship between reptile species richness and the structural heterogeneity of the landscape, madagascar. (nopper et al. 2015).
96 making sense of research for sustainable land management keeping vegetation above this threshold by retaining woody veg- etation stabilizes reptile species richness to a certain degree. there need to be structural elements in the landscape such as hedges acting as fences along agricultural fields, or remaining natural vegetation: these play a very important role in maintaining high reptile species richness. the inclusion of these structural elements in cleared and unconnected landscapes might establish links (i.e. corridors) between remnants of natural forests and enhance con- nectivity within the human- utilised landscape (nopper et al. sub- mitted) (figure 4.8). habitat availability for these forest-dependent species could additionally be increased by including sacred and community-managed forests into management concepts and link- ing them with other forests through corridors (ferguson et al. 2014). a proposed way forward is to establish a network of pro- tected sites that are connected by corridors of suitable landscape elements using remaining community forests as nuclei. alongside the human-utilised landscape, the protection of continuous forest habitat remains essential to maintain viable populations of all spe- cies (nopper et al. submitted). at present, the most promising concept to reconcile biodiver- sity conservation with agriculture, provisioning of food and other forest ess is agroforestry, in which woody perennial vegetation is integrated into cultivated and grazing areas (see chapter 1 page 44). even though these landscape elements positively affect bio- diversity in the human-utilised landscape, they also consist in parts of exotic species whose effects on the natural ecosystem are yet little understood. those exotic species need to be moni- tored closely, and managed, in order to prevent uncontrolled dis- tribution, and becoming invasives (gérard et al. 2015; nopper et al. submitted). 4.2 paying for ecosystem services biodiverse landscapes and land management practices have a num- ber of benefits for ecosystems function and services provided to people. in systems focusing on agricultural production, the inclu- sion of biodiversity has its merits as demonstrated through conser- vation agricultural practices, on grassland and forest land use (see chapter 1 page 24), or in combination with climate change mitiga- tion for carbon sequestration (see chapter 3 page 84). however, in biodiverse landscapes, in comparison to biodiverse land management systems focussing on agricultural production, the economic benefits are much more difficult to assess and pre- sent a less convincing case for investment of time and care by land users. in cases where ecosystem preservation has costs for those who are ensuring it, or where this limits the ‘profitable’ use of the land (for farming etc.), compensation or incentives are needed. this is the focus here. some examples investigated by research are: • biodiversity and disaster risk reduction in the coastal region of north germany figure 4.8: satellite image of a section of the research area in the mahafaly region, madagascar. around the villages (lower left corner) a network of hedges surround cultivated fields. the cultivated land has expanded into the forest (right). in between the fields, existing patches of forest are connected with the larger forest through hedges working as corridors, providing a suitable habitat for many animal species, and maintaining high levels of biodiversity in the human-used landscape. (joachim nopper) • design of payment of ecosystem services (pes) in the vgtb basin in vietnam and the mahafaly plateau in madagascar • marketing a natural heritage (highland production systems in the philippines/ vietnam) benefits from combining biodiversity and climate change adaptation in the coastal region of north germany biodiversity co-benefits from adaptation to climate change need additional payments for eco-system services in the coastal region of north germany context: large-scale industrial and or intensive agriculture reduces biodi- versity in lowland and coastal areas problem: many former indigenous species are extinct and the natural vegetation is only present in small, conserved remnants of the former coastal landscape solution: rewetting of drained cropland and less intensive land use of grasslands will improve biodiversity; besides the income from agricultural land use, the benefits from high levels of biodiversity and natural vegeta- tion (e.g. for climate mitigation, tourism and recreation) should be valued in decisions about future land management message: direct rewards from biodiversity are often not enough for peo- ple to invest in conservation: they further need to be compensated by payment for ecosystem services (pes) in chapter 3 some co-benefits of biodiversity with climate change mitigation practices have already been indicated. however here, the focus is on examples of co-benefits and trade-offs of biodi- versity with climate change mitigation as well as climate change adaptation as investigated by research. along the european coastline agricultural intensification has taken place. coastal wetlands were drained and ‘impoldered’, then converted into intensive agricultural land for dairy farming and crop production. large-scale industrial and intensive agriculture reduced biodiversity in these areas. many former indigenous spe- cies are extinct and the natural vegetation is only present in small remnants within conservation areas. rewetting of drained cropland in combination with less intensive land use of grasslands will improve biodiversity along the euro- pean coastline. biodiversity of several land use types was meas- ured for each separately based on the plant rarity index (figure 4.9). the plant rarity index is the occurrence of endangered plant species and typical species of endangered habitat types based on the iucn ’red list of threatened species‘ and the ’european com- mission’s habitats directive annex i‘ (box 4.2).
97 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems box 4.2: council directive 92/43/eec on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora the directive aims to protect some 220 habitats and approximately 1,000 species listed in the directive's annexes. these are species and habitats which are considered to be of european interest, fol- lowing criteria given in the directive. it directs member states of the eu to take measures to maintain the ’favourable conservation status‘ of protected habitats and species. (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/habitatsdirec- tive/index_en.htm) biodiversity increased in the wetter land use and vegetation types, except for the very wettest situation, when the land was sub- merged and reeds were prevalent: here the wettest zones showed the lowest plant rarity index with few endangered plant species. however, reeds achieved the highest carbon sequestration results, illustrating that in the case of reeds, there is a trade-off between cc-mitigation and biodiversity. the wet grasslands showed the highest plant rarity index of flood protected agriculturally used pastures. the highest plant rarity index with greatest numbers of endangered plant species, and hence high biodiversity, was found on salt marshes. salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded regularly by salt water brought in by the tides. water retention areas and de-embanked parts of the landscape (that are exposed to increased flooding), with extensive or aban- doned land use or mixed/combined with intensive agricultural land use, may be especially effective in increasing the biodiversity of plants in the region. a diverse mosaic of different land uses and natural wetland areas will be created where the land use is adapted to increased flood risks. it is projected that this will lead to increased biodiversity and resilience to climate change risks and disasters with diverse additional services including recreation, and increased tourism. re-wetting for combined cc-mitigation and cc-adaptation pre- sents an example of productive eco-disaster risk reduction (drr) (see chapter 3 page 81). where intensive agricultural land use is no longer possible due to rising water levels and flood risks, an increase in the area with former natural coastal habitats will take place. although abandonment may lead to decreased plant biodi- versity (for example reeds instead of grassland), animal biodiversity may increase as reeds are the natural vegetation in the region. the abandonment of these sites will also strongly increase the resilience of the landscape to climate change risks (see chapter 2 page 70). the plant rarity index is used as an indicator of biodiversity, mean- ing the higher the index the more endangered plants species are present and the greater the biodiversity. four land management scenarios modelled under climate change (ipcc climate projection: sres a2; sea level rise 1.05 m till 2100; meehl et al. 2007) illustrate the impact on biodiversity and the great differences as a result of management (figure 4.10): • the red line shows the scenario of the ‘business-as-usual’ trend (i.e. dairy farming and crop production). in the model, pumping capacity is unlimited and costs are not taken into consideration. it will be very expensive, but it should be technically feasible if the costs are covered. • in comparison, the blue line shows the situation after de- embankment of large parts of the peninsula with adapted agri- cultural (extensified grazing) and non-agricultural land use. • the yellow line shows the development of plant rarity index for the land management option developed by local stakeholders: slightly less intensive land use than ‘business-as-usual’ or mixed with more extensive land uses. it shows higher values and there- fore a greater number of endangered plant species compared to the business-as-usual. • a landscape optimized for carbon sequestration (green line) shows low numbers of endangered plant species due to the high amount of reeds. as adaption to climate change and increase of biodiversity will be by extensification of agricultural use and at the cost of intensifi- cation, the loss of productivity will have to be ‘paid for’ by other services provided such as tourism and recreation, or by additional payments for ecosystem services. dry grassland moist grassland wet grassland upper salt marsh lower salt marsh reed 0 1 2 3 4 5 plant rarity index figure 4.9: plant rarity index (based on number of endangered species and typi- cal species of endangered habitat types) within different grassland types, coastal salt marshes and reeds in germany, the netherlands and denmark. the land use and different vegetation types are listed from the dry conditions (left) to the very wet conditions (right). note: high plant rarity index means many endangered spe- cies are still present demonstrating high biodiversity. 0 plant rarity index indicates no endangered species. (comtess) legend: scenarios trend: business-as-usual after disembankment and adaptation local stakeholder option landscape optimized carbon sequestration figure 4.10: the plant rarity index up to 2100 for the peninsula of michaelsdorf in the baltic sea, germany modelled for four dif- ferent land management options (ipcc climate projection: sres a2; sea level rise 1.05m to 2100; meehl et al 2007). (comtess)
98 making sense of research for sustainable land management pes - combining climate-smart agriculture with biodiversity in vietnam pes for sustainable agriculture and reducing deforestation: redd+ and climate-smart agriculture in landscapes context: expansion of rice and acacia plantations for subsistence and cash crop production problem: (i) lack of fertile land for local needs, (ii) deforestation and for- est degradation cause ghg emissions solution: agent-based modelling to identify viable landscape manage- ment strategies / combinations of measures to reduce pressure on the forests such as: – tephrosia fallow to store carbon and increase rice yields by nitrogen fixation – recognition of land ownership! (land use right certificates) to provide incentives for innovative land use and management – redd+ reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – climate-smart agriculture (csa) – cross-sectoral policies message: deforestation problems are not simply answered by planting more trees: a mixed response is required, addressing the root of the problem research conducted in the vu gia thu bon (vgtb) watershed in vietnam aimed at identifying land management strategies such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (redd+) and climate-smart agriculture (csa) to reduce emissions from deforestation and to adapt to climate change. the research was carried out under a case study in central viet- nam (tra bui commune, quang nam province) to identify landscape management strategies that achieve forest protection while improv- ing agricultural practices and adaptation to climate change. to this effect, workshops with local communities were convened to under- stand the land management decisions of local farmers. the infor- mation has been used to simulate impacts of land use decisions in landscape dynamics, and the associated carbon emissions over 30 years. an agent-based model (abm) simulates the actions and inter- actions of autonomous agents (both individual and collective enti- ties, such as organizations or groups) with a view to assessing their effects on the system as a whole. they simulate the simultaneous operations and interactions of multiple agents in an attempt to re- create and predict the appearance of complex phenomena. in the study area, deforestation was mainly driven by the expan- sion of land for rice cultivation to satisfy food needs, and by the establishment of acacia plantations as a cash crop. the study explored five land management scenarios (figure 4.11). one of them, a csa technique named ‘tephrosia fallow’, is used for the sustainable intensification of rice production (box 4.3). tephrosia fallow increases yields in existing agricultural areas, and firewood production in the woody fallows, and therefore is expected to reduce deforestation related to agricultural expansion, and forest degradation related to firewood collection. the recognition of land ownership was found to play a major role in the implementation of tephrosia fallow via the provision of land use right certificates to all farmers. such certificates are needed because the time needed for the implementation of the csa tech- nique implies investments in land which farmers are willing to make – but only if their land ownership is recognized. another scenario explored was payment for ecosystem services (pes) obtained under the redd+ scheme to reduce deforestation. since an increasing amount of natural forests is being replaced by profitable acacia plantations, the maintenance of natural forest needs to be economically supported. the scenario combining pes and csa (pes_csa) resulted in the lowest carbon emissions, because deforestation due to acacia plantation and rice expansion was minimized. the second-best scenario combines csa with forest protection measures (forpro_ csa), where all farmers adopt tephrosia fallow, which increases yields while storing carbon on the fallow land, and stricter forest protection reduces deforestation for rice cultivation. box 4.3: tephrosia fallow tephrosia is a nitrogen fixing plant belonging to the pea family and improves soil fertility. tephrosia fallow is expected to increase the yield of rice plantations up to 19% and store more carbon in fallow land, up to 9.6 t/ha/year (salvini et al. 2016). results showed that forest protection and rural development strategies can, and should, be combined and that policies aimed at improving adaptation to climate change are more effective if implemented in synergy with cc-mitigation policies. this is cur- rently hampered by a sectorial approach in land management: in vietnam policies aimed at agriculture management and forest pro- tection are designed and implemented separately by two different government departments. thus, there is a strong need for better cross-sector cooperation and coordination to facilitate the estab- lishment of redd+ schemes. combining pes with redd+ in dry forests of madagascar protection of madagascar’s remaining dry forest context: deforestation leads to ghg emissions and biodiversity loss problem: dry forest has a lower c storage capacity than forests in wetter conditions -> incentive for redd+ is too low solution: adequate subsidies / pes, adapt redd+; pes that also include ess other than carbon storage (as in redd+) such as conservation of biodiversity message: redd+ and associated pes systems have been widely promoted as an answer to forest degradation – however in certain specific situations, like low-carbon content dry forests, they are complex to design and put into practice avoided c emissions in gg figure 4.11: avoided carbon emissions (in gigagram/gg) for different policy scenarios and over 20 years starting from 2024, vietnam: pes_ac: implementation of pes for avoiding acacia plantations (blue); forpro: implementation of stricter forest protection (green); csa_tephrosia: implementation of tephrosia fallow (yellow); forpro_csa: implementation of strict forest protection and tephrosia fallow orange); pes_csa: implementation of pes for avoiding acacia plantations and tephrosia fallow (red). (adapted from salvini et al. 2016)
99 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems the dry forest area of the mahafaly region in madagascar has been reduced by 45% over the last 40 years (brinkmann et al 2014). the protection of the remaining dry forest area in the mahafaly region of madagascar would contribute to the mitigation of climate change (figure 4.12). in that context, redd+ is often presented as a promis- ing mechanism to halt the ongoing deforestation and degradation of natural forests. but redd+ focuses on forest carbon stocks as a means to calculate economic incentives for forests. the above- ground carbon stock of dry forests was estimated to be 7.9 t c/ha. this is very low compared to other tropical forest ecosystems reach- ing 99.5 t c/ha for humid forests in northern madagascar, with undisturbed forests harbouring more than 140 t c/ha above-ground (asner et al. 2012). consequently, redd+ activities focus more on those forests ecosystems that store high amounts of carbon. to be effective, for the conservation of the dry forest ecosystem of the mahafaly plateau, redd+ schemes have to be adapted and/or com- plemented by identifying alternative schemes of payments for eco- system services that encourage biodiversity conservation instead of solely focusing on the prevention of carbon emissions. marketing agrobiodiversity and a natural heritage in rice production systems (philippines) tourism to preserve agrobiodiversity and attractive agricultural landscapes context: abandoned highland rice terraces can lead to reduced interest within the community to preserve the forests and their biodiversity. for- ests are source of continuous water supply problem: traditional highland rice terraces are abandoned because they are economically not viable and involve high workload. migration of youth to nearby cities to work in tourism. loss of agrobiodiversity solution: income from ecotourism re-invested into terrace maintenance and reaches farmers, re-introduction of and marketing strategy for local rice varieties which attract higher prices (quality instead of quantity, ‘branding’ or ‘source-labelling’); indirect incentives for forest protection (production system relying on natural system) message: ecotourism, or ‘agro-ecotourism’ is a novel idea to attract investment into historical terracing to ensure its upkeep. this can be asso- ciated with branding of products figure 4.12: dry spiny forest towards the coast of the mahafaly area in mada- gascar. (johanna götter) figure 4.13: traditional irrigated rice terraces: rice transplanting in batad, philip- pines (martin wiemers) abandonment of rice terraces in the highlands of the philippines threatens an ancient sustainable land use system (figure 4.13). it is not only a mix of a natural and cultural heritage but - because of its close dependence on well-managed water resources from the rainforests - it helps to conserve rainforests with high biodiversity in the mountains above the terrace systems. when rice terraces are abandoned, the interests of the community in continuous water supply from those forests is reduced and there is the risk of loss of interest in preserving the forests. maintaining and planting a range of local rice varieties (or ‘lan- draces’) in traditional terrace systems of vietnam and the philip- pines would contribute to protecting agrobiodiversity within the overall rice system (figure 4.14). marketing of those more flavour- some and ‘special’ local rice varieties, which command higher price at local markets – for tourists in particular – can be improved by branding, that is developing a special label for them. such a strat- egy can increase the production value of and the interest in main- taining the terraces systems. in combination with special varieties, agroecotourism in irrigated rice terraces and paddy fields with local/ indigenous rice varieties could render rice cultivation in mountain areas once again more attractive and viable to land users (figure 4.15). it is one of the most promising options to support the continuation of a cultural heritage site, but simultaneously as a valuable production system enhanced by income generation from tourism. but income gen- erated from ecotourism does not necessarily reach the local rice farmers. the management of the sites needs to ensure that the income generated is re-invested into maintaining the terraces. for example, at one of the most attractive sites, the batad rice terraces in the philippines, visitors are asked for an entrance fee, which is distributed among the farmers.
100 making sense of research for sustainable land management conclusions lessons learnt for protecting biodiversity and ecosystems biodiversity loss takes place when forests and semi-natural sys- tems are converted to any type of agricultural land, such as con- version from: • forest or wetlands to grassland; • grassland / wetland to cropland; • diverse cropland to monocultures (intensification); • small-scale (multiple patterns within the landscape) to large- scale single pattern without differentiation within the land- scape. research shows that in general biodiversity gets poorer, as the more specialized and intensified agricultural use becomes. not only conversion of land, but also overuse and fragmentation of natural and semi-natural ecosystems/ habitats such as forests, woodlands, and steppes lead to an impoverishment of biodiversity. however, biodiversity can again build up ‘naturally’. abandon- ment of semi-natural and previously agricultural land, for exam- ple, while managing invasive species, can lead to an enrichment of previously poor biodiversity. very often the importance and ‘state’ of biodiversity in a region is not known to a community or the local government. if there is no awareness about the problem and the benefits of solving it, then it is hard to find appropriate solutions, particularly if the main con- cerns are related to productivity and production. there is a trade- off between preserving ecosystems and biodiversity and ensuring livelihoods or maximizing profits. awareness-raising and education about the values and benefits of sustainable management of natural and semi-natural land use sys- tems on biodiversity is badly needed: “we protect what we know” drawing attention to so far unrecognized biodiversity. involving different land users and the public in monitoring of the benefits of protection is needed. how much can, and will, be done in one direction or the other will depend on the benefits and incentives offered to spare land for biodiversity purposes, or the direct benefits from integrating biodiversity into the productive system itself. this could include hedges as biodiversity corridors, mosaic landscape with extensi- fied patches, biological pest management, landraces and local varieties as cultural heritage, etc. mix of different and complimentary strategies to preserve and protect ecosystems and their biodiversity • strengthening the protection of natural and semi-natural sys- tems: – through the creation of protected areas, and monitoring and reinforcement of rules and regulations; – by avoiding fragmentation and creation of diverse habitats and ensuring connectivity by corridors and mosaic landscapes; – through payment for ecosystem services and providing incen- tive structures for continued management of natural and semi-natural systems; – via climate change mitigation incentives/ payments as an addi- tional benefit for the protection or re-naturalizing of inten- sively used land. • sustainable land use and management (inherent in most of the other practices presented in chapters 1-3) will protect or improve agrobiodiversity – as an integral part of the production systems (e.g. conserva- tion agriculture, agroforestry); – as part of sustaining livelihoods (e.g. diversification in produc- tion for home consumption and to reduce risk of production failure); – as a synergy or by-product of a practice focussing on other ‘goals’ such as climate change adaptation/ mitigation (e.g. good soil cover, good soil structure, high biomass production). • sustainable intensification in agriculture and settlement is a via- ble strategy to spare land/ natural vegetation for biodiversity protection. • increase agro-biodiversity through diversification within an agri- cultural system and combine with diversification of agricultural systems within the landscape. • involvement of land users and the public in monitoring biodiversity and its benefits in order to get people’s support and involvement. figure 4.15: ecotourism – walking the banaue rice terraces, philippines. (martin wiemers) figure 4.14: marketing of local rice varieties, vietnam. (stefan hotes)
101 chapter 4 protecting biodiversity and ecosystems
102 making sense of research for sustainable land management bridging gaps between research and practice chapter 5 brazil, stefan hohnwald
103 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice the necessity to ‘bridge gaps’ between research and practice has played a particularly prominent role for at least the last 400 years. it was in 17th century britain that members of the national academy of sciences defined ‘pure’ research as leaving out anything that can be directly impacted by human behaviour, the arts, culture, or, at that time very importantly: ‘anything that has to do with the realms of faith and conviction’: in other words the church and religion. it was the idea of pure, objective knowledge emanating from the natural scientists’ laboratories that led to the great discoveries of the laws of nature. and it was this kind of knowledge created in physics, mechanics, and chemistry that took root in engineering and served as the backbone of industrialisation in great britain and other nations. introduction today’s land management and land use challenges are of a very different nature. human intervention and human interaction with the land is what it is all about. human intervention has long been the key driver of change: be it the loss of land, land degradation or the many options for using land more sensibly, it is mainly humans who can destroy or degrade, or innovate and manage sustainably. yet to this day, scientific knowledge as displayed in mathematical equations, models and scenarios, or set out in academic papers, is neither readily accessible to, nor easily understood by non-sci- entists. but the converse is true also: often enough scientists do not understand the necessities of economic survival of small-scale farmers, nor comprehend the depth of knowledge of local com- munities living for centuries on, and with, their land: the same indigenous knowledge that helps to balance out human interac- tion with the interest of long-term conservation of the land and its waters. bridging these gaps therefore remains a basic challenge between scientists and non-scientists and between academic/ scientific knowledge and the knowledge of non-scientists: the practitioners and implementers of land management and land use. in the latter group we can list: • farmers or other land users; • advisory or extension services; • public administration/ governmental organisations; • policy-makers (local, regional, national); • non-governmental organisations; • the private sector/ business; • others (e.g. churches, unions). however, it must be understood from the beginning that ‘stake- holders’ include the researchers. admittedly they do have their own interests when it comes to running an implementation-ori- ented research project – be it the conduct of a phd thesis, carrying out experiments and interviews for this purpose, or the publica- tion of academic papers. it is fundamental though to understand that ‘scientists’ and ‘non-scientists’, while they may have different primary interests and objectives, are equally embraced within the term ‘stakeholders’.
104 making sense of research for sustainable land management guiding questions in the context of bridging the gaps between research and practice, this chapter attempts to answer these two questions: • how can we make knowledge from research more approach- able and better understood by non-scientists? • what methods and tools are available to bridge some of the many gaps between research and practice? the main issue concerns in particular the gaps that exist between research outputs and implementing results at various spatial lev- els. it covers basic information about the land, knowledge about options for improved land management, as well as ideas and sug- gestions for possible implementation. often, in research projects, basic collection of data in the framework of land management research is conducted by phd candidates. their basic interest is to assimilate data from field research or from interviews with local stakeholders and to use these data for writing their phds. the demand for information and knowledge by those local non-scien- tific stakeholders – farmers, land managers, field agents and so on – is very different. they need to know (for example) what can be done differently in order to increase profits from agricultural prod- ucts. or what they can do to reduce basic input costs of labour, energy, water, fertilizers or ‘agricides’. fortunately, these interests can beneficially interact. the data from the scientists can, generally speaking, be useful in one way or another for the information and knowledge needs of non-sci- entists. but those data are usually not accessible in their current academic forms and modes of expression. and commonly the questions that practitioners of land management are interested in are not addressed right from the beginning by the scientific research work: research isn’t ‘demand-driven’. it needs well-pre- pared communication to make the needs for knowledge of land users (and other practitioners) understood by scientists. and vice- versa: it needs equally good communication of the scientists’ interests so that the non-scientists can relate to that. this chapter focuses on some approaches, methods and tools that have been tested out in the seven-year time frame of the bmbf- slm programme. they are illustrated by selected examples from the research projects to give an idea of what has proved possi- ble under the current framework conditions for implementation- oriented research. it starts with ‘awareness-raising’ and ‘capacity building’ as means for involving practitioners in the work of research and enabling them to relate to it. capacity building here implies both helping land management practitioners understand the work to be undertaken by the scientists – and equally to make it easier for the scientists to understand exactly what land man- agement practitioners are interested in. the chapter further describes elements of ‘framework conditions and governance’. here the focus is in particular on insufficient legal and policy frameworks. what kinds of governance and insti- tutions are needed to support sensible implementation of land management options and to create an enabling environment for slm practices? the section ‘use of knowledge’ then describes some possible routes for knowledge – from its initial function of filling knowledge gaps, then enabling cooperation and partici- pation, to better informed decision-making. finally the chapter rounds off by shedding a little more light on the overall challenge involved: ‘stakeholder integration’ and ‘co-production of knowl- edge’ between scientists and practitioners and implementation- oriented users of knowledge. this requires much better and more suitable frameworks than those we generally find today in the worlds of science and research. happily, steps in this direction are possible, against all the odds. some of those options are described in the last section and in the conclusion of this chapter. the steps described in this chapter are still small, but important never-the-less in making better sense of the more and more rigid frameworks set out by funders of science when requiring inter- and transdisciplinary as well as implementa- tion-oriented research. for the scientists and practitioners involved, these framework conditions still need many adaptations to achieve lasting success from this kind of research (see chapter 6 page 129). 5.1 awareness-raising: communicating complexity we take land for granted. unlike mountains and beaches, land as such is often just ‘there’. yet it has never been easy to make a liv- ing from the land and the fertility of its soils. lack or abundance of water (floods, droughts etc.), combined with mismanagement with resulting erosion and desertification are major problems for humankind. these everlasting challenges for farmers to sustain their livelihoods, while holding custody of the environment, are not at the center of public awareness. generally speaking there is a deep lack of public awareness regarding the problems con- nected to land management and land use. this concerns, in par- ticular, the consequences of human management of land: what crops are planted, whether crops are rotated over the years or not, how the land is cultivated for crops and/or animal herding, how water is – or is not – managed sustainably, what harvesting tech- nologies are employed and so on. in sum all these single aspects have an enormous impact on the quality of ecosystems consisting of soils, water and vegetation, and perspectives and options for their future use. even with farmers themselves, understanding of the interrelated- ness of these challenges and their long-term impacts is often not very high. they see their fields. they have developed methods and skills to make most of what they have and view. but the repercus- sions of climate change, resulting water scarcities or abundancies (as with floods or rising sea levels), or the impacts of the global food and energy markets, are often not easy to comprehend. this provides a large challenge for awareness-raising. land mat- ters. in many respects and dimensions. and for many people in very different ways. but it is not clear who is aware of what prob- lems. and what problems and challenges need to concern whom. the first step for scientists working in implementation-oriented research therefore is to find out about the current state of ‘who wants what? that is: what interests are involved?’ lack of awareness and education lack of awareness takes place at several levels. first, there is the land users’ awareness of the state of their land and environ- ment, such as importance of land properties or water quality. but often there is poor awareness about the role of natural fauna and flora in ‘agrobiodiversity’, for example the function of a produc- tive biodiverse landscape to foster natural predators such as par- asitic wasps and spiders for regulating pests. often this lack of awareness is related to the level of education, a limited access to knowledge and exposure to alternatives (e.g. through the media). post-school education in some regions is almost non-existent, and often people have not updated their knowledge base for some decades. school teachers are generally badly paid with little or no incentive for any efforts for improvement of skills. pupils suffer as learning is impaired. lack of support secondly there is a common lack of capacity and organizational competence at institutional level. there is a special need for aware- ness-raising and capacity building within governmental extension and advisory services. they do offer technical and organizational advice and support, training courses, information material etc. but they are often crippled by lack of funding. in some cases these ser- vices are taken over by ngos, or fertilizer companies, or by com- panies selling technical equipment and machines to farmers. this
105 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice can work in favour of soil conserving technologies when a no-till machinery company offers machinery service and advisory sup- port. but powerful lobbies can also attract awareness and knowl- edge generation in an opportunistic manner, just as the chemical industry does with respect to pesticides or with fertilizers in inten- sive rice production. lack of long-term perspectives thirdly, lack of public awareness about ongoing and future changes, and their impact in the near and distant future is a major impediment to searching for and developing promising and more sustainable solutions for better land management. this holds particularly true for tasks that are not currently pressing. chal- lenges of longer-lasting change such as the climate and loss of biodiversity are especially difficult for land users and their sup- porting groups (such as extension services) to deal with. with present trends continuing, in nearly all the researched regions of this bmbf-slm programme there will be long-term repercussions, turning these challenges into urgent and pressing problems which jeopardize economic survival. 5.1.1 outreach approaches and material awareness-raising events, campaigns and information material are key to sensitize stakeholders and the general public towards spe- cific themes such as loss of biodiversity, increasing pollution, or degradation of ecosystems – and to alert people to possible solu- tions and innovations. suitable information material ranges from scientific journal papers for the local and national scientific com- munity, to guidelines, reports, videos and posters targeted at deci- sion-makers. policy briefs and press releases focus more on the broad media and general public, as do more ‘popular’ leaflets, fact sheets, podcasts and videos etc. recent developments in informa- tion and communication technologies, such as blogs and the use of social media such as twitter and facebook (e.g. https://face- book.com/innovate2012/9), provide new opportunities for aware- ness-raising, broader dissemination of useful information, and sharing of knowledge and experiences. however, all information that aims to contribute to successful awareness-raising needs to be fine-tuned to the very diverse target groups involving scientists, local communities, decision-makers and planners. each of these target groups needs specifically tailored awareness and training materials: from analytical fact sheets laying out issues and options supported by clear data for high level decision-makers, to simple visuals including comic books and videos in local languages where literacy levels are low. communication measures need to adapt to circumstances. examples land use life exhibition and films in germany most people do not have direct experience with land use besides outdoor recreational activities. therefore, general public awareness-raising videos were produced and an exhibi- tion called land use life was created. the exhibition (figures 5.1 and 5.2) demonstrated that land use change is ongoing because of changing societal demands and challenges. the most impor- tant initial challenge has been the increasing demand for food, and fodder for animals. later on, recreational activities became more important; and now there are new demands, such as that for increased production of bioenergy, or initiatives to increase car- bon sequestration to mitigate climate change. all are addressed in the exhibition. the videos and the exhibition aimed to raise per- ception of individual consumption habits and how it can have an effect on land use and land use change (see videos at http://www. cc-landstrad.de/publikationen/informationsmaterial/videos/) jointly developing dissemination material for the development of dissemination products (figures 5.3 – 5.6), several workshops were organized on the mahafaly plateau in madagascar in which researchers worked jointly with farmers, rural communities, ngos, universities and state agencies on solu- tions to support sustainable land use. the most promising rec- ommendations, techniques and approaches were finalized after validation through stakeholders, project partners and the scien- tists involved. in this context the local partners (world wild fund - wwf, madagascar national parks - mnp) that will continue their work in the region were important addressees and mediators for further optimization and long-term application of slm approaches and techniques. key recommendations disseminated included improved technolo- gies for sustainable crop and fodder production and income diver- sification to reduce the risk of crop failures, the establishment of long-term community-based monitoring schemes (e.g. on biodi- versity), enhancing knowledge transfer and capacity building, as well as raising environmental awareness. delivering information about water quality management in the dry south-western region of madagascar, limited water avail- ability and poor water quality considerably restrict the potential for the development of sustainable land management alternatives – as well as constituting a serious public health problem for the local population. to support future management interventions, informa- tion about the water quality of local sources was obviously essen- tial. a sample of 30 wells throughout the study area showed that figure 5.1: video station at the exhibition land use life at the thünen- museum-tellow, germany. (anne kirstin baumgärtel) figure 5.2: exhibition land use life at the thünen-museum-tellow, germany. (anne kirstin baumgärtel)
106 making sense of research for sustainable land management figure 5.3: presentation of final products in the village workshop, october 2015, madagascar. (katja brinkmann) figure 5.4: workshop on product development, madagascar. (katja brinkmann) over 96% contained some kind of coliform bacteria (rasoloarini- aina et al., 2015). the reason is that the local water sources, such as wells, are simply not well managed. local inhabitants have multi- ple demands on water including drinking, watering their livestock, washing clothes, and bathing. if this is not controlled, it leads to high degrees of contamination of most sources. as options for increasing water availability by exploiting new sources are limited in the region – which might diminish the prob- lem, though not solve it entirely – it is crucial to avoid further contamination of existing water sources. in order to raise aware- ness about water management procedures that separate sources for human drinking supplies from livestock watering, bathing and washing garments, a simple illustrated brochure was developed and disseminated (figure 5.7). 5.1.2 environmental awareness and education comics for new management practices a specific tool for environmental awareness-raising and educa- tion purposes is comic-style illustration of visual narratives (see approach ‘comic style environmental awareness’ page 235). in a situation of high illiteracy rates like rural madagascar these illustra- tions were used to support the communication of scientific results and recommendations on sustainable land management. they helped to facilitate knowledge transfer from scientific experts to local people and vice-versa, and to discuss land use change and possible alternative technologies with them. the comic illus- trations show the impact of different land use practices on the environment and local livelihoods using two contrasting stories/ scenarios. a worst case scenario of unsustainable land use tech- niques that were often applied by local inhabitants, and an exam- ple of a best case scenario based on an alternative, sustainable land use option recommended by scientists. the latter included the use of composted manure for home gardens and increasing awareness of animal hygiene (especially the need for frequent removal of dung from night corrals). the comics demonstrating a simple way of comosting manure (figure 5.8) or showing a sustainable harvest technique of wild yam (see chapter 1 figure 1.66 page 45) were assessed in terms of perception, comprehension, and willingness to implement the recommendation. the evaluation was conducted through semi- structured interviews and focus group discussions in three villages. most of the participants (80%) were aware that the traditional harvesting technique may negatively affect wild yam regenera- tion, and they agreed that the recommended sustainable har- vesting technique could maintain or even increase the wild yam resources. they were interested in testing the recommended tech- nique. however, interest was not matched by action – and actual implementation was relatively low. only 20% of the respondents were convinced that sustainable management could enhance long-term profits. this reservation was particularly based on real- ising that additional labour inputs would be required for the more sustainable technique, with labour resources already very con- strained for subsistence smallholders. figure 5.7: brochure disseminated to raise awareness of cost-efficient and effective measures to improve water quality – in the local language (malagasy), madagascar. (jean robertin rasoloariniaina)
107 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice figure 5.5: distribution of comic style illustrations, madagascar. (katja brinkmann) figure 5.6: comic-style illustrations of visual narratives. (designed by david weiss) figure 5.8: the comic story demonstrates a simple way of composting manure and how it can be applied to improve soil fertility and yields in home gardens. the comic describes two contrasting scenarios on the local use of manure. the ‘red scenario’ (top) depicts the current situation, where local people are not removing manure from the corrals and also missing the chance to use it for fertilization. in the ‘green scenario’ (bottom) the farmer is regularly cleaning the corral and collects the manure for composting in a heap next to the corral, madagascar. (david weiss) in addition, informative documents and maps were used to raise awareness about the cultural dimension of land management: taboos, clan landscapes, socio-cultural rules and beliefs, amongst others. during this work it became much more obvious how very different the cultures and value systems of researchers and the local population actually were. the scientists oriented their research along a ‘western concept’ of sustainability, aiming first at conservation and protection of the natural resource through sci- entific methods. in contrast, from a local point of view, sustainable resource use means to be in balance with supernatural beings, natural spirits and ancestors, who influence the success or failure of all their activities. there were guidelines in form of ancestral rules and taboos which prohibit using certain species of plants and animals, or against entering or polluting certain places. a short socio-cultural checklist provided critical questions and practical recommendations on how to design written material that pays tribute to local worldviews while respecting privacy and dignity. the checklist gave advice on how to develop understand- able and usable products for stakeholders, while taking account of the local and regional culture and belief-systems. awareness- raising on sustainable land use took also place in germany. here a project started a travelling exhibition at the zoological institute in hamburg (april 2016) including poster presentations, products and video clips describing biodiversity, land use problems and sus- tainable alternatives in madagascar. 5.1.3 use of media: tv series/ participatory awareness filming soap operas for biodiversity in vietnam, a tv series illustrated the role and importance of biodiversity in rice-dominated landscapes. this media cam- paign was conducted in vietnam (figure 5.9; see approach
108 making sense of research for sustainable land management ‘entertainment-education for ecological engineering’ page 267). nineteen different episodes were broadcast, covering topics such as the agricultural ecosystem and forest trees, plant health, eco- tourism and eco-engineering, the importance of honey bees, organic matter decomposition, microorganisms, the food chain, and the role of silicon. rice farmers’ daily lives were taken as the background for the story-telling, in order to better demonstrate the personal benefits they could expect from regulating ecosys- tem services (figure 5.10). the farmers were involved in designing the series. they are the target group of the campaign as well as those who are principally meant to benefit from it. the series has been widely distributed and has clearly supported communication of the scientists’ work within the project. participatory awareness filming in the okavango basin, within angola, namibia and botswana, ‘participatory awareness filming’ was used as a means to involve stakeholders and to communicate implemented activities to dif- ferent audiences. representatives of different local stakeholder groups including resource users, traditional authorities, and ngos were trained and helped to direct and shoot videos, themselves, about their own concerns (figure 5.11). together with villagers from mashare, seronga and cusseque, three documentary films depicting different resource-related activities such as farming, fishing, beekeeping as well as the relationship between wildlife and tourism were produced. the films were conceived and shot by the participants of film workshops, and organized together with the para-ecologists (i.e. members of the local community work- ing as support, and intermediary staff, see below) in each of the research sites. local stakeholders were trained in film-making by the scientists. the films were then screened to local communities as well as to different national and international audiences, informing them about project activities and initiating discussion about environmen- tal issues. the process of film-making generated altogether new insights about the activities and perceptions of local stakeholders, which was then fed back into the research project. it triggered dis- cussions between, and among, scientific and non-scientific stake- holders and additionally constituted a platform for the negotiation of different, and even conflicting, perspectives (see videos at: http:// www.future-okavango.de/videoalbum_main_tfo.php). 5.2 capacity building 5.2.1 capacity building and training capacity building and training can take place at land user, local, regional and national levels. institutional and land user empow- erment requires adequate capacity and training. relevant training and capacity building, which is otherwise offered by extension and advisory services, involved many individual land users. the capacity building efforts of the research projects were, for example, con- ducted via farmer field schools, farmer-to-farmer exchange, and bilaterally between scientists and local stakeholders, local promot- ers of sustainable land management and supportive communities. to this end, all involved planners, decision-makers and implemen- tation specialists needed specific training in the form of lectures, exchange fora and vocational training courses. examples field days and vocational training in the kulunda steppe, field days or vocational training courses were conducted (see approach ‘field days’ page 255 and approach ‘vocational training’ page 259). by presenting research activities and results in lectures, poster presentations, film pres- entations and by distributing information materials such as fly- ers, and brochures at these events, different stakeholders were informed about regional ecological problems. this included the problem of the so-called ‘dust bowl’ (drying up and loss of figure 5.9: rice farmers in trung hoa village, cha gao district in tien giang province, vietnam watching an episode of soap opera addressing biodiversity. (https://ricehoppers.net/page/8/) figure 5.10: three of the comedians reprising a scene on stage at a ‘meet the actors day’ in hieu nhon village, in vinh long province, vietnam. the sketch highlights a discussion between three farmers on insecticide resistance. (https://ricehoppers.net/page/8/) figure 5.11: shared film-making with land users: participatory ethnographic film-making, okavango basin. (martin gruber)
109 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice formerly productive top soils), resultant economic and social prob- lems (especially outmigration of young people) as well as concrete options and strategies for much more sustainable land manage- ment and use. on the basis of this experience, and as a follow-up, short training films (5 minutes each) are being produced. they focus on ‘regional sustainable development’, ‘agricultural technologies’ (e.g. no-till farming), and the ‘topographical effects’ of these measures for the kulunda landscape. the films are being produced by the research project with the help of a professional film company and in coop- eration with the regional universities (altai state university and altai state agrarian university), representatives of local/ regional farmers of the study area and a private company for farming tech- nology, which also contributes to the overall funding. an impor- tant partner for making use and distribution of this material is the altai institute for advanced training in agriculture. the video films will not only reach students (in the cooperating universities) but also farmers, farmer extension services and consultants. working with para-ecologists para-ecologists are members of the rural land user communities who are employed by the research projects as support staff in field research, as well as being intermediaries with the local population. in the okavango basin as well as the mahafaly plateau they bene- fited via participation and organization of regular training courses, whereas the scientists clearly benefitted too: the para-ecologists served as successful intermediaries with practical land manage- ment experiences and implementation interests of the local com- munities. traditional knowledge, societal taboos or other cultural specifics became more accessible to the scientists via regular com- munication and joint work with the para-ecologists. training courses covered scientific approaches, methodological skills like translation, workshop facilitation, biodiversity assess- ment, crop yield measurements, and soil sampling. they also cov- ered technical skills including use of computers, digital video and photo cameras, gps, as well as management of technical equip- ment like soil moisture sensors and weather stations. besides the technical skills, the enhancement of soft skills such as profession- ality at work, team building, conflict resolution, and intercultural communication also formed a central part of the training. through their daily work and the training courses, the para-ecologists gained insight into research activities and the academic world. they were exposed to new experiences, and acquiring new fields of expertise, through travelling to new areas and countries. last but not least the para-ecologists benefitted from earning a regu- lar income that allowed them to make a living. furthermore, three para-ecologists in the okavango basin were trained to produce figure 5.12: summer school 2014 addressing monitoring of biodiversity in madagascar. (j. rakotondranary) figure 5.13: information meeting with villagers/ presentation of manuring (comics) and improved water hygiene, madagascar. (katja brinkmann) a documentary video about their work to share some of the research outcomes with the land user communities in their area. the videos were published as dvds, screened and discussed in the villages and widely distributed in the area by the para-ecologists for awareness-raising and capacity building purposes (see videos at http://www.future-okavango.de/videoalbum_main_tfo.php). mix of approaches for different target groups in madagascar, annual interdisciplinary summer schools for students were organized in cooperation with a national ngo. these summer schools were conducted with para-ecologists who showed students methods of monitoring and assessment (e.g. monitoring flagship species for the national park agency). the 120 students from mal- agasy universities who attended the summer schools within five years (figure 5.12) gained important competencies, which they then could utilize in r&d initiatives in madagascar. these training courses enabled them to more effectively work towards sustain- able regional development. at the local level field experiments and feedback workshops were conducted together with people from rural communities. the communication between students and vil- lagers during the field experiments and associated workshops was an important step towards sustainable implementation of alterna- tive land use practices. socio-organizers regularly organized infor- mation meetings on slm (e.g. on improved animal hygiene, water management, charcoal use, and alternative fodder use) in the vil- lages on the mahafaly plateau (figure 5.13). education days and training methods in three municipalities in brazil, bordering the itaparica reservoir in the são francisco river basin, education days (figure 5.14) address- ing different target groups were held and jointly organized by brazil- ian and german researchers. the target was general environmental awareness raising for two target groups: (1) school children and their teachers and (2) local stakeholders from the itaparia reservoir includ- ing institutional representatives, farmers, fishermen, and other local residents. for the school children, informative posters, games and a cinema session related to environmental awareness and education were prepared – for example focusing on water quality and species found in the region. for the local stakeholders, research results were summarized and main findings for the region were presented and discussed with the participants of these workshops. for this occasion, guidelines were produced and research-practice workshops conducted. in addition comic-like and well-illustrated leaflets based on traditional narrative styles (figure 5.15) were pro- duced for specific topics such as taking care of frogs for biological pest control rather than excessive use of agrochemicals (see tech- nology ‘biological pest control’ page 171; see videos at http://www. innovate.tu-berlin.de/v_menue/materials_for_stakeholders/).
110 making sense of research for sustainable land management furthermore, a series of methodology courses was conducted in close cooperation between the german research partners and the federal university of pernambuco (ufpe) at recife. here, meth- ods useful for decision-support were especially focused on: con- stellation analysis (for better identification of current interests of key interest groups, and determination of existing conflicts as well as entry points for possible action), as well as modeling tech- niques (hydro-dynamic modeling, hydro-economic modeling, and eco-hydrological modeling). these methods were taught and dis- cussed with students and governmental employees to pave the way for real world application, and potentially beyond the realms of the current research project. 5.2.2 monitoring and assessment as decision support in order to prove beneficial impacts on improved land manage- ment, continuous monitoring and assessment (m&a) is a must; the work needs to be conducted by either the scientists them- selves and/or by local support staff. in many current research pro- grammes there is lack of resources or even emphasis on m&a. thus, more investment in training and capacity building is needed for m&a generally, but specifically to improve skills in related knowledge management and decision support. in this context the preservation and improvement of biodiversity is a key challenge. to raise awareness, to lobby and provide evidence for the value and positive impact of improved biodiversity, it is at first necessary to convince decision-makers and the general public of the rele- vance of this challenge. in the bmbf-slm programme, experience has been gained in this regard in several research areas where monitoring of biodiversity has been a major activity. other monitoring activities, in particular related to water quan- tity and water quality as a result of land management change, are needed in many world regions. they are required for understand- ing water abstraction and water quality of rivers, especially regard- ing salinity of rivers and irrigation waters, water flows and ground water levels (see chapter 2 section 2.1 page 50). the complexity of interactions and the severity and speed of the changes are still not well understood. examples cooperation with national park and para-ecologists on the mahafaly plateau, para-ecologists have received training on biodiversity monitoring techniques and interview methods. in collaboration with the national park agency and researchers, they regularly monitored the occurrence/ abundance of key indicator species in the national park. since 2006 the university of hamburg has supported a research camp, from which monitoring activi- ties can be coordinated. the data collected are integrated into a regional database hosted by an environmental ngo and under- pin, among other purposes, the development of a long-term bio- diversity monitoring programme and a food security alert system. the national park agency can also use the data for continuous updates on population size and distribution of endangered spe- cies (see approach ‘participatory m&e’ page 243). the monitoring programme is envisaged to be an integral part of the future action plan of the national park agency. community-based forest monitoring countries and projects participating in a redd+ mechanism – or any payment for ecosystem services system (pes) – are required to set up a reliable, transparent and credible system of measur- ing, reporting and verifying (mrv) changes in forest areas and forest carbon stocks. this mrv system relies on well-planned and executed monitoring. under the framework of redd+ a case study was carried out in tra bui commune, quang nam province, central vietnam to evaluate community based forest monitoring (cbm) as additional support to the national mrv system for measuring forest above-ground biomass, and reporting forest changes. local communities have been involved in conducting forest inventory measurements through ‘crowd sourcing’. this saves money as well as conferring skills – if properly trained, the level of precision is comparable to that of professional forest inventory staff (figure 5.16 left), the cost is much lower (1.2 usd/ha, compared to 6.4 usd/ha for national experts). most importantly, local communi- ties are able to repeat the measurements on a regular basis and remain aware of large and small-scale forest disturbances (figure 5.16 right), which are rarely captured in national databases or from remote sensing. in addition, interviews with members of the local community provided information on the drivers of deforestation and land use changes, where quantitative assessments are crucial for the design of policies to reduce deforestation. figure 5.14: school children on one of the education days, brazil. (andré ferreira) figure 5.16: use of expertice from local communities - comparison of biomass estimates from local com- munities and forestry experts (left) and assessment of deforestation drivers according to local communities (right) in tra bui, central vietnam (adapted from pratihast et al. 2013).
111 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice figure 5.15: dissemination material offered during stakeholder workshops, brazil. (marianna siegmund-schultze) 5.3 framework conditions and governance for encouraging sustainable land management, favourable frame- work conditions and supportive governance is essential. this includes suitable institutional, policy and legal frameworks, local participation as well as regional planning (landscape or water- shed), capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, and research. an enabling environment aims to optimizing people’s access to water and land, access to markets, knowledge, and support (financial and technical). it also targets encouraging and support- ing implementation as well as upscaling of slm good practice. it is a major challenge – and often beyond the scope of imple- mentation-oriented research to contribute to the creation of slm friendly framework conditions. a word of caution is necessary here: the mandate of most research projects does not include real world implementation. research reaches its limits when it comes to incentive structures, power relations, and existing institutional and political frameworks: even though the latter are all of high importance in any implementa- tion-oriented action. implementation-oriented research can inves- tigate, analyse and describe all this by involving governance and political scientists. it can support stakeholders to deal with chal- lenges related to these frameworks. and it can contribute to trans- parency and adequate communication with those in power and decision-making positions, by supplying important background information and knowledge, or making suggestions for necessary changes to support slm implementation. at this juncture, research needs support from people coming from outside, as knowledge brokers and inovators. this is a role that has not yet been taken up to the extent needed. the role of research, in this case implementation-oriented research, usually ends with supplying unbiased information and providing it in a form that others can access – and act upon. therefore, research projects would ideally closely cooperate with ‘interface manag- ers’ such as knowledge brokers and change managers (böcher and krott 2012; defila and di guilio 2016). research could make much more use of such competencies and experts for communication, stakeholder integration and management, and implementation- oriented work. these competences are available and increasing worldwide. but science funding and administration has not taken much note of this so far (e.g. climate knowledge brokers (ckb) group and knowledge brokers forum (kbf)). also, institutions can take on the role of interface organisations or intermediaries. iden- tifying those organisations is a core part of stakeholder analyses and developing contacts in the research region. for science, the existence of such platforms and intermediary organisations are rare but important entry points for their possible contributions to supporting better governance of water and land. 5.3.1 land and water use rights/ access to natural resources one key issue for the success of adoption and spread of slm is land ownership and land and water use rights. land users often are reluctant to make long-term investments in slm practices or to implement them when they are not the owners of the land, or do not have long-term secured user rights. lack of long-term security hindering innovation in the kulunda region of south-west siberia, at least two aspects of current property rights are of great importance: first, there still exists a high proportion of rented land which reduces land users’ motivation to protect and invest in long-term land improvement. however, since the liberalization of the land market in 2003, the proportion of privately owned land has been steadily increasing. secondly, administrative and institutional weaknesses in public land governance undermine the effective execution of land use rights, and implicitly de-motivate users to invest in land quality improvements. among the most particularly influential factors are unclear ownership titles, missing borders in the terrain, unfin- ished registration and authorization of ownership titles, and weak enforcement of soil protection laws. the resulting transaction costs go onto the expense sheet of private land users and owners. therefore, complete abandonment of private land ownership is not exceptional in this region. this affects, in particular, the imple- mentation of new and expensive land management technologies. for the adoption of no-till and/or minimum tillage technologies the researchers identified three types of barriers as highly rele- vant: (i) high investment costs of the conservation technology, (ii) high learning costs of small-scale farmers and high costs of wage labour, and (iii) persistent institutional impediments on the land market, and un-resolved property rights to land. until land users possess long-term secure ownership rights, and with it long-term control of the land, the interest in such investments remains low. consequently, property rights directly impact the owner’s ability to exercise, ideally with low transaction costs, residual rights of control over his/her assets and consequently receive net income from the land. 5.3.2 policies, laws and their enforcement another challenging issue for taking decisions on land use and land management is policies and laws such as environmental and planning regulatory frameworks as well as subsidy policy (i.e. incentives). the regions investigated in the bmbf-slm pro- gramme display enormous differences when it comes to policies and laws related to land use. there are many obvious shortcom- ings in regions such as madagascar or southern africa, with inade- quate means for the enforcement of land ownership and use laws and regulations. but even in a country like germany with much well-established legislation on land use and land management in place – like the national kataster (cadaster) registering every sin- gle plot of land and its ownership – policies and laws related to land use and management remain a great challenge. inefficient law enforcement is a major challenge in many regions. the lack of control and sanctions as well as lack of sensible follow- up activities, were repeatedly identified as being a strong obsta- cle to more sustainable management of the land. altogether it seems quite common worldwide to pride oneself in far-reaching laws on more sustainable land management and use and related plans. but too often there is little, or non-existent, implementation and monitoring. implementation-oriented research can make the existing governance situation transparent and give advice on how legal frameworks can be used, or how they need to be changed to support sustainable land management.
112 making sense of research for sustainable land management examples assessing suitability of existing legal frameworks german land and environmental laws are backed up by national and european incentive schemes. they offer a relatively broad spectrum of instruments and regulations supporting the imple- mentation of slm practices related to climate change adaptation and mitigation (figure 5.17). however, many shortcomings appear in their execution and implementation. figure 5.18 presents the main land use sectors of agriculture, for- estry and settlement/ transportation and the formal and informal regulations in each sector, known as hybrid governance-systems: according to professionals dealing with land use governance at the national level, stakeholders in germany concentrate on the instru- ments of the spatial planning act, the building code, the water framework directive, the federal soil protection act and agro- environmental measures. the possible change of land manage- ment and use under conditions of climate change is seen mainly in terms of the use, enforcement and coordination of these instru- ments. information on modification and supplementary needs on how to deal with climatic change is seen as less important. identifying gaps in the use of instruments and governance the aim of land protection in russia is to prevent and eliminate pollution, degradation and damage to the land and soil, and the restoration of soil fertility. agricultural land protection is regulated via more than 20 laws and related by-laws that specify control, and how state agencies such as the administration of natural resources and environmental protection have to implement them. the implementation of agricultural land protection policy relies on traditional ‘command-and-control’ systems. actors who are found to have broken the rules are penalized with heavy fines, losing existing contracts with the state authorities or even faced with incentives and subsidies for example… – common agricultural policy (direct payments, greening, agri-environmental measures) – joint task for the improvement of agricultural structure and coastal protection – urban development funding – innovative funding models (e.g. moorfutures) kooperation und zusammenarbeit € information and consulting for example… – fertilization advice – forest management advices – calculation of consequential costs of infrastructure – brown field monitoring i juridical regulations for example… – plight for forest preservation – juridical prohibition for ploughing up of grassland – impact mitigation regulation – environmental assessments kooperation und zusammenarbeit § cooperation for example… – agriculture and local water suppliers (fertilization) – intercommunal cooperation – forestral associations – public private partnerships spatial planning for example… – spatial planning (e.g. regional planning, urban development planning) – sectoral spatial planning (e.g. landscape planning, traffic planning) – urban and neighborhood-based planning – land consolidation kooperation und zusammenarbeit economic and fiscal instruments for example… – fiscal equalization scheme – commuting allowance – emissions trading – area trade (perspectively) € / § figure 5.17: existing multiple types of instruments for sustainable land management in different political sectors and at all administrative scales in germany (grabski-kieron and raabe 2015). land expropriation. on the other hand, positive motivation via economic incentives or respective advisory programmes are not in place. the openness to new approaches and self-organisation therefore is not very high. despite the existing regulations and their enforcement, environ- mental rules and mechanisms have insufficiently contributed to land protection objectives. this becomes clear with the example of russian rules aiming to prevent land abandonment. these rules specify penalties for stopping cultivation of the land. land aban- donment, that is withdrawal from land use and production of goods, however, is usually caused by economic reasons. prosecu- tion, therefore, seems not necessarily a sensible response. also, in the case of prohibiting the burning of crop residues, existing laws were not on target. here it was difficult to prove who (land users? passers-by?) was responsible for violations of the law, and who should be prosecuted. state controllers admitted that in the majority of cases, they had no clear evidence about the offender. therefore, without appropriate changes in related governance mechanisms (those who ensure that the laws are being followed) and the chosen instruments of implementation, a policy for miti- gation of agricultural land degradation can hardly be effective. as a first step this ‘gap’ between the challenges at hand and the implementation of instruments must be identified, and regional stakeholders need to get involved in order to find out more about possible ways forward. in particular the economic interests of the local land users should be taken into account. and based on that: what could be well suited regulative instruments that respect local land users’ economic, social and cultural interests? what are effective ‘incentive-based’ instruments for agro-envi- ronmental policies? this is a challenge, of course, especially for countries like russia and china with top-down governance struc- tures. but experience shows that rules and regulations that make sense to all involved on local and regional levels are effective for sensible reforms towards sustainable land management and use. 5.3.3 improve incentives and support as many other challenges with long-term effects, for example climatic change and biodiversity loss, sustainable land man- agement suffers from trade-offs between short-term economic interests, and long- term conservation and improvement of water and soil. for the individual farmer, rapid economic interests are imperative: they need to feed their families, survive on the agri-business they run, and they are often not rewarded in any other way. the fruits of more sustainable measures of farming can only be harvested in the long-run. to set incentives, of one form or another, for long-term investments in sus- tainable land management therefore is a key task of public funders of states and/or international organisations. compensation needs to be available in cases of, for exam- ple taking land out of agricultural use for the benefits of biodiversity protection and/ or climate change mitigation and adapta- tion. related examples of those practices are described in chapters 3 (page 79) and chapters 4 (page 96). but the implementa- tion of any kind of sustainable land man- agement practice usually needs incentives and support – which is often not yet in place.
113 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice § legal framework and subsidies policy (planning law, nature conservation, legislation, urban development funding etc.) § legal frame- work and subsidies policy (fertilizing and water legislation, cross compliance, greening, agri-environmental measures, energy law etc.) steering and coordination of land use § legal frame- work and subsidies policy (forest and nature legislation, agri-environmental measures, contractual nature conservation, energy law etc.) agriculture grassland and swamp protection wetland rehabilitation fertilizing management etc. forestry forest conservation afforestation management practices forest conversion etc. settlement and traffic reduction of land consumption flood protection reduction of urban heat desealing etc. l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t s l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t s land use conflicts figure 5.18: land use governance - formal and informal regulations regarding climate change, germany (grabski-kieron and raabe 2015). examples incentives for efficient water use in the brazilian são francisco basin, espe- cially in the itaparica reservoir region, farmers in public irrigation schemes that had been established as compensation for compulsory relocation are receiving few incentives for more environment-friendly ways of farming. since water and elec- tricity for pumping are still free, and the provided irrigation infrastructure not fully adequate, farmers use as much water as they think is useful for their purposes. in a test run, simulated invoices for water use were sent to farmers. this is the first step to planned water pricing as it is common in other regions and is stimulating some farmers already to rethink irrigation prac- tices (see chapter 1 page 34). supporting investments for many rural farmers in the okavango basin, the capacity to invest in improve- ments to farming practice is very limited. financial means for investments, for exam- ple in farming technology, is often not available. additional support measures for the agricultural sector are strongly recom- mended for improvements of yields and income. distribution of financial means in the kulunda steppe region of russia, the design of agricultural or environmental policy and concrete measures, often suffers from insufficient interaction with local communities and regional-based stakeholders. social, demographic and economic challenges vary strongly over the predominantly rural kulunda region. yet, agri- cultural and rural development policy is mostly designed at fed- eral level. more specific problem-oriented local solutions are often not possible. the dominance of the federal system is illustrated when looking at available budgets: regional agriculture expendi- tures and investments amount to just 16% of the overall budgets (agricultural development of altai krai in 2013 – 2020, ministry of agriculture 2015). in effect this means that for local and regional initiatives there is usually no way of funding. they have to comply with what is decided within the federal framework. implementing measures of slm in the region would need additional support, or a change in distribution of budget and decision-making. 5.3.4 empowerment and strengthening cross-cutting institutions setting incentives and supporting land user and their organisa- tions effectively needs powerful institutions. developing more effective laws requires appreciation of the diversity of policy mechanisms and institutional service providers and the acknowl- edgement of interactions between different rules and laws. this is especially the case when it comes to cross-sectoral and larger- scale management coordination in river basins. they are impor- tant users of research results and ideal intermediary organisations between research and implementation. however, in their focus on a broader spectrum of sectoral policies those institutions need strengthening and empowerment to adequately fulfil their role. examples international cooperation for the okavango the okavango river basin water commission (okacom) advises the three riparian states, angola, botswana and namibia, about the optimal use of the river’s natural resources. the commission has an important function, as the okavango river plays a key role regard- ing water distribution in the three connected states within a prob- lematic upstream–downstream context. however, to be effective the transnational nature of okacom needs to be respected by national policy bodies. the commission needs a stronger political mandate and long-term public funding to fulfil a meaningful advi- sory role, to promote coordinated and environmentally sustainable regional water-resources management, and development, and to have the means to support and facilitate implementation, moni- toring and control of suggested policy measures. cross-scale river basin commission for the são francisco river basin, the longest river running entirely within brazilian territory, a management committee (cbhsf) was created by presidential decree in 2001. the overall objective of the committee is good governance for sustainable water and land management. the committee intends to coordinate water policy at federal level with the riparian states (minas gerais, goiás, dis- trito federal, bahia, pernambuco, sergipe, and alagoas) as well as action at municipal level. the guiding paradigm is multiple water use, and the support and balancing of demands from people’s livelihoods, energy generation, and sustaining ecosystems. at meetings of the cbhsf, participants gather to promote the ‘revitalization’ (restoration) of the degraded areas in the water- shed. objectives of the regular meetings are to discuss ways and means to achieve full protection of the springs and control of erosion. this should effectively contribute to increase, or at least stabilize quantity and quality of, water flows. participants also develop plans for renovating streets and improved drainage
114 making sense of research for sustainable land management in order to reduce silting of the water bodies, and for adopting more efficient soil conservation measures. selected measures have a demonstrative character and also are intended to promote envi- ronmental awareness. citizens in the riparian states may suggest new projects which are discussed and decided in regional, techni- cal, and public sessions. the cbhsf, through its executive agency agb peixe vivo, issues public calls for tenders. this scope of work makes the cbhsf an ideal partner and inter- mediary for implementation-oriented research. but after fifteen years of its existence, achievements of the cbhsf are mixed. the committee does not have a strong enough mandate to prevent big economic and policy players such as the hydroelectric and other public companies – which are strongly linked to the federal gov- ernment and its agencies – to pursue their own decision-making processes. but it is an important platform for giving all inter- est groups a voice, including the regional governments, science, industry, sanitation, smallholders and commercial farmer groups, fishermens’ associations, and indigenous people living along (and from) the river. to feed research results into this forum a first scien- tific conference organized by the committee and scientists work- ing in the watershed took place in 2016. 5.4 use of knowledge 5.4.1 joint target setting/ co-design of research questions and objectives filling knowledge-gaps is the traditional role of scientists and is usually very welcome. however, commonly it is not the knowl- edge gap of the land user or of the person working in the regional water authority that initiates the process of setting research into action. it is the knowledge gaps and interests of the scientists themselves which they have pre-formulated – usually long before a first meeting with stakeholders. this, then, is the first great chal- lenge regarding implementation-oriented research: meeting up with those who have requirements that need to be researched. to set up demand-driven and implementation-oriented research, meetings need to take place as early as possible in the overall process of setting up a project and/or research programme. dur- ing such early stage meetings implementation-oriented research objectives should be jointly identified. on this basis information, and knowledge, can be produced that are tailored for awareness- raising about the roots of problems. such knowledge then is the basis for evidence-based decision support, adaptation and fine- tuning of innovations and selected measures for more sustainable land management. identification of knowledge gaps identification of knowledge gaps in a transdisciplinary context there- fore starts with the needs and demands of end users – whether land users, other implementers, planners and local/ regional decision- makers. various users may profit from research and learn about improved or innovative ways of land management. for that, they need to put their own experience into a wider context. last but not least, the cooperation with the scientists may contribute to improv- ing the ability to overcome, step-by-step, present conflicts of inter- est between different expectations towards management of the land: for example the potential conflicts between productivity, envi- ronmental protection and renewable energy. much knowledge about land management has been produced during recent decades but it often proves to be sparse on specific themes, incomplete, or of low quality when it comes to implemen- tation in specific contexts. for example, in some regions different governmental organizations – at federal and state levels - are gath- ering data on water quantity and quality and some are publishing them on their websites. however, datasets are often incomplete, not comparable, poorly organized, or remain inaccessible (thus effectively secret). consequently, water users and other stake- holders barely know the status of their land and water resources. where monitoring is almost absent, the efficiency of different practices within a landscape is not known (e.g. the effect of buffer strips along water bodies). and finally at the plot scale, land users may lack specialized knowledge, for instance, about pests and dis- eases of their crops and safe use of ‘agricides’ – or biological alter- natives. these are gaps that can be readily identified by asking those who are involved, hands on, in land management. 5.4.2 knowledge management that knowledge is not broadly shared within and among sectors, disciplines and stakeholders hinders evidence-based decision-mak- ing and hence development of sustainable land management prac- tices and dissemination of specific innovations. sectoral knowledge is often well-developed and focussed on working solutions within individual groups of the overall ‘actors landscape’ of slm. but this knowledge, often enough, is not sufficiently shared and integrated into broader alliances for sustainable land management. generally speaking, a wealth of knowledge is available on how slm technologies and approaches work, where they are applied, what impact they have – as well as implementation aspects. yet, this knowledge is often scattered and not well accessible. for example there is considerable knowledge about the effects of deep ploughing on land use productivity and on loss of water and soil as compared to minimum soil disturbance techniques. this is true also for the hazards of conventional pesticides, com- pared to the benefits of biological pest control, in relation to water pollution and quality – as well as to human and animal health. appropriate knowledge management helps to provide access to information where and when it is needed. examples compiling information in one place in the mahafaly region of madagascar most of the compiled infor- mation on past and current projects is not available through mod- ern library services. this is especially true for most of the so-called ‘grey literature’, which are reports by ngos or gos, regional stud- ies and surveys or monographs. as a result, many projects start out from scratch and are unaware of the existing knowledge and activities. there can also be ‘institutional amnesia’ where agen- cies are not even aware of what they, themselves, have carried out in the past. thus valuable lessons are lost. in response to these problems, a regional data monitoring and service centre based in the provincial capital, was established to compile data collected by current and past projects, and to make them available upon request. this proved to be useful for all stakeholders who regularly carry out research or development projects in the region, including both gos and ngos. developing a knowledge management system however, there is a considerable challenge involved: for knowledge to be accessible to people in the region like farmer extension work- ers or people working in local administrations, it needs to be docu- mented in a way that it can be easily retrieved, and made available. continuously keeping this information up-to-date, proper manage- ment and provision of access for the exchange of knowledge, and last but not least, for making knowledge accessible and useful for decision-making requires sustained commitment and support. some steps in this direction have been taken for land, and espe- cially water, management in vietnam. the river basin information system (rbis) of the vu gia thu bon river basin (vgtb), provides a useful service for the region. the rbis basically is a knowl- edge management system. it has been initiated and designed
115 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice to organize, evaluate and share knowledge as well as for access and use of its data as a basis for evidence-based planning and decision-support. as such, it links research to practice. for exam- ple: sufficient, effective and sustainable water and land resource management at river basin scale can only be achieved if it is based on robust and reliable data and well processed information, which can be shared with a broad group of relevant stakeholders, researchers, decision-makers, and land and water users. for this purpose a comprehensive open-source database and information management platform is a suitable tool. figure 5.19 illustrates the general functions of this approach. the vgtb-rbis serves as a comprehensive information system and decision support instrument for all stakeholders, including decision-makers and researchers. it stores, manages, analyses, visualizes, and links different types of data in the context of mul- tidisciplinary environmental assessment and planning, e.g. data related to climate, soil, land use, water resources, socioeconomic modelling, or scenario results. principally the information trans- fer between researchers and decision-makers concerns land and water management data as well as elaborations for decision-mak- ers in the form of reports, interpretation, and analysis. from knowledge management to possible action there still is a long road to travel. researchers active in vietnam have taken on the challenge and have been contributing to building up a ‘knowl- edge-to-action-community’. the various activities involved are illustrated in figure 5.20. knowledge also needs a location: the rbis platform is hosted by the vgtb river basin information centre (rbic) in da nang. the centre can be accessed by all land management stakehold- ers of the region (see approach ‘vgtb information centre’ page 275). staff recruited from the local university explain the rbis tool (figure 5.21). in this way the centre also offers decision support. 5.4.3 knowledge exchange: transfer and sharing knowledge exchange and transfer can take many forms. it includes methods such as workshops and seminars around specific themes at different levels of decision-making, exposure visits, demon- stration plots and – if possible – close cooperation of research- ers from different disciplines with local supporters and carriers of knowledge. methods and content of those activities have to fit the level of communication – whether village, municipality, regional, national – and the interests of the respective stakehold- ers. at local level, for instance, existing farming innovations within the livestock sector were discussed, whereas at river basin level, the topics were participatory governance and water modeling to inform decision-makers. approaches described under ‘awareness figure 5.19: knowledge management for vgtb river basin - structure and main modules of the river basin information system (vgtb rbis), vietnam. (lucci project: http://leutra.geogr.uni-jena.de/vgtbrbis)
116 making sense of research for sustainable land management raising’ (see page 104) can also be used for knowledge exchange and transfer. it is an important aspect in several of the activities illustrated in this chapter. field days with multiple impacts in campo verde mato grosso, brazil on-farm field experiments and research combined with field days and exchange visits proved to be promising methods to spread new sustainable land manage- ment practices in the amazon, not only for smallholders but also for large-scale farm managers. on-farm experiments were success- fully used to support the understanding of potential new farming methods. surprisingly, however, they proved to be not only use- ful in that respect: ensuing discussions with the land users and regional land management authorities showed that making things more concrete ‘on the ground’ opened the way for better under- standing of ‘higher level’ challenges to present day farming such as those resulting from climate change and world trade. 5.4.4 integrating knowledge for decision-making decision-making goes beyond the realm of science and research. it involves the local, regional and federal polity; that is a vast group of people working in governmental institutions and ministries, right up to members of governments. access to them is normally difficult for scientists. however, implementation-oriented research needs to include decision-making into the overall perspective of what can be done with its results. for sustainable land management, a common problem has to do with vested interests and the routes and directions of decision-making: in many countries decisions on land use and land management are often hierarchical in nature rather than participatory. thus top-down rather than bottom-up. land users consequently have to accept the decisions made in upper adminis- trative levels. in addition to top-down decision-making, differ- ent ministries or provincial departments of the ministries seldom talk with each other. there is lack of cooperation among governmental agen- cies and local administrators. their structure and orientation can be a hindrance when it comes to developing synergies, and taking interdepend- encies across different aspects of land manage- ment into account. yet, it is their responsibility to make their plans understandable and trans- parent to all stakeholders, as well as to think in a broad perspective – including economic, social and environmental aspects – about possible negative effects and repercussions of different land uses. there are two approaches researchers can adopt to answer to those challenges. one is making research results available in a form that is accessible to administrators and stakeholders while integrating all aspects of land management in one system. this is often done with model-based decision support systems. another approach is to engage all relevant stakeholders in a process of joint scenario development, exploring options for future develop- ments as a basis for future decision-making. the two following examples illustrate those approaches. examples decision support systems (dss) to support better cross sector coordination in the tarim river basin in china, a decision support system was developed in close coop- eration between the german and the chinese project partners. to ensure ownership of the dss, relevant stakeholders from the chinese authorities were involved in the development of an open source freeware. the dss is freely available to all who want to use it (figure 5.22). this, for many chinese authorities, was new and an unusual approach in the development of a planning tool. in general dss as a planning tool often suffers from insufficient involvement of the end users. with the exception of some good examples (including the one described above) stakeholders are often involved far too late in the process. the decision to research and produce a dss is commonly taken long before the involve- ment of those who will use it. when it comes to the role of offering decision support, scientists are well-advised to check with those who could potentially use such tools from the outset. that is, a working dss needs to be co- initiated and co-designed from day one with the eventual users in farming, water management, or other areas. only then can a dss make a sensible contribution to decision-making. and only then is there a chance of the dss being sustained post-project. otherwise the dss developed doesn’t ‘fit’ the real planning needs and schemes of those working in practice. and there is an impor- tant sense of ownership involved: if stakeholders are invited to say what they need and to help with co-designing a suitable tool, the chances are much greater that they will be eager to test it, further shape it to their practical challenges, and in the end genuinely make use of it. figure 5.20: supporting the process from data collection to possible action, vietnam. (lucci project) figure 5.21: vgtb-river basin information system explained to regional stake- holders, march 2014, da nang, vietnam. (lucci project)
117 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice jointly developing story lines for the future the br-163 highway belongs to the ‘deforestation arc’ on the southern border of the amazon rainforest. the highway runs from the semi-humid tropical savannah in central mato grosso to the humid tropical rainforest in the north (figure 5.23). it covers one of brazil’s most rapidly changing regions. to explore how land use in this region will develop over the next 30 years and how it will be affected by the implementation of dif- ferent land use options, a set of scenarios were developed that portray different plausible development pathways. a panel of experts translated the findings of several stakeholder/ scenario workshops and extensive stakeholder and expert interviews into narratives of ‘storylines’. these storylines were used to further define the scenarios, but also acted as an independent form of communication. in a last step, the ‘qualitative information’ derived from these storylines was quantified so that it could be fed into computer-based models and further analysed in scenario simulations (for illustration and a more detailed description of the develop- ment process of the story lines (see approach ‘from sto- rylines to scenarios’ page 163). each of the four storylines comprises a title and a short narrative of the respective ‘future world’. business-as-usual: current trend extrapolation of global demand for brazilian agro-products, continuous conver- sion of natural ecosystems, intensification of agriculture, focus on cattle and soybean. sustainable development: participation, citizenship, law- enforcement, inclusive of economy, food sovereignty, pro- tection of resources, increasing demand for certified agro-products, diversity of agro-production, regional iden- tity, clarification of land titles, increasing livelihood and prosperity. figure 5.22: interactive land use map as planning tool - graphical user interface of the dss in chinese language, showing the interactive land use map and the corresponding land use types on the right, which can be modified with a user-friendly interface (disse 2016). figure 5.23: map of the sub-regions along the highway (left). photos on the right: top deforestation front moving into the rainforest, middle: intensive soybean production 30 years after conversion, mixed with still-intact remnant islands of rainforest, bottom: for- mer cerrado now intensive agricultural production 50 years after conversion. (carbiocial) legal intensification: increasing global demand for brazilian agro-products, no further conversion of natural ecosystems, inten- sification and specialization of agriculture (for the asian market), law enforcement and legal security, decreasing birth rate, increas- ing livelihood and prosperity. illegal intensification: increasing global demand for brazilian agro-products, continuous conversion of natural ecosystems, inten- sification of industrial agriculture, no significant law enforcement, small-scale farmers continue migrating, increasing crime rate.
118 making sense of research for sustainable land management in addition they are represented by posters to visualize the most important aspects of each ‘story’ for stakeholders and the inter- ested public (figures 5.24 and 5.25). the scenarios were presented to inform local people and authori- ties about the consequences of their current activities for the future. thus, all stakeholders, from smallholders to the responsible politi- cian, could see the potential outcome of current land use as well as being able to ‘interpret’ the very different scenarios as options from which they could choose. with the help of the storylines and the scenarios they could ‘look’ into possible future development of their community, better understand possible effects on the entire amazon and impacts on the world climate, as well as learn about sus- tainable (or unsustainable) development pathways for their region. 5.5. stakeholder integration/ co-production of knowledge to place people and supportive institutions at the centre of land management and development processes, an integrated multi- stakeholder approach was developed some 25 years ago in the aftermath of the 1992 rio conference on environment and devel- opment (hemmati 2002). for research, this meant not only a mul- tidisciplinary approach across all involved scientific disciplines, but a transdisciplinary approach, where potential practical users of the research results are included throughout the whole develop- ment process of the research project. this means that end-use stakeholders need to be included in the set-up of the project (co- creation and co-design), actively involved in the process of con- ducting the research work (co-production), and installed, ideally as lead partners, for communication and dissemination of results (co-dissemination). figure 5.24: storyline ‘illegal intensification’, brazil. (jan göpel, copyright cesr)
119 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice however, to this day, each of these facets of transdisciplinary work have proved to be very challenging for research funders and sci- entists themselves. it is not only that perspectives among and between scientists and possible users of research, such as poli- ticians, planners, or local land users differ significantly, but the research and science systems themselves are slow in accepting the challenges involved and perceiving genuine gains. here comes into play an important (and new) role for science funders – who need to set suitable framework conditions of time, flexibility for usage of funds, and initiate new incentives for careers in science com- munication and science management. far too little headway has been made to address these challenges (defila and di guilio 2016). in the present case of the bmbf-slm programme, it was found to be a major challenge even to maintain a constant and sensi- ble exchange between researchers and the local land users. it was hoped that on such a basis the development of implemen- tation-related land use alternatives would be possible – options that would match people’s livelihood requirements and cultural background. however this goal often appeared to be in conflict with the environmental sustainability objectives promoted by the scientists. it has to be concluded that involving the multiplicity of interests of all stakeholders (including science itself) has been, and will remain, a great challenge. this also concerns the application into existing research pro- grammes of new tools and methods for stakeholder communi- cation and involvement. here, a continuous exchange between scientists from different disciplines about the merits of various options could be of great use. all this should lead to the establish- ment of a long-term vision – during and beyond the timeframe of a particular project or programme – with clear pathways that can be set out with the support of a transdisciplinary project. with that achieved, cooperation between scientists and local stake- holders will be easier and more enjoyable. figure 5.25: storyline ‘sustainable development’, brazil. (jan göpel, copyright cesr)
120 making sense of research for sustainable land management 5.5.1 adapted and improved participatory approaches under these difficult framework conditions it is sometimes surpris- ing what can still be achieved. here some examples from the work of the bmbf-slm programme. integrated research and resource management in the okavango basin, a stakeholder participation strategy based on a mix of instruments was developed. on the local scale, ‘fora for integrated research and resource management’ (firms) were employed to support community-based organizations and stake- holder engagement. firms are established in a participatory manner, putting the local community at the centre of their own development (figure 5.26). they are information platforms that consist of elected community members who meet regularly and initiate a series of development actions involving all service pro- viders needed and involved in the solution of local level resource management challenges. service providers may be, for example, traditional authorities, government extension services, ngos, as well as the scientific community (for further information: kruger et al. 2003). community liaison agents/ para-ecologists to collaborate with local rural communities and foster communi- cation between researchers and local stakeholders in the maha- faly plateau in south-western madagascar para-ecologists were employed. they acted as agents and ‘multipliers’ of ideas and pro- vided a communication and cultural link between scientists and rural communities. as most of the agents will continue to live in the region, the experiences and knowledge they gained in the project will continue to influence the people around them in the long-term (figure 5.27). community workshops were organized in order to integrate local people’s perspectives, experiences and knowledge into the research and implementation process (figure 5.28). the workshops were of different types. the aim of the first type was to establish communication between local communities and researchers about local people’s lifestyles. german and mala- gasy researchers learned participatory data collection techniques, which were then applied in the field for baseline surveys (see approach ‘participatory rural appraisal’ page 239). the second type of workshops aimed at integration of local livelihood strate- gies into the modelling process. participatory games (figure 5.29) were designed to foster both scientific knowledge production and stakeholder dialogue in natural resource management, conciliate resource conflicts and enable participatory land use planning (see approach ‘role-playing games’ page 231 and video). local peo- ple simulated their livelihood strategies on satellite maps of their village. figure 5.26: a local ’forum for integrated research and resource manage- ment‘ (firm) at work, okavango basin. (laura schmidt) figure 5.28: madagascan rapid and participatory rural appraisal (marp) local community setting priorities. (j. hammer) figure 5.27: assistants (para-ecologists) getting the sulama project certificate, mada- gascar (left). (jacques rakotondranary) figure 5.29: livestock keepers simulate their grazing grounds and routes in a role-playing game, madagascar (right). (jacques rakoton- dranary)
121 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice 5.5.2 multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary approaches integrated approaches in science and research imply a shift from the former ‘dissemination of results’ or ‘transfer of technology’ paradigms with unidimensional communication (typically at end of projects only: telling others what the scientists have found out) towards involving, listening to problems and ideas, as well as con- tinuously taking in practical knowledge from stakeholders such as extension agents and land users (‘participatory research and extension’). the objective of the latter approach is to contribute to solving land users’ problems and taking the opportunity to make use of local resources, personnel, and available infrastructures. this – ideally – should happen, and an adequate budget should be reserved for such activities. however, it is possible also to achieve at low-cost. the examples below demonstrate how those stake- holder interactions need to be based on a thorough analysis of the ‘stakeholder landscape’ in the region. examples bringing sectors together in germany, cross-sectoral discussion platforms on slm were established involving all relevant land use sectors (agriculture, for- estry, settlement/ transportation) (see approach ‘dialogue plat- form’ page 211) or all relevant actors in a region (see approach ‘stakeholder participation’ page 223). at these meetings, require- ments and claims on land use – that is agricultural production, bioenergy, nature protection – were addressed. possible develop- ments of land use, land use change and different land use man- agement measures were shown and discussed. the aim was to involve all relevant stakeholders and their claims, including end users at regional level and professional representatives on the fed- eral level in a dialogue process which leads to better understand- ing of land management and sustainable solutions. involvement of end users from the very outset of the project was intended to increase the chance that recommendations and results would be implemented locally. multi-level consultations in the vu gia thu bon (vgtb) basin, vietnam, research activities were conducted in close cooperation with key stakeholders and decision-makers at national, provincial and district levels. before the project started, and in the first phase, a comprehensive stake- holder analysis was carried out (who is doing what? who should we talk to? which institutions are relevant for possible imple- mentation of results?). a stakeholder matrix was designed. rel- evant land use planning documents, developed by vietnamese ministries and environmental government and non-governmental institutions, were acquired and translated into english for project partners. annual stakeholder workshops, visits to the relevant institutions (several times a year); interviews regarding current and future development, information demand surveys, stakeholder feedback loops and multi-level consultations were conducted (fig- ures 5.30 and 5.31), all in preparation for the development process of a river basin information centre (rbic). as a scientific organiza- tion the vgtb rbic has the advantages of impartiality, a detailed knowledge base and a broad interdisciplinary perspective (see approach ‘vgtb information centre’ page 275). last, but not least, postgraduate training courses on project results and vgtb related topics were conducted regularly (figure 5.32). constellation analysis and bayesian networks in the são francisco river basin inter- and transdisciplinary approaches of constellation analysis and bayesian networks (‘belief networks’: respectively graphical models on relationships among variables of interests) were applied to integrate knowledge across disciplines to support decision-making. both are ‘bridging tools’ for bringing together different land management stakehold- ers as well as scientists from different disciplines to discuss their perceptions and to reach a more common understanding. constellation analysis was used as a tool to clarify positions and interests of human actors/ stakeholders, as well as the roles of nat- ural, technical and regulatory aspects. such analysis can support figure 5.30: the vice chairmen of the peoples´ committees of quang nam and da nang opens the final workshop on project research results, march 2015, vietnam. (nguyen tung phong) figure 5.31: maps, figures, flyers and posters in vietnamese language presented at final workshop, march 2015, vietnam. (to viet thang) figure 5.32: training course in da nang, vietnam on ‘monitoring, information and modelling for river basin management’, march 2014. (lucci project)
122 making sense of research for sustainable land management consensus-building between divergent positions, help pave the way for better informed decision-making, and support negotia- tions about land management, possible changes and measures. the main problems addressed by the constellation analysis in the são francisco basin were governance challenges and conflicts related to land and water resources (see approach ‘constellation analysis’ page 175 and video). framework conditions for adopt- ing tested innovations were analysed. users commented that the method uncovered existing knowledge and perceptions, making them more transparent and usable. bayesian networks on the other hand deal with probabilities and conditions for adopting innovations such as umbuzeiro (spondias tuberosa) tree planting and multiplication. the method starts with a hierarchical model of influencing factors (called nodes), arriv- ing at one or more final objectives; for instance, environmental health and sustainable livelihoods – mediated via the adoption of umbuzeiro tree planting (see approach ‘bayesian network approach’ page 179). regional communication platform to address the issue of missing coordination and communication amongst stakeholders active in the mahafaly plateau of south- west madagascar, a regional communication platform was revived with the support of an international organization with a long-term mandate in the region (in this case wwf). this communication platform helped to integrate the multitudes of slm approaches and technologies developed by key actors of the region in the many conservation and development aid programmes working in parallel on the mahafaly plateau. better communication among these actors contributed to developing a better informed and coordinated ‘landscape approach’ and a landscape management plan. on this basis, the platform supported planning and imple- mentation of research and development (r&d) activities across the mahafaly plateau area. it has been holding regular meetings since 2011, and has fostered more focused and coordinated inter- ventions of the different stakeholders. for example the platform initiated the development of an early-warning system for food scarcity. to this end, several cooperating organizations active on the mahafaly plateau (e.g. wwf, giz, university of tulear, and the bmbf funded project sulama) have contributed long-term data on poor harvests, droughts and resulting food scarcity. agricultural knowledge and information systems in the kulunda steppe, the ‘modernization’ of conventional cul- tivation and successful implementation of no-till and minimum tillage (cultivation innovations) closely depended on the partici- pation of the relevant local and regional stakeholders. initially, a screening of the agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (akis) for key players, who support conservational soil cultivation technologies was conducted. the main players identified were research, education and extension services linked to agricultural producers, who are active in the field of sustainable land manage- ment, ecology and environmental issues and who have decision- making power. these stakeholders – who are key players – acted as multipliers of promising innovations. after the collapse of the former soviet union links among the identified key players of the akis network in the altai region were weak to non-existent. a figure 5.33: stakeholder network at national/ international level in the kulunda steppe, russia. (peter liebelt)
123 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice more effective stakeholder network for knowledge building and transfer, therefore, was needed and has been developed with the support of the scientists working in that region (figure 5.33). to further improve links among key stakeholders of the platform and to enhance the extension services field days and vocational training sessions were organized (see approach ‘field days’ page 255 and approach ‘vocational training’ page 259). identifying key stakeholders stakeholder dialogues for more sustainable rubber plantation management in yunnan province, china, helped to address key issues for the local and regional stakeholders. stakeholders num- bered, among others, innovative farmers, regional decision-mak- ers and rubber companies. the target was, between researchers and practitioners, to jointly analyse and develop (potential) land management solutions. as a basis for the stakeholder dialogue, key actors in rubber cultivation, decision-making structures, and stakeholders interested in sustainable rubber cultivation, who were willing to participate, were identified. as a starting point a stake- holder map was developed, providing an overview of the most influential actors in land management in that region (figure 5.34). for stakeholder involvement a flexible and situation-specific com- munication approach was chosen. this approach included the facilitation of direct communication with and among stakehold- ers and the development of information material and newsletters. in particular, the establishment of focus groups and workshops with key stakeholders enhanced the communication amongst practitioners and researchers. research was seen as a neutral agent that could initiate communication processes and facilitate dialogue between diverging interests of the various stakeholders (aenis and wang 2016; see approach ‘scientist-practitioner com- munication’ page 195). as a starting point a stakeholder map was developed, providing an overview of the most influential actors in land management in that region. the map then was used to develop a strategy for dealing with those stakeholders. at the core of the rubber stake- holder network are the local partners with whom stable contacts (in dark blue) were established. the red colour indicates contacts to regional authorities, large companies and village heads with decision-making power. these were involved for problem identi- fication, exchange of research results, and exploration for future scenarios. the contacts in yellow are similar to the red ones but with less intense communication with the scientists. the contacts in green (dark and light) are research institutes or research pro- jects interested in rubber research. their experts were involved in the workshops and via personal communication. the colour- less contacts are those who have been involved for information exchange or based on personal networks, with irregular commu- nication and less exchange. the arrows between these contacts show interdependencies amongst stakeholders, which are helpful for identifying the regional social network and are indicative of the communication strategy used. figure 5.34: stakeholder map - rubber network yunnan province, china (jue wang and thomas aenis unpublished data).
124 making sense of research for sustainable land management 5.5.3 science – practice dialogue dialogue between science and practice is the starting point for transdisciplinary research. continued dialogue helps to focus research on viable questions and problems. and it can open doors for mutually profitable exchange of knowledge and experience. examples broad dialogue and participative assessments in germany, science-practice dialogues (see approach ‘dialogue platform’ page 211) were conducted nationwide to allow research- ers to gain important insights for coping with climate change on a regional and national basis and in turn to receive information on recently adapted technologies, their assessments and results from stakeholders. in return, researchers provided scientific evi- dence to underpin the often emotional discourse among multiple stakeholders with different claims for what land use can achieve towards better climate change mitigation and adaptation. on the german baltic sea coast and north sea coast, stakeholders have been involved in an integrated assessment to develop action- oriented land management options addressing possible climate change adaptation measures as an alternative to traditional coastal protection strategies (see approach ‘stakeholder participation’ page 223). the ‘stakeholder participation in integrative planning and assessment’ allowed for knowledge transfer between science and practice and vice-versa. with a focus on possible solutions the following activities were conducted: knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners, capacity building, and sce- nario planning of land management options together with local, regional and nationally active stakeholders. research-practice discourse to support implementation in rubber plantations in south-west china, stakeholder discourse was tested for research-practice-integration, communication and dialogue (see approach ‘scientist-practitioner communication’ page 195). this approach also combined profound scientific analy- ses with a range of activities to enhance interaction and collabora- tive learning amongst practitioners and researchers. various aspects supporting or hindering implementation of prom- ising alternative practices – such as intercropping of rubber with endangered native tree species (see technology ‘native trees in rubber monocultures’ page 191) – have been analysed at differ- ent levels: • conditions influencing farmers to implement or adopt new management options on their farms (studies of household econ- omy, willingness to accept). • framework conditions/ enabling environments for introduction of alternatives (assessment of related value chains, analysis of communication networks). • factors influencing policy-making (objectives of different social groups in relation to sustainable rubber cultivation, decision and power structures). in the long-run, science-practice dialogue might be one means to jointly develop and implement innovative solutions (in this case strategies for sustainable land use/ rubber cultivation), subject to the condition that they are properly institutionalised. discussing results with administrators result dissemination activities were organised in the kulunda steppe in discussions that brought together members of the ger- man/ russian research teams with local policy makers, administra- tors and other academics (figures 5.35 and 5.36). two central topics were chosen – the design and implementation of agro-environmental policies and organisation of effective state land management. in spite of the high relevance of these topics under local conditions, the willingness of relevant local administra- tors to come to the workshops, present and discuss their knowl- edge and experiences was limited. besides, local actors did not actively discuss impacts of applied measures. the discussions sometimes had to be refocused on the ex post experiences with land polices in germany or other central european countries (e.g. the czech republic) to enable comparison of various approaches in the discussions. such an experience illustrates an important his- torical factor: political reality and vested interests clearly restrict local and regional actors and prevent practitioners from benefiting from international cooperation and knowledge transfer. 5.5.4 co-production of knowledge co-design and co-production of knowledge is one of the most sophisticated exercises in implementation-oriented research, and is still not very widespread. in the bmbf-slm programme, which forms the background to this book, it has only partially been achieved. most on-the-ground work was conducted by phd can- didates running their own research work. for real co-design and co-production – starting with developing the design of the project altogether – there was little prior experience compounded by a lack of time and funding; similar to the large majority of research programmes worldwide. however, some remedial steps have been taken. as will become clear with the examples in this chapter, considerable effort was taken later on to involve local stakeholders, know better about their problems and challenges, and to communicate results in a way that they could be taken on board by land users, administra- tors, or members of local communities. for better contacts and involvement with members of local communities an approach was chosen that has been tested before in another research pro- gramme (biota/ also bmbf funded, see christiaan et al. 2009; schmiedel et al. 2010). figure 5.35: stakeholder workshop project kulunda, november 2015, russia. (ladislav jelinek)
125 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice direct involvement of members of the local community a straightforward method to involve people from local communi- ties where the research is taking place is to employ them as part of the research teams. members of rural land user communities are holders of local knowledge on the natural environment and local land use. to access, understand and incorporate this knowledge into research is perceived as intrinsically important, but also as very challenging by academic scientists. it requires special skills and sufficient time for interaction, exchange and mutual understand- ing. para-ecologists can help to fill this gap and act as facilita- tors for transdisciplinary research. by being members of both land user and researcher communities, para-ecologists have insight into the perceptions and knowledge of communities, and can facilitate mutual understanding and knowledge exchange between land users and scientists. para-ecologists assist natural and social scien- tists to collect and document environmental and household data, and simultaneously support implementation activities. through close interaction and exchange with the para-ecologists from angola, botswana and namibia, researchers who were active in the okavango basin, developed closer contacts with the land user communities and a better understanding of land user deci- sions and environmental processes. communication with, and learning from, the para-ecologists avoided pitfalls and intercul- tural misunderstanding (schmiedel et al. 2016). furthermore the members of the land user communities benefited from the pres- ence of the para-ecologists by having a local contact person or ‘intermediary’, who they can approach to enquire about the pro- ject objectives, activities and outcomes and with whom they can share their concerns about, and expectations from, the project. on the mahafaly plateau of madagascar, early involvement of local individuals and communities allowed – to a certain degree – the combination of scientific know-how with traditional knowledge, and helped identifying solutions that not only focused on short- term relief aid, but had good prospects for continuation in the long-term. the role of para-ecologists however, was not only the fostering of mutual trust between researchers and local communi- ties. it also was important for the communication of results, better understanding and acceptance of possible alternative strategies by the local population. in the longer term, through monitoring of the impacts of different management practices, para-ecologists can also play a central role, for example in regular monitoring of biodiversity within a national park (see apprpoach ‘participatory m&e’ page 243). this approach has been chosen by several of the projects involved in the bmbf-slm programme; altogether with a good success rate. the employment of, and interaction with, para-ecologists certainly opens doors to all involved. doors that otherwise would have stayed closed. figure 5.36: stakeholder workshop project kulunda, april 2016, russia. (altai state university press department)
126 making sense of research for sustainable land management conclusions this chapter has presented, and discussed, approaches to imple- mentation oriented research (ior). it has shown that ior can work – but there are a number of support measures that need to be put in place to make it truly effective. in summary, the main conclusions are: implementation-oriented research (ior) is possible – and can be rewarding implementation-oriented and transdisciplinary research is cer- tainly possible. it can be used to produce results that other kinds of research cannot achieve. implementation-oriented research is being carried out in many locations, supported by many research funding programmes worldwide. ior requires support from all involved implementation-oriented work needs the support of research institutions from the partner countries where the research takes place. it is a great help if funding is available to cover this coop- eration, and funds that supports both young and experienced sci- entists from the countries of the studies. the success of ior also depends on the support and ingenuity of members of local com- munities, of advisory capacities available for the topics, the imple- mentation challenges at stake, and on successful involvements of regional and national decision-makers. for cooperation on all these levels, adequate timeframes, working in good partnerships, as well as diplomatic support (with recommendation letters from the funding organisation, giz, the federal foreign office or oth- ers) can be very useful; indeed often essential. involve people from practice from day one local people from the practical, on-the-ground, element have to be involved from day one of the overall project work. they are needed because of their contributions to understanding of local conditions, observational skills, knowledge creation, and practi- cal experience. if concrete results and recommendations emanat- ing from the implementation-orientation of a project are to be relevant, then the researchers need to sit together with ‘people from practice’ as early as possible. the challenge here is to not only define the research objectives and research questions but also the implementation-oriented objectives of the project. this can only be done together with those who know what is being talked about and who in the end can act on decision-making tools, slm planning, and the design of potential new land management tech- nologies. needed: highly experienced coordinators and knowledge managers ior also needs strong competences from experienced coordina- tors of the individual research projects: they face challenges of science management and science communication, that go far beyond the normal; ‘normal’ being the coordination of a discipli- nary project with exclusive participation of researchers. coordina- tion in ior does not concern only, or even foremost, management tasks. the most precious coordination covers knowledge manage- ment and the facilitation of joint learning. for projects with many heterogeneous partners from science and practice, at least one coordinating post dealing with project management (managing meetings, conferences, joint reporting) and another post of scien- tific coordination for bringing together and synthesizing the dif- ferent kinds of knowledge (practice-oriented, target and/or profit oriented, academic/ scientific, strategic, indigenous/local knowl- edge) are required. universities should be given strong financial incentives to systematically build-up competences for knowledge management and facilitation of inter- and transdisciplinary learn- ing, as people able to meet such requirements are few and far between: but more and more urgently needed. enable and empower intermediaries people in the participating study regions can be enabled and empowered. sharing knowledge and understanding, and com- municating it in a way that it supplies clear choices for decision- making is meaningful for all involved. successful cooperation and communication methods such as farmer field visits, educa- tion days for school children, awareness videos and tv series best succeed in close cooperation between research and intermediar- ies such as river basin committees or inter-ministerial units. the work to be attempted with these partners can be challenging but achievements can also be surprisingly successful when bringing about unexpected new experience and knowledge. and it can be satisfying for all involved. involve professional communicators/ change managers the involvement of professionals for tasks such as communication, project management, coordination and facilitation of meetings, reporting for internal and external evaluations, or stakeholder anal- ysis and stakeholder involvement needs to be carefully considered. there are two options for coordinating research partners: either to build up these competences with a long-term commitment in- house, or to outsource (at least some of) the required manage- ment and communication skills. with either option, universities and other research partners would be able to better focus on their key competence of conducting the required research. methodology mix and the value of experience tools and methods for communication in ior contexts have been available now for some 25 years from experience with inter- and transdisciplinary research as well as from other areas such as development cooperation, media sciences, or journalism. here an open and flexible approach is important: analysing what is par- ticularly needed for the individual project and to utilise what anal- ysis and communication tools fit best. furthermore, it can be of great help if prior experience such as ‘awareness filming’ with the help of para-ecologists (members of local communities working as research assistants) can be integrated. not all approaches for fruit- ful cooperation need to be designed from scratch.
127 chapter 5 bridging gaps between research and practice openness to listen and learn irrespective of what ‘approaches’ are taken, openness to listen and learn about formerly undiscovered areas is fundamentally important: • openness to other cultures and other walks of life, ‘their’ and ‘our’ often very different ways of dealing with problems and challenges, and the different possible solutions; • preparedness to carefully listen, and try to understand other experiences and interests; • development of mutual understanding and acceptance of dif- ferent kinds of knowledge; • flexibility with planning of meetings, visits or workshops, con- cerning the participation of key partners, patience with very dif- ferent time horizons and approaches to work; and last but not least; • flexible expectations of results, and preparedness to be sur- prised also in this respect. co-design, co-production, co-delivery: new career paths for scientists required at present there remain conflicts of interest between what is required from the perspective of the funders and the interests of scientists themselves when working in ior programmes. the funders require stakeholder involvement and work towards prac- tical implementation. the scientists involved need to finish their phds or want to publish in – predominantly disciplinary – academic journals. this conflict of interests becomes obvious when it comes to tangible stakeholder integration. with local stakeholders, there are multiple other elements of importance: their own specific interests, commitments, expectations, and time horizons. but co-designing research work and co-defining implementation- oriented objectives is a key pre-requisite for successful joint work when practice-oriented results are aimed at. for such co-design of ior it is necessary to give up the hierarchy of interpretation and established traditions of designing topics from scientific per- spectives alone. if phd candidates have to write disciplinary doc- torates, then ior, basically speaking, is not really attractive for universities and many other academic partners. here it is only new career paths for ior in which young scientists can safely make a long-term scientific career that could help to change the name of the game. with all these challenges, supported by experience, it is time to think again – and more thoroughly – about what is needed for truly effective ior.
128 making sense of research for sustainable land management the contribution of research chapter 6 southern china, gerhard langenberger
129 chapter 6 the contribution of research one of the central challenges of sustainable land management (slm) is its complexity. land is ‘multi-dimensional’ in its various connections, functions and relevance. it is: • multi-scale: connected to local, regional, national, and international levels; • multi-functional: relevant to productivity, ecosystem function, biodiversity, water, climate issues, disaster-risk reduction, and livelihoods; • multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder oriented: connected to individual land users, development agencies, the private sector, government and non-governmental organizations, planners and decision-makers; • multi-tenurial: connected and related to ownership and resource use rights; and • multi-disciplinary: related to natural sciences (e.g. soil, water, plants, animals) and social sciences and humanities (e.g. economics, governance, values). introduction when developing strategies and solutions for sustainable land management these multiple perspectives and interrelations have to be taken into account. the implementation-oriented research on which this book is based integrates three main topics: land management, ecosystems, and climate change. although they are closely interrelated and intertwined, they are often treated separately – in science as well as in practice. facing this multi- dimensional complexity of land leads to challenges for everybody involved: scientists, land use planners, administrators, politi- cians – and, of course, farmers and other land users. thus a rel- evant scientific approach must include interdisciplinary integration and stakeholder involvement to make a relevant contribution to slm practice and to support evidence-based decision-making. research can make a unique contribution, through analysing pos- sible synergies and identifying trade-offs that come into play if the ‘multi’ character of land is taken into account.
130 making sense of research for sustainable land management 6.1 tools and methods: the ways and means of conducting research science that is intended to solve practical problems needs to be underpinned by reliable data: but that takes considerable time and effort, and often this is not appreciated. compiling and analysing datasets is the first step in research and development. it is the basis for scientific key methods and tools, including models and scenar- ios. models and scenarios may be used for designing and testing the impact of different land managements and innovations under different conditions (e.g. climate change) and thus identify prom- ising options and solutions. this can be an important support for decision-makers at various levels: for local land planners, regional water authorities and national policy makers, to name a few. so what are the methods and tools that science has at its disposal to help with sustainable land management research? 6.1.1 data collection, analysis and monitoring at the core of any research activity is data. collecting, organiz- ing, analysing and interpreting data in a systematic, verifiable, and objective way is science’s key competence. in the case of land management research, teams of scientists from different disci- plines have to work together – because of the multiple facets of land that we have already set out. thus scientists need to take scope and complexity into account by collecting and combining data from various aspects of land management. existing datasets have to be located and requested. especially important are long-term datasets. these are key to shed light on the current state and trends. they are also needed for the verifica- tion and calibration of computer-based models that describe the interactions within land management related systems. for assess- ments of interactions between land management at different levels of scale, researchers need data from the field or plot, the vil- lage, the municipality, the watershed, the region, the country, and sometimes beyond national boundaries. long-term monitoring provides these datasets. but these are rare: such data collection is often not carried out, and seldom on every relevant aspect of land management. sometimes datasets are lost. so, although this long-term data is key for informed planning and decision-making, it is rarely available. filling data gaps and building up monitoring capacity, therefore, is a crucial task for current – and future - research activities (see approach ‘participatory m&e’ page 243). sometimes researchers can build on existing monitoring pro- grammes. in these cases collaboration on the basis of mutual inter- est is the key to data access: building trust and ‘giving back’ in return. this has not only to do with scientific data. when people or institutions provide information it is critical that they can also profit from the research. instead of a one-way flow there should be a continuous feedback cycle between researchers and provid- ers of data. too often data collection is simply extractive. researchers can identify gaps in existing datasets, identify knowl- edge gaps, and build on these. then they carry out their own meas- urements, field experiments and surveys. key persons are identified and interviewed and essential biophysical aspects are measured. ideally, natural and social scientists work together: however this requires careful coordination and commitment. but the integration of research results from all involved disciplines produces more con- sistent and relevant outcomes for planning towards improved slm. integrated report and meta-database on the state of the river basin the systematic collection, organisation and professional communi- cation of data across different land related aspects and sectors pro- vides support for making adequate and efficient land and water management decisions. strategies and action plans can then be developed on the basis of robust and reliable data. actors involved in decision-making and planning can theoretically access well-pro- cessed and structured information, integrated across all relevant sectors and scales. however, in practice this rarely happens. infor- mation is usually scattered in many sectors and is hard to come by. baseline data and reports providing an overview of the bio-physical, current socio-economic and institutional environment of a region or watershed are much appreciated by various stakeholders and users. the ‘state of the basin report’ of the vu gia thu bon (vgtb) basin in central-vietnam, for example, supports better understanding of the current condition of land and water resources in the river basin. it integrates a wide spectrum of information relevant for decision- makers, land management specialists, researchers as well as land and water users in the region. another way of providing access to structured information is a meta-database (a database of data- bases) – as was realized for implementation-oriented research on the brazilian são francisco river basin. this research started as an organized way of storing information derived from primary research and secondary data, made available online via a joint geoportal interface. such a portal can be a nucleus for a larger database, organizing all studies and materials relevant to a given watershed (link: https://catalog-glues.ufz.de/terracatalog/start.do;jsessionid= 80f6a3d2c446674b898881d0589887e4). 6.1.2 developing and using models computer-based models are a well-established scientific approach to describe and understand a complex system. in understanding what models can do and what their limitations are, it is necessary to differentiate between: 1. models which provide a simplified representation of a selected part of reality. the selection can be spatial, describing a specific region, and/or topical, describing a specific issue like climate. a choice is made on the level of detail, often depending on data availability. 2. scenarios which use models to help assess (‘project’) future developments and their likelihoods or test management options and assess their effects (e.g. impacts of land use change on the climate). basically modelling can provide an insight into the interactions of socio-economic and natural systems related to land management. because of the complexity, separate models describing various aspects of the system (e.g. carbon cycle, carbon sequestration, erosion, ecosystem services, water cycle, socio-economics and labour) are combined. this integrated ‘model architecture’ can be applied either at the local level, investigating different land man- agement practices and climate change scenarios, and/or at the landscape level, where models have the potential to integrate local land management practices and show the impacts of their combi- nations within the larger landscape. a typical challenge for research and the use of models is to address complex interactions and dependencies within a water- shed; for example of reservoirs built and the water storage and release regulated for downstream users. there will be questions such as: what is the amount of sediment inflow into the reservoir? what are the consequences on the storage and the downstream sediment load? what is the minimum water flow for downstream users? what is the optimal balance between hydropower gen- eration and water availability for irrigation during dry seasons? and: how is it possible to regulate and minimize the damaging impacts of floods and droughts? each of these can be addressed with appropriate models. models based on quantitative data can be used, for example, for the description of the effects of different land management practices on productivity, soil biodiversity, and water demands.
131 chapter 6 the contribution of research models based on qualitative data are used to visualize complex interrelationships amongst users, decision-makers, resources, and regulations (e.g. ‘constellation analysis’, see approach page 175 and video) in order to detect driving forces and barriers. when new models are developed, or existing ones are combined, the time needed for model testing and calibration/ validation, and actually running scenarios is often underestimated. it can take years and considerable effort to develop and adapt models – and get reliable results. for the incorporation of knowledge from local or regional stake- holders in model development repeated rounds of workshops are necessary. these workshops should also support trust building in the modelling exercise and its results. models are used for specific purposes and thus have to be robust enough to produce reliable results but also reflect the complex- ity needed. therefore, prioritization is important. new and better structured models can improve our understanding of complexity (with suitable model architecture). alternatively, existing models with newly developed user-friendly applications can fit the pur- pose. in implementation-oriented research (ior), modelling can be used as a tool to facilitate collective decision-making processes and to foster knowledge exchange between different stakeholder groups. when discussing a model during workshops, stakeholders from various backgrounds tend to develop a deeper, joint, under- standing of the cross-cutting nature of land management. as a longer-term planning tool scientific models are often used as a basis for decision support systems (dss) (see chapter 6 page 137). the following gives an overview of the range of possibilities of modelling by describing examples used in very different contexts. combining existing models to assess land management options in a river basin this example demonstrates the variety of already existing models capturing different aspects of the overall land management sys- tem of the são francisco river basin, brazil. the models were com- bined to better understand water, land use, climate interactions in the region, and to make facts and their interrelationships more transparent as a basis for decisions-making (table 6.1). some of these models are aimed at decision-making based on existing simulations. this category of models concerns topics and challenges such as water quantity (swim), hydro-economic condi- tions, hydrodynamic calculations, water quality (moneris), global land use (magpie), and biodiversity modelling with maxent. swim simulates future water quantities and river flow under dif- ferent land use patterns (magpie results) and includes different climate change scenarios (figure 6.1). the aim of these modelling efforts is to better estimate how much water will be available for agricultural irrigation, hydropower generation and other uses in the future. a model-based upstream/ downstream water manage- ment system has been proposed for improved allocation of water, including different options for integrating the ecosystem of the region into the model as a ‘water user without a voice’. all simula- tions are exemplary calculations, meant to feed into the prioritiza- tion for water allocation and resultant decision-making. how models are combined depends on the questions that they need to answer. for example, a specific model architecture was built to assess impacts of land use change on soil productivity and fertility, biomass production, watershed functions and envi- ronmental services in small mountainous catchments in southern china. lucia (land use change impact assessment) is a dynamic and spatially explicit landscape-scale model (http://lucia.uni- hohenheim.de). emphasis was on material flows in the landscape that connect upland/ upstream and lowland/ downstream areas. the model architecture consists of five main modules: • hydrology/ soil water • soil nutrients • organic matter decomposition • plant growth • land use and management options. assessing impacts of climate change on biodiversity and eco- system services models can also be used to assess future environmental con- ditions and their impact on species distribution and ecosystem service provision; for example in relation to climate change and sea level rise. here modelling can be an important tool to bet- ter understand the challenges that may arise in the future, and to evaluate possible solutions. in a collaborative german modelling project the following mech- anism has been established: as a first step, climate simulations based on different emission scenarios, as well as assumed sea level rises, are used to determine the hydrological conditions in the region simulated for the period from 2010-2100. in a second step, species distribution models project the occurrence of plant species in the landscape, based on the modelled hydrological con- ditions, the known (and assumed constant) soil characteristics and probable land uses. the models thus integrate data from differ- ent sources of the inter- and transdisciplinary work, and quantify the spatial and time-bound conditions. in a final step, the future hydrological conditions, land use and plant species distributions are used to calculate the ecosystem services (figure 6.2). thus, changes over time as well as trade-offs and synergies of ecosys- tem services can be analysed for the whole scenario period of 90 years. model name what it describes what it can be used for ‘magpie’ global land use allocation influenced by population growth, climate change, trade (são francisco river basin in high resolution) designing plausible scenarios for future land use pattern (e.g. input into swim, hydro- economic model, moneris) ‘swim’ climate and land use change impacting water availability in the são francisco river basin testing management scenar- ios: how much water is available if managing reservoirs in a spe- cific way, or, what management is required to reach a target (and discharges as input into hydro-economic, hydrodynamic and moneris models) ‘moneris’ nitrogen and phosphorus emissions into the são francisco river basin detecting dominant sources of emissions in order to direct action at the major polluters hydrodynamic models 2d or 3d representation of water dynamics at different scales estimating the retention time of pollution and direction of dilution movement in a given stretch of the water body (e.g. how will pollution spread when starting new net-cage aqua- culture?) hydro-eco- nomic models water demand under cur- rent/ future land use pat- terns, water infrastructure and technical, environ- mental, and institutional constraints (semi-arid region of the são fran- cisco river basin) suggesting an economically efficient water allocation based on the economic value of water and evaluating economic effects of operational reservoir rules, environmental flows and institutional constraints ‘maxent’ biodiversity model species habitat and species distribution for the area of one specific natural biome (caatinga) identifying patches for prioritization of conservation (hotspots or coldspots) table 6.1: different models applied in the são francisco river basin, brazil
132 making sense of research for sustainable land management based on this chain of models it is possible to analyse the effects of a changing climate, sea level rise and changing land use on eco- system services. this helps us to understand how sensitive a land- scape is to environmental and land use changes, and enables an analysis of possible solutions to address changing climatic condi- tions over a long period of time time (http://geoportal-glues.ufz. de/comtess_app.html). combining models at different scales to study the hydrogeology in south-west madagascar, where water scarcity is one of the key challenges, it was essential to distinguish between large-scale hydrogeology in an area of about 40,000 km2 and small-scale hydrogeology in selected villages and their sur- rounding area (100 km2 ). at the larger scale, rough estimates and information from literature were used to develop a general under- standing of the hydrogeology of the area (figure 6.3). in the tar- get villages of the project, detailed investigations combined with framework conditions calculated by the large-scale model permit- ted estimates of the local hydrogeology. general hydrogeological methods and assumptions were combined with the results of spe- cific field studies, especially focussing on wells and groundwater. groundwater levels vary considerably with the geological condi- tions providing varying accessibility to water for the people living in the area. three target villages in different geological areas were studied in more detail to assess groundwater levels and recharge as well as rainwater availability during the rainy and dry season (figure 6.4). on the plateau, the major aquifer is only accessible through deep drilling and pumping stations. alternative water figure 6.1: overview of the model architecture for the são francisco river basin, showing the combination and interaction of the models described in table 6.1, covering land management and water aspects across different scales, and information flow between the models. local investigations are carried out by subprojects (tp/sp) (hattermann et al. in preparation). sources are small, very localized, ‘perched aquifers’ (figure 6.4 and 6.5). in areas where aquifers are too deep for wells, rainwa- ter is collected during the rainy season in local catchments (sihan- aka) which provide water for about two months for daily drinking, cooking and washing – as well as for watering livestock. in the coastal areas, groundwater is easily accessible but if it is overused the region is prone to salt water intrusion which makes water unsuitable for human or agricultural use. the small-scale models help in understanding the specific situation, and indicate under which conditions water availability can be improved by appropri- ate methods. empirical agent-based land-use modelling it is not only natural conditions that can be modelled, but human behaviour too. this method is based on ‘agents’ (people in spe- cific roles, e.g. farmers) whose decisions in reaction to changing environments determine the development of the land use. the agent-based model sealm (sulama empirical agent-based land- use model) was used in madagascar to understand the complex interactions and feedback loops between land use and land cover changes (lulcc), deforestation processes and ecosystem services. it allows the simulation of possible future trends in land use and explores smallholder farmers’ coping strategies with respect to food insecurity. the modelling results are helpful to identify hot- spot areas of lulcc and forest fragmentation in time and space. the model consists of different types of ‘entities’, which include the landscape, households, livestock and climate (figure 6.6). for the design of those entities, a wide range of data was used, incor- porating social surveys, high-resolution remote sensing and field- based validation data.
133 chapter 6 the contribution of research figure 6.2: the comtess svt (synthesis and visualizing tool) to present spatial and temporal explicit data. the tool can show distribution for selected species under different climate scenarios and sea level rise scenarios for different land management options. here: peninsula michaelsdorf (german baltic coast) in the year 2085 under climate scenario sres a2 for a land use ‘trend/ business-as-usual’ scenario and a sea level rise of 1.05 m (gwp = global warming potential). (comtess) the model represents six important steps carried out by ‘household agents’ – the farmers – related to land use: (i) ex-ante planning and labour allocation (before action is taken); (ii) field extension; (iii) field preparation; (iv) crop cultivation; (v) harvest; and (vi) ex- post-planning (reflecting the land use decisions after harvest) and selection of coping strategies for the next cycle. for each step, households may use different adaptation mechanisms to avoid food insecurity and increase household income: increasing or reducing the area of cultivated land depending on available capital and energy requirements, changing the allocation of their agricul- tural fields or altering their coping strategy dependent on available livestock, farm-income and capital. within a geographical information system (gis), maps related to bio-physical and socio-economic data were compiled from exist- ing information and field surveys (e.g. land use, land cover, soil quality, biomass, crop yield and land ownership). forests were additionally characterized by information relating to the forest use potential (e.g. biomass stock and growth rate), which can be determined through remote sensing and forest inventory data. the livestock module simulates different grazing and herd man- agement strategies and the resulting effects on vegetation and land cover changes. global driving forces are selected that directly affect the state of the model variables and household activities such as population dynamics, climate conditions, protection of forest resources and fallow periods. during model set-up, the global variables can be changed in the user interface to simulate multiple scenarios (e.g. different climate scenarios, population increase or different crop management strategies). simulation outputs are explicit concern- ing space and time, and include maps of the landscape enabling the analysis of habitat fragmentation, changes in forest area and biomass stocks. socio-economic outputs include food security (food self-sufficiency), crop yields, household income, availabil- ity of fuel and construction wood, and related coping strategies. the simulated scenarios and the underlying data of all maps and graphs can be exported to electronic files for further analyses and interpretation. 6.1.3 developing scenarios scenarios are descriptions of possible future developments under various assumptions termed ‘projections’. they can be of predic- tive nature describing a specific development with regard to its probability. or they can describe the future consequences of spe- cific management decisions. thus: ‘if we implement this regula- tion or technology then it will have this effect on land productivity, ecosystems and climate’. ‘what-if’ scenarios enable researchers to assess the possible impacts of different land management choices, help decision-makers to think about different options and explore possible or likely results. because of the ‘multi-dimensional’ nature of land management, several scenarios are run on the computer models so that results can be compared. they can be based on a set of concrete manage- ment choices (e.g. technologies or action plans) or on the optimisa- tion of different goals (e.g. mitigating climate change, conserving
134 making sense of research for sustainable land management figure 6.3: hydrological map of the large-scale model giving an overview over the region (about 40,000 km2 in total) from the mahafaly plateau to the coast showing the distribution of the different geological conditions, madagascar (dworak 2014). biodiversity, improving resilience or increasing productivity). these ‘choice’ scenarios’ are compared with a baseline scenario, called ‘business-as-usual’ or ‘current trend’ in which the conditions in the model are based on the present situation without policy or man- agement changes. comparing the impacts of different scenarios reveals trade-offs and synergies between the selected management options - for example, between the goals of optimizing food production and conserving biodiversity by applying different measures at local and landscape levels. complex model architectures allow the assessment of complex systemic interactions – for example, assessing the impacts of land management decisions on natural ecosystems and socio-economic systems under different climate change scenarios, and vice-versa, impacts of natural ecosystems and socio-economic systems on land management and its effects on the climate. this allows us to take climate mitigation and adap- tation aspects into account in a single assessment. and this could help decision-makers to develop land management strategies that combine different goals and needs. scenarios can support different levels of decision-making. detailed models at the local level describing the interactions of soil, plants, and water with possible climate developments can help to opti- mize a farmer’s decisions on timing of sowing, harvesting, irri- gating or the choice of crop. through scenarios, planners can test how the spatial arrangement of settlements, green and blue spaces and fresh air corridors can reduce overheating of cities. at landscape level, a typical example of the use of scenarios as a basis for decision-making is integrated river basin management. ‘what if’ scenarios are developed to explore the likely impacts of different land and water management options, for example: what are the implications and economic effects on hydropower gen- eration and other water uses if a minimum flow during the dry season has to be guaranteed, or if the fluctuations within the res- ervoir should be less than 0.5 m per year and less than 5 cm per day, and if irrigation during the dry season needs to be doubled? on top of all these management questions and their downstream implications, climate change scenarios can be introduced to visual- ise the impact if, say in 20 years from now, the amount and distri- bution of rainfall is different (see chapter 2). at the local and landscape/ regional level, scenarios have been used as a basis to develop action plans for sustainable land man- agement by addressing problems and suggesting possible future changes. an important aspect of those scenario development exercises is raising awareness of future problems and adapting land management strategies well before the impact becomes visi- ble. this concerns climate change, as well as impacts of continuous intensification of land use and expansion of agriculture, settle- ments and infrastructure (see also chapter 5). beyond improving the scientific understanding of the human-nature interaction and its use for knowledge-based decision-lanmaking, scenario devel- opment is also used as a tool to integrate different actors into par- ticipatory scenario development. in an iterative planning process the participants develop a mix of measures and can arrive at a compromise based on their different, and sometimes conflicting, interests. such a process can enhance joint understanding of com- plex systems, and can foster knowledge exchange and discussion between stakeholder groups with vested interests (see approach
135 chapter 6 the contribution of research figure 6.4: how modelling can zoom-in from the large-scale to the three selected villages in madagascar where detailed measurements were carried out. to investigate the variety of water conditions, the villages were chosen on the basis of their different geological and hydrological conditions (dworak 2014). figure 6.5: groundwater-fed pond in the village of efoetse on the coastal plain of madagascar. groundwater levels are influenced by sea tides, and over-exploita- tion leads to increasing salinity of water – while water quantity remains constant. (andreas englert) ‘from storylines to scenarios’ page 163, approach ‘stakeholder participation’ page 223 and technology ‘polders to improve water management’ page 215). scenarios for evidence-based decision support for a nation-wide process and for different regions in ger- many, scenarios were developed jointly between all stakeholders through a series of workshops and interviews, in order to provide information for evidence-based decision support for policy mak- ing (figure 6.7; see approach ‘dialogue platform’ page 211). at national level, four scenarios were designed, each focussing on one of a series of societal goals: climate mitigation; production of biomass for bioenergy; nature/ environmental protection; and cli- mate adaptation for a time period of 2010 to 2030. these were compared to a business-as-usual scenario. the scenarios were built on recommendations and feedback by stakeholders from the main sectors: agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, settlement and transportation. the outcomes from running those scenarios on the model archi- tecture depicted the distribution of land use (farmland, forests and settlement and transportation, recreational areas, and newly built- up areas) spatially explicit on a 1 km raster. for each land use sce- nario, economic figures covered production, yields, operating costs, effects of fertilizer/ manure, environmental impacts, and the reduc- tion potential of greenhouse gas emissions. spatial development in one of the focus regions was of particular interest to the regional planning administration. at the national level, regional impacts of re-wetting organic soils was an important focus. here it is of spe- cial interest where counties have particularly appropriate natural conditions for re-wetting and what consequences re-wetting of organic soils would have on food and fodder production, agricul- tural income, and reduction of ghg emissions (see chapter 3). in the coastal areas of germany, another scenario development exercise tested land management options and raised awareness about upcoming challenges – which are not currently urgent but
136 making sense of research for sustainable land management will have significant impacts in the future. the focus of these sce- narios were strategies to adapt to a changing climate and conse- quent sea level rise (see chapter 2 page 70). options of optimizing water management and optimizing climate change mitigation were explored. based on these options one integrated scenario was developed together with stakeholders from the region. they used these scenarios as a basis, and pooled them with their own ideas to develop a vision for the future (see approach ‘stakeholder participation’ page 223 and chapter 5 page 121). comparison of the pre-defined strategic scenarios (trend, water management and climate change mitigation) with the stakeholder scenario indicates and illustrates consequences of future alternatives. the overall exercise supports the value of development of strategies and adaptive solutions, co-designed with all stakeholders. thus, scenarios were used as a basis for framework development for sustainable land use management within the region, addressing actual or expected future problems (see 6.2.3 page 140). 6.1.4 developing and testing innovations at a very practical level, innovations for improved land manage- ment were developed and tested either in field experiments jointly between researchers and local land users, or by the scientists alone within experimental stations or on rented plots. on a larger scale, innovations in landscape management were tested in model- based scenarios. for the concrete development of innovations, a combination of outsider and insider perspectives proved to be fruitful. when local scientists work together with scientists from other countries they contribute different contextual perspectives. both researcher groups, however, often have a very different view of the problems at hand than practitioners. only a constructive combination of all these viewpoints can lead to ideas and possible solutions that are evidence-based, robust, and applicable under the given local and regional contextual and framework conditions. it is important to appreciate that a 5-year timeframe, at least, is needed to observe longer-term effects – for example impacts of land management practices on the increase of soil organic matter, or on the recovery of ecosystems. to produce more reliable results longer timeframes of research projects are essential to support the development and adoption of innovations (see 6.2.3 page 140). examples from different regions within different contexts and regions a set of concrete technolo- gies have been developed. these are described in more detail in part 2 of this book. • in the rubber plantations of southern china, intercrop- ping with native tree species was tested and introduced by the researchers (see technology ‘native trees in rubber monocul- tures’ page 191). based on the analysis of the negative impacts of the monocultures, this solution was developed on a test site, which also served as a demonstration plot for the rubber farm- ers in the region. figure 6.6: entities, processes and scheduling of the sealm modelling approach in madagascar: sealm allows the simulation of potential future trends in land use and explores resultant smallholder coping strate- gies. sealm: sulama empirical agent-based land-use model, hh: households, lulcc: land use land cover change. (katja brinkmann)
137 chapter 6 the contribution of research 2013 2011 2014 2015 2012 2010 project kick-off 11/ 2010 stakeholder analysis project paper on land use and land use change in germany stakeholder kick-off workshop 06/2011: feedback to project paper and expectations towards the project interviews with national representatives of all major land use sectors: - current and future land use conflicts - the relevance of climate change in different land use sectors further interviews interview analyses and interpretations report draft 09/2012: feedback request to stakeholders final report 12/2012*: perceptions of land use and climate change; measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation; expectations towards the project development of different land use strategies (drafts) stakeholder workshop 11/2012: presentation of and feed- back to first results; selection and prioritization of land-use measures from the perspective of different land use sectors final stakeholder workshop (june 1, hanover): presentation of the main sector-specific results discussion about cross-sectoral assessments discussion about recommendations final project conference (october 19./20., brunswick) recommendations for policy makers, practitioners and future scientific work analysis of workshop findings status quo modelling (sector-specific baseline scenarios) mid-term conference 02/2013 with stakeholder participation stakeholder workshop forestry 12/2013 : presentation of and feedback to sector- specific baseline scenario stakeholder workshop agriculture 04/2014 and stakeholder workshop settlement 05/2014: presentation of and feed-back to sector- specific baseline scenario and first modelling analyses development of sustainable land use strategies black: main activities of the sub-project grey: main activities of the consortium relevant to stakeholder involvement figure 6.7: timeline of a model-based scenario development with feedback loops with stakeholders from different land use sectors, germany (hellmich et al. 2015). • in southern siberia, scientists cooperated with a local farmer and a company for agricultural technology to improve machines for large-scale no-till farming in the specific conditions of the kulunda steppe (see technology ‘minimum tillage’ page 251 and video). the test farm was used jointly by the three parties to develop the innovation. it also served as a demonstration site for the field days to inform other farmers. • on the mahafaly plateau of madagascar scientists identified the over-harvesting of the fodder tree samata (euphorbia steno- clada) as one of the drivers of land degradation and depletion of the wild samata population. together with the local people they developed a method of artificial samata propagation that should reduce pressure on the wild population, while improv- ing fodder quantity and quality and thus animal health, which in the long term increases income from animal husbandry (see technology ‘samata propagation’ page 227, and video). fur- thermore, a comic-illustration targeting local people – many of whom are illiterate – contrasts the advantages of more careful samata harvesting practices with the impacts of the common practice which increases overexploitation. • at the itaparica reservoir in north-east brazil a test site was installed on a rented plot in the middle of a village. here umbuzeiro (spondias tuberosa) tree planting was demonstrated in order to restore this indigenous, multi-purpose species (see chapter 1 page 42). this would help sustain rural livelihoods and at the same time preserve natural biodiversity. on this same plot soil amendments were also tested, comparing the effects of clay sediments from the nearby water hole, biochar and goat manure. this same soil amendment experiment was also carried out in the experimental station of a state agency for research and extension to compare results in a controlled environment. • a so-called ‘green liver system’ – a natural water purification measure – was installed as a prototype in the area of a large brazilian aquaculture farm to purify the effluent of fish ponds before their release into the reservoir: apart from the obvious environmental benefits this meant compliance could be achieved with environmental norms of water quality (see tech- nology ‘green liver’ page 167). 6.1.5 supporting decisions making informed decisions in a complex context like land manage- ment is difficult when knowledge is dispersed and disconnected. inter- and transdisciplinary research produces and integrates knowledge and different perspectives on the same problem topic. when well-communicated, in a form and timing appropri- ate to the target groups, those research results lead to more inte- grated and systemic solutions for sustainable land management. they can be participatory and democratic also if they answer land users problems – and solutions are presented in a way that allows adaptation by the end-users. several of the above mentioned methods and tools form the basis for decision support at different levels of scale: from farm level to international cooperation within a river basin. they also address different levels of complexity related to, for example, choice of crops, methods of agricultural production, water management along a river, landscape management in a whole catchment, regional spatial planning, and national climate adaptation strate- gies. decision support, for such challenges, is intended to: • provide information on the current status: organize data in databases, publish the results of surveys, assess and analyse the current state of a land management system, and identify the drivers of change and inform about causes of problems. for example, rubber farmers usually do have a clear idea about problems of water quantity and erosion, but they often don’t connect those problems with their rubber cultiva- tion practices. 201120142015
138 making sense of research for sustainable land management • present research results on management options and their impacts: identify and describe land management options. develop sce- narios with decision-makers and assess their impacts. facili- tate ‘back-casting’ exercises to support planning within existing planning bodies and commissions: in ‘back-casting’ different land management options are analysed, starting from an envi- sioned future based on a set of chosen targets, and then spe- cific activities are planned, step-by-step, backwards from that vision to the current time. • develop specific recommendations for different sectors: formulate recommendations for different target groups based on the integrated results (targeted communication). make results of sector-specific modelling available to the related tar- get groups; e.g. hydrological modelling for water managers. • facilitate development processes: identify stakeholders and their interests, and start a dialogue among them. this often includes capacity building. • provide decision making tools: decision support systems (dss) use the developed models and make them available for stakeholders through user interfaces combined with knowledge transfer and capacity development. these elements usually are combined: well-informed advice is based on, and combined with, scenario development. local experts, government and politicians are supported in making deci- sions, for example, regarding coastal zone management, or the shaping of the landscape making use of a database and models on precipitations, groundwater levels, absorption capacity of the soil, ghg emissions, carbon stock, biodiversity, or regional socio- economics. more information on this can be found in chapter 5. examples of decision support systems (dss) the following are three different decision support tools designed for three very different contexts: siberia: large-scale agricultural production in the steppe region. the dss was designed as a user-friendly simplified model (in excel-format) that will be provided to farmers as an instru- ment to enable them to calculate economic effects resulting from change of soil cultivation methods. the farm models were con- structed to calculate profitability of reduced tillage in the kulunda steppe in southern siberia/ altai krai. the defined farm models cover three technologies: (i) intensive conventional tillage cultiva- tion; (ii) minimum tillage cultivation and (iii) no-till technologies. two types of crop rotation common under those technologies are used in the models. in the conventional/ old tillage system, wheat cultivation and fallow after two years of wheat planting is com- bined with intensive tillage. in the cases of minimum tillage and no-till, a crop rotation of wheat, then peas followed by sunflower was introduced. the models also consider depreciation and inter- est rate costs for both imported and russian machinery. finally, farm models are applied for various arable land areas (500 ha, 5,000 ha and 15,000 ha). southern africa: small- and medium-scale production in semi-arid areas. a dss that contributes towards sustainable land management was designed specifically with low require- ments regarding internet access, software licenses and computing power. the system contains a browser that integrates all features into one interface. furthermore, a special distribution of the geo- graphic information system saga (system for automated geosci- entific analyses) is part of the dss. with saga, it is possible not only to view, but also to interact with, a variety of spatial datasets and digital maps. the digital maps can also be used by stakehold- ers and policy-makers to inform and back up decision-making. tarim basin/ n-w china: large-scale production in an area of extreme aridity. here the dss is an indicator-based tool (fig- ure 6.8) designed to support stakeholders and to train chinese students to assess possible consequences of actions within the river basin. different kinds of indicators are distinguished: input: • socio-economic indicators; • management indicators; • climate scenarios and the consequent inflow into the tarim – including evapotranspiration; • initial grids (spatial units) for groundwater, salinity status and land use. this leads to an output of: • ecosystem services (ess) indicators; • results for salinity status and land use distribution. the user can choose between four possible inflows to the tarim river, depending on the four climate scenarios. the inflow into the tarim represents the basis for the calculations in the dss. the pos- sible development of socio-economic indicators can be entered for the respective years. as default values, developments in prices for the years 2012, 2030 and 2050 are set. in the next step of the input section up to ten management measures for the tarim river basin can be planned and adjusted directly on the integrated grid based land use map. each cell of the grid can be changed to any kind of land use, for example cotton production, forest, or waste land, as long as the corresponding requirements are fulfilled (e.g. no cotton fields in highly saline areas). in a final step, objectives can be chosen (definition of goals) and indicators can be given dif- ferent ‘weights’ by the user. for this purpose, the dss provides a list of the ess (ecosystem services) indicators for each sub-region on which the evaluation of the management measures is based. as an output for each management measure, the impact on the ess indicators for each year between the 1st and 3rd planning years are calculated and illustrated in tabular form, graphically and with the help of maps. based on these results and the objectives assigned to the ess indicators by the user, an achievement level with a utility value between 0 and 1 is calculated, indicating to what extent the objectives have been achieved with the respec- tive measure. 6.2 impact – the role of research projects within the region and beyond implementation-oriented research has to perform the balancing act of doing ‘excellent research’ in scientific terms while producing useful results for, and often with, practitioners and decision-mak- ers on the ground. under present framework conditions of sep- arated scientific disciplines and separated administrative sectors this is not easily done. therefore, implementation-oriented, inter- and transdisciplinary research at present continues to co-exist with many compromises. the following section illustrates some possi- ble ways of how research can have an impact on the practice of sustainable land management – and where the limitations lie. 6.2.1 coming from the outside a public funded research project does not depend economically on the fruits of land use or other vested interests in the research region. its only responsibility is to produce sound scientific results and – in implementation-oriented slm programmes – to make use of those results to support slm implementation. this inde- pendence opens the possibility of research projects working as a mediator and facilitator for local land users and other stake- holders. researchers have a certain status that they can capitalise
139 chapter 6 the contribution of research figure 6.8: schematic system architecture of the dss, developed for the tarim basin, n-w china for large-scale production in an area of extreme aridity. the scheme demonstrates the most important relationships and the desired order of actions (marie hinnethal, further infor- mation see: rumbaur et al 2014 and 2015 and disse et al 2016). upon: this is derived from credibility when providing data and information as well as recommendations and tools for action. in longer-term engagement in a region the position of researchers can change from being independent observers into actors within the region. this is especially the case when researchers are asked by local stakeholders to contribute to on-going development and decision-making processes. with regard to being implementation- oriented this might be considered a success. with regard to the role and professional image of many (even most) scientists, this can be a challenge. an obvious strategy to support the implementation and use of research results during and especially after a research project is to partner with a local organisation, for example an ngo or a development agency that is well-established in the region. this strategy has the additional advantage for the researchers of work- ing with an organisation that has experience locally, and that can help them to adapt to its specific context (language, cultural cus- toms and making contacts). on the other hand, in the public per- ception scientists partly lose their image of being independent and run the risk of being identified with those partner organisations and their objectives and ambitions. here, especially, open communication and transparency about the research projects role is needed and may be the key to suc- cess. researchers can be independent in terms of having no stake in regional decision-making or power relations. however, they can play an influential role in the region and should be aware of it. in slm research, a possible starting point for defining one’s own position could be reference to international goals and pro- cesses: for example the three un conventions related to climate, biodiversity and land degradation, as well as to the un’s sustain- able development goals. working within the framework of these un conventions gives researchers orientation with respect to goals and targets, and at the same time opens space for independence versus vested interests of individual groups. 6.2.2 initiating and facilitating dialogue transdisciplinary research often provides a platform for stakehold- ers to reflect their situation, especially among people who do not usually come together on a regular basis. in workshops, field days and other events, research projects offer opportunities to meet, facilitate dialogue and interaction, and provide people with infor- mation and tools to reach joint solutions. these multi-stakeholder dialogues connect communities such as: • research and education; • decision-makers and public sector (provision of government ser- vices); • development agencies; • civil society (including ngos, lobby groups etc; and • land users/ representatives of associations and cooperatives. bringing together the actors relevant for land management in a region, and building common ground among them, based on mutual trust, is an important precondition for later joint action. this can be initiated by research projects. but it is crucial for the longer- term success of such initiatives to organize and stimulate continu- ity of personal meetings and dialogues. for this, an organizer and facilitator is needed – one who takes over from the researchers long before the project ends. some of the approaches used within such processes are made available in form of a manual or toolbox for further use in the region. this is especially welcome when methods are newly introduced. these topics are discussed in more detail in chapter 5 and part 2.
140 making sense of research for sustainable land management graphic recording to support joint understanding graphic recording or ‘visualisation’ is well-suited to achieve and record an overview of different aspects of land use and climate change, different perspectives of involved stakeholders on land use as well as discussion results (figure 6.9). during a joint work- shop of scientists and non-scientific stakeholders, a specialist can visualise discussions and inputs on a map combining images (e.g. cartoons) and words. with it, a kind of joint ‘language’ can be found. this method can readily fit into documentation of work- shops results. 6.2.3 long-term impact in the region one of the key targets of implementation-oriented research is to support adoption of improved land use practices and other inno- vations in the region. this, of course, is a considerable challenge for research within a limited time period of usually not more than 3 to 5 years. suitable methods for local stakeholder involvement and implementation-oriented work are important, but can be lim- ited by challenges of existing structures and power relations that have other priorities than sustainable development. preferably, research projects can build on long-term collabora- tion between universities and institutions in the region, which are involved in the research programme, and can continue after the end of a particular project. in some cases, projects strive to organ- ize follow-up initiatives that pick up where the on-going pro- jects have left off. but more enduring and thus central elements for long-term impact are the institutions and organisation that have been project partners or were otherwise involved in the research: they have the opportunity to incorporate some of the research results in their future work and take it forward. test sites for experiments and demonstration can often remain in place and continue to be managed by project partners which can include farmers as well as universities, and other institutions. in some cases, research results are taken up within official plan- ning procedures. this use of results is difficult to plan. it closely depends on talking about the right ‘thing’ (topic/ issue) at the right figure 6.9: graphic recording from a stakeholder workshop in germany (detail from a larger map) with focus on ‘sustainable land management against the background of climate change – a cross-sectorial exami- nation’. from left to right: implementation is depending on societal acceptance, cost and benefits, and inter- dependencies; management ideas are inner urban development (innenentwicklung, see technology ‘inner urban development’ page 199), flood protection (hochwasserschutz), and changes in forest management (änderung waldbauvarianten); some of which are implemented already but further activities are needed, e.g. to mitigate loss of biodiversity. (jonas kramer, visual facilitators) time. to make room for adoption, it is essential to build contacts with a wide spectrum of potential users and to look for windows of opportunity to feed results into an on-going or new planning process. such a window, for example, could be the development of a 10-year plan for a river basin. the following two examples illustrate how long-term impact can be institutionalized and how results of a structured stakeholder process can be taken up in offi- cial planning. installing a river basin information centre for those who want to know more about the vu gia thu bon river basin in central vietnam, the river basin information cen- tre is a good address. the centre was initiated and developed in cooperation with the vietnam academy for water resources, at da nang city. it hosts the open source river basin information system (rbis) which integrates all data and results from ongoing research. it took very considerable effort and time to make results accessible in an understandable format. the ’river basin infor- mation system‘ is also available online. the system can be main- tained without additional costs, so longer-term continuation and sustainability becomes more likely. the existing data and informa- tion are open source and can be updated by scientists and pro- fessionals who work in the region; e.g. phd and msc students conducting research at the vietnam academy for water resources (see approach ‘vgtb information centre’ page 275 and chapter 5 page 114) uptake of results in regional planning procedures a regional plan developed for the north sea coast of germany provides the framework for regional spatial planning for the next 10 years (figure 6.10). long-term planning in this region is of par- ticular importance in relation to climate change, and to the fact that the land is close to, and often below, sea level. the regional plan emphasises that, already, changes in precipitation and the amount of water runoff are observable and are leading to pres- sures on the existing drainage system that keeps the ground water levels below the surface in the low elevated areas. the regional planning authority of the county is meeting this challenge and has designated water retention areas – taking up recommendations
141 chapter 6 the contribution of research from participatory scenario development facilitated by researchers (see approach ‘stakeholder participation’ page 223 and technol- ogy 'polders to improve water management' page 215). following the recommendations of the researchers the regional plan states that the establishment of water retention areas is instrumental in initiating development towards more long-term regional planning and management. through these measures it may become pos- sible to successfully tackle impacts of climate change beyond the 10-year time frame of the current regional plan. the participatory scenario development contributed to minimising conflicts in land management and maximising synergies between different kinds of land use. it was instrumental in developing com- munity-based sustainable and adaptive land management strate- gies that have been integrated in the amended regional plan of the country (see chapter 2 page 70). figure 6.10: the freepsumer meer, northern germany (red circle) has been designated as water retention area to adapt to negative impacts of climate change. this is the result from the scenario developed together with stakeholders. different land uses are combined: natura 2000 protection areas (orange outline), water retention areas (light blue), grassland (green outline with vertical lines), agricultural use (beige). the north sea is dark grey. (new official regional plan gemeinde aurich (2015), http://www.landkreis-aurich.de/4243.html)
142 making sense of research for sustainable land management 6.3 framework conditions for implementation-oriented research: flexible and long-term 6.3.1 greater need for flexibility implementation-oriented research, particularly in the area of sus- tainable land management is highly complex. several disciplines from natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, need to cooperate. stakeholders from land management practice need to be able to bring in their ideas, experiences and needs for alter- native measures and solutions. these ideas and inputs need ade- quate platforms for communication. various land management technologies need testing with the chance and virtue of succeed- ing or equally making mistakes. from this follows the need for a stepwise approach to process and project planning. outcomes/ results of each step in the research process and the interaction with non-scientific stakeholders cannot easily be foreseen. dur- ing a 5-year research project many factors can change that can- not reasonably be forecast when writing a project proposal – a process that may take place one or two (or more) years ahead of project start-up. flexibility to react to external changes, there- fore, is crucial in implementation-oriented research design and implementation. new questions or problems arise that have to be researched, political or administrative changes in structures and people occur, weather conditions alter – and so on. frameworks for research funding as well as project management have to take this into account. 6.3.2 co-production of knowledge needs more ad hoc funding another need for more flexibility concerns the funding of imple- mentation activities. project proposals should leave room for science-based innovation and co-production of knowledge and solutions with stakeholders. many ideas may arise from new infor- mation and changes of circumstances. to be able to follow up on these, it would be of great value if, for the last two years of strongly implementation-oriented projects, ad hoc funding was available. funding agencies should provide the possibility of apply- ing for additional funding for the implementation of innovative activities and/or support the development of co-operation with implementation partners by using their own funds, or facilitating the sourcing of other funding streams. 6.3.3 different worlds of science and practice a great challenge lies in the different ‘logics’ of the worlds of science and practice. decisions, especially in the worlds of prac- tice, are not simply evidence-based. they also largely depend on opportunities, framework conditions, vested interests, and power. and what is relevant from a scientific point of view might be a side-issue for some of the local stakeholder groups. also, timelines of science and practice can be very different. politicians and com- panies often want answers immediately and with a high level of probability. yet in most cases, science often cannot provide them off-the-shelf, and research projects usually are designed for 3 to 5 year periods. only well-designed communication strategies may help to bridge those gaps. what is needed here, is the provision of interim and preliminary results to stakeholders on a regular basis; something scientists often hesitate to do. 6.3.4 suitable timelines even a five-year timeframe is often not enough to produce reliable results. setting up a large international collaborative research pro- ject takes up most of the first year. phd students thus do not start their work on the day after the grant agreement is signed. they need to set up their own work, in sometimes difficult and unfamil- iar conditions when working in a foreign country in international research cooperation projects. field experiments and field research in sustainable land manage- ment are closely dependent on the seasons, and the vagaries of the climate in those seasons. suitable timelines need to be estab- lished and experiments repeated to compare and verify results. in natural science, fieldwork data can be distorted because of varia- bilities between and among years and/or extreme weather events. under these conditions it is expected of the phd candidates that they should work with local stakeholders, with scientists from other disciplines, in some cases learn the local language and social habits, and publish in both scientific and non-scientific media. to be able to deal with all these demands, most phds need more than 3 years. longer timeframes and contracts for phd students therefore are needed in programmes where stakeholders from land management practice are involved and implementation ‘on the ground’ should be supported. this would also have another advantage: those who have done the research might be available for longer within a five (or more) year project and be able to better support the development of results and recommendations based on their work. many activities in research and practice only bear fruit if they are carried out longer term: 10 years and more to accommodate changing conditions. change takes time, especially in complex systems. working together effectively across the communities of science and practice and across sectors and disciplines needs trust, which does not develop overnight. long-term involvement is key to success, as problems and possible solutions are continuously evolving. thus, innovation should be seen less as a finished prod- uct but more as a process of development and adaptation.
143 chapter 6 the contribution of research conclusions in this chapter we have looked at the complex challenges sur- rounding sustainable land management. land, as demonstrated, is ‘multi-dimensional’ in various different ways. and when devel- oping strategies and solutions multiple perspectives and inter- relations have to be taken into account. the conclusions can be summarised as follows: integrated methods and solutions scientific methods of integrated modelling and assessment enable researchers to live up to the challenge of the multi-dimensional character of land management (multi-functional, multi-scale, multi-time, multi-sectorial, multi-tenurial and multi-stakeholder). they are based on systematic collection and analysis of data from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. interdependen- cies causing synergies and trade-offs of management practices within the complex soil-vegetation-water-climate nexus are taken into account across different scales of space and time. this is a pre- condition for developing solutions and recommendations that are more robust and sustainable than developing singular measures within just one sector and focusing on just one problem. understanding local – landscape interactions most land management practices are designed with a focus on specific local impacts. scientific methods allow the assessment of off-site effects of those practices, and design land manage- ment strategies on larger scales that take local – landscape inter- dependencies into account. this is most obvious when looking at upstream/ downstream conflicts within river basins. but it is nec- essary for all aspects of the soil-vegetation-water-climate nexus that are connected – while spread across different scales of space. looking into the future model-based scenario development provides researchers and practitioners with the opportunity to assess impacts of different land management options on soil productivity, water availability, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, livelihoods, economy etc. it provides the opportunity to combine land use and climate change scenarios, and to project future developments, thus giving early warning about upcoming challenges and helping to develop adap- tation strategies. joint understanding of complexity joint development and use of models and scenarios by research- ers from different disciplines and land management practitioners of different sectors has benefits for all involved. it supports under- standing and appreciating of the complexity of land management systems, and it keeps models and scenarios grounded in the reality of practitioners and decision-makers. this provides a suitable basis for co-production of knowledge and solutions. dialogue platforms for coordinated action implementation-oriented research can offer a platform for dia- logue that is otherwise often missing as there is no single admin- istrative responsibility for land and land management. bringing different stakeholder groups together, and developing a joint understanding of the problems at hand and the future chal- lenges, stimulates awareness in decision-makers of the need for integrated planning and coordinated joint action. researchers can enact the role of an independent facilitator in those processes. they provide information and recommendations from a ‘neutral’ position of credibility without vested interests. products and long-term impacts for longer-lasting impact in a study region a diversity of prod- ucts should be developed through research. models can be sim- plified and equipped with a user interface to serve as decision support systems in future planning processes. to support uptake of research results, data must be organized in open access data bases and results should be offered at the right time and in a form suitable for the respective target groups. building partnerships within the region is a successful strategy to support implementa- tion processes and their continuation beyond single, time-bound, research projects. working together and adapting constantly for successful implementation-oriented research in sustainable land management, collaboration and communication are key fac- tors. because of the multi-character of land no one discipline, sec- tor or stakeholder can develop sustainable solutions alone. this needs to be reflected in the set-up of research projects, imple- mentation projects and planning processes. that includes the flex- ibility to adapt to new knowledge or changes of circumstances that could not have been foreseen in the set-up stages of such processes. think and act long-term all research-practice collaboration takes time. time to build trust. time to understand complexity as well as each other. time to develop and test solutions. time for setting up experiments, col- lection of field data and analyses. time for adapting and calibrat- ing models and developing scenarios. time to implement and distribute what has been successfully tested. time to change unsuitable structures and overcome habits. three to five years are seldom enough for the multiple tasks of implementation-oriented research. establishing long-term relationships and truly engaging within a region beyond single projects and programmes is crucial for meaningful research successfully put into practice.
144 making sense of research for sustainable land management conclusions and key messages chapter 7 vietnam, dominic meinardi
145 chapter 7 conclusions and key messages the twelve research projects on which this book is based cover regions of highly diverse socio-economic contexts, land use types and landscapes. they embrace a wide variety of interrelated and interconnected land use and land management challenges. in the following we try to summarize what has been learned and provide key insights from this research. we hope that the reader will find these reflections stimulating and thought- provoking, attracting critique, and hopefully and particularly, leading to better directed research and implementation in sustainable land management. the basis of land management ecosystems are the foundation of our existence. nowhere is this more obvious than in land use and land management. production systems on land – no matter whether agricultural production sys- tems or others like within urban areas – have often been intensified until the underlying natural support systems, the ecosystems, are damaged to a degree that the quality of the production, its outputs and the environment suffer. the consequences of land degradation are decreasing quantity and quality of plant yields, the need for increasing external inputs to maintain yield levels – and impover- ished quality of life in cities and other landscapes. these problems are aggravated because pressure on the land related to production of food, non-food products, and infrastructure is growing due to population increase, lifestyle changes and in many cases, climate change. it is becoming clear in many regions that ‘business-as-usual’ intensification of land use is no longer an option. this is where sustainable land management (slm) comes into play. one of the central strategies that has been developed and pre- sented in this book is ’sustainable intensification‘ on existing agri- cultural land: increasing or stabilizing production while preventing damage to the underlying ecosystems. thus, slm is able to make use of the ecosystem’s full production potential but at the same time respecting its boundaries. the examples in this book confirm that preservation of ecosys- tems and the provision of their services can be accomplished within production systems (land sharing), and outside of them through the intensification on productive land – while leaving other land out of production (land sparing). the question is not ’either / or‘. it rather is how to integrate both within the avail- able space of this planet.
146 making sense of research for sustainable land management to do so, sustainable land management has to take several soci- etal claims on land into account: • production: fulfilling human needs for food, water and other land-based products as well as for settlements and infrastructure. • sustaining ecosystem functions: preventing further deple- tion or degradation of natural resources of soil and soil biota, water, vegetation and animal life and thus keeping our life base and natural resources intact and resilient (see unccd and cbd). • climate change mitigation and adaptation: preserving the capacity of ecosystems to mitigate, as well as adapt to climate change (see unfccc). • preservation of nature and biodiversity: reducing pressure to convert natural and semi-natural areas into arable land, which reduces biodiversity (see cbd). sustainable land management and the role of research these multiple claims on, and dimensions of, land need to be addressed by sustainable land management. as illustrated in this book related research and practice should be based on a: • nexus perspective, taking into account the whole system with its interdependencies between soil and soil biota, water, cli- mate, vegetation, animals and people. • multi-scale perspective, taking into account interactions of land use and natural systems on and between different scales, from local to landscape to national to global. • multi-time perspective, taking into account short-, medium-, and long-term impacts and feedback from land management options. • multi-stakeholder perspective, taking into account interests of people living on, and using land in, different parts of a land- scape, different sectors depending on, and using land, different levels of decision-making and governance related to land man- agement, and different sources of knowledge – scientific and non-scientific. individual land users, planners and decision-makers seldom have the capacity to consider all these multiple dimensions and interdependencies without the support of research. research- ers have tools to give insight into such dimensions and interac- tions and can provide a better informed and broader basis for land management decisions. especially useful in this respect are models and scenarios that are designed to integrate those multiple dimensions of land, test impacts of different land management options, and identify synergies and trade-offs of the options. decision-makers at all levels should make better use of the support that research can provide: • integrating ‘local’ land use into landscape planning and management interventions (e.g. within a watershed) by using synergies between different interventions and avoid- ing negative impacts of local interventions in other areas (e.g. downstream). • considering short and long-term impacts and taking them into account in planning and decision-making. • involving research to explore combined impacts of land use and climate change at local and regional (landscape) level, as well as over short and long time periods and under differ- ent climate and land management scenarios. because of the multiple dimensions of land, many different stakeholders need to be involved in developing solutions and strategies for sustainable land management. in such multi- stakeholder processes researchers can play an important role by initiating them and supporting a joint learning process among all involved. for example: addressing food security, climate change and bio- diversity preservation needs an integrated approach that deals with the complex interactions and interdependencies within and between the human and natural environment, involving all rel- evant stakeholders in joint planning and decision-making. at the local level, on one plot, often single or few land users are involved in decision-making. but at landscape level, planning depends on many stakeholders, their interaction and their claims and demands. synergies and trade-offs in slm land use and land management can cause loss of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation, but can also be a possible means of combating degradation and improving adaptation to, and mitigation of climate change. this book is full of examples of how synergies and co-benefits in slm have been made use of for land management practices in different contexts. it is possible to contribute to the land degradation neutrality goal of the unccd, and even improve resilience and health of land-based ecosystems, while at the same time satisfying people’s needs for food, fibre, fodder, fuel and clean water. sustainable land management can help to improve the capacity of ecosystems, including agricultural production systems, to respond to changing societal claims and support mitigation and adaption to change – be it climatic, envi- ronmental or socio-economic. flux station to measure co2 and ch4 emissions in siberia. (elisa fleischer) dried up river in the são francisco river basin. (maike guschal)
147 chapter 7 conclusions and key messages in this respect some principles of sustainable land management, as demonstrated by the research covered by this book, stand out: sustaining or improving soil organic matter and carbon (som/ soc) has positive effects on soil fertility/ nutrient availability, soil biodiversity, water-holding capacity and thus water avail- ability, and carbon sequestration in almost every context. maintaining soil cover prevents soil erosion by wind and water, decreases surface evaporation, improves water infiltration, and decreases mineralisation of soil organic matter, while reducing co2 emissions. optimizing the allocation of different land uses within a land- scape, and adapting land use and land management to local environmental conditions, taking into account available soil, water and climate, for example in the choice of crop as well as in the choice of land management practices. integrating or keeping structural landscape elements (ripar- ian forests, flower strips, hedges, trees, earth bunds, ter- races, mini reservoirs) within the production systems prevents water runoff, soil erosion, increases water availability, storage capacity and quality, supports integrated pest management and preservation of biodiversity above (through corridors) and below ground. combining measures is essential: applying not just one land management measure at a time but combating trade-offs and developing win-win strategies: in no-tillage agriculture, increasing weed burdens can be remedied by combining no- tillage with crop rotation and precision application of herbi- cides. focusing on system resilience and disaster risk reduction, instead of maximising outputs, is a possible way out of the long-standing ecology versus economy conflict. for example: orienting production at stable, instead of maximum, yields becomes especially important in times of a changing and less predictable climate – as well as with unreliable markets. other successful strategies focus on high value crops and/or income generation along the whole value chain. diversification in pro- duction systems, landscapes (‘mosaics’) and income genera- tion is a proven strategy to improve system resilience. however there are also trade-offs between different societal claims on land such as food security, income/ livelihoods, settle- ments and infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adap- tation, energy production, water availability and quality, nature and biodiversity protection and so on. and there may be trade- offs between different land users and different scales of time and space. the underlying questions of these trade-offs are: who ben- efits, who pays, when, and what can be done? four interlinked basic trade-offs stand out here: • production, income, and livelihoods versus ecosystem preservation: even though functioning ecosystems, be they natural, semi-nat- ural or production-oriented, are the bases for improved produc- tion, sustainable income and livelihood, there can be a conflict between economic interests and the preservation or improve- ment of ecosystems when balancing economic, ecological, social and cultural costs and benefits. for example, in some contexts a less intensive or less degrading management of a production system can improve biodiversity but lead to losses in yield and income. this is most obvious where natural conditions for agricultural production (soil, water, and climate) are advan- tageous/ favourable and degradation has not yet taken place. it is also an underlying conflict in cases of overexploitation of eco- systems (e.g. forests) or land conversion from natural or semi- natural land into cropland or settlements. • long-term versus short-term costs and benefits, for example: some slm practices need higher investments (workload, financ- ing) in the short term but only have yield benefits and returns to that investment in the long run (e.g. improvement of soil fertil- ity takes time; preventing yield losses through addressing land degradation with structures pays off only in the long term). • on-site versus off-site effects, for example: slm practices often have positive effects beyond the direct area of their implementation. this is especially the case when it comes to water quality and quantity. in typical upstream – downstream situations, investments in the upper river catchment – or their lack – come with little or no effects on water availability or qual- ity for the upstream water users, whereas downstream effects can be considerable. preventing damage and risks downstream like flooding, water shortage or decreased water quality through upstream land management is seldom valued economically by the downstream users. in other words upstream users are not com- pensated or rewarded for the services they provide downstream. people investing in sustainable/ long-term effective land and water management measures are often not the same as those who benefit. on the other hand the lack of investment upstream may cause damage downstream that are not compensated by the responsible parties upstream. it is the case that for most man- agement measures at landscape level, some people receive more benefits – or incur greater costs – than others. soybean field under no till in the mato grosso, brazil. (stefan hohnwald) flooded wetlands, seronga, botswana. (lars landschreiber)
148 making sense of research for sustainable land management • private versus public goods, for example: land degradation often has the characteristics of the so-called ‘tragedy of the commons’. when the depletion of the com- mon resource – ‘land’ – has benefits for individual users with- out immediate repercussions on them for the degradation they cause, there is little incentive to them for its preservation. this is the case particularly in situations where traditional or modern governance systems are dysfunctional. balancing the costs and benefits of land management demands close cooperation and mutual responsibility of all stakeholders. a basic strategy of research for slm is to identify and make use of synergies while minimizing trade-offs. an example of a typi- cal combination of synergies and trade-offs is the extensification of land use in grasslands, wetlands and forests. this practice has benefits for climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation as well as biodiversity preservation. the central trade-off is the decrease in production and thus of income from those areas. research should identify and describe those synergies and trade-offs. unclear trade-offs, costs and benefits, winners and losers at the local and landscape level may lead to conflicts. trade-offs need to be clearly identified, and assessed. they take different forms in different contexts. thus there are no universally applicable best practice solutions. land manage- ment options based on the above listed principles need to be adapted and optimized within their specific regional and local context. making use of synergies and finding solutions that balance different societal interests is a task for policy-making and gov- ernance. to achieve successful slm implementation, trade- offs need to be addressed by adequate framework conditions, negotiated between the different stakeholders, and compen- sated in cases of individual losses and societal benefits or other winner-loser situations. for example, impacts of land manage- ment in upstream zones on downstream areas are often not assessed and thus usually not compensated – or sanctioned in case of damage. even though talk about payment of eco- system services has been ongoing for some time now, pay- ment to good upstream land management practitioners by downstream users is practically non-existent. this is partly due to lack of the assessment of impacts of local land manage- ment practices and its costs and benefits downstream. here, research has a key role to play, but also policy and adminis- tration have to adapt governance frameworks and implement measures accordingly. implementation-oriented research to have an impact on sustainable land management, researchers, decision-makers, and land users need to work together. in the complex and continuously changing field of sustainable land management, inter- and transdisciplinary, implementation-ori- ented research can deliver results that people from land manage- ment practice can relate to. making sense of this research largely depends on integration across disciplines as well as integration of knowledge and people from both science and practice. the following key tasks have been identified for implementation- oriented research: • empowering land users and decision makers implementation-oriented research identifies and closes knowl- edge gaps in research and practice and supports implemen- tation of solutions jointly with slm practitioners (land users/ managers). it enables more holistic perspectives on land man- agement and provides instruments and tools to identify via- ble solutions. it presents the larger picture in terms of system complexity, space and time, as a context for suitable land man- agement options. thus it supports implementers to take evi- dence-based decisions. • working cooperatively and on equal terms although collaboration is being realized in hundreds of research programmes there is still an awkward relationship between sci- entists and non-scientists. integrating different kinds of knowl- edge is a difficult task and needs further improvement. a key ingredient of successful research – practice interaction is work- ing cooperatively on equal terms, with mutual respect for each other’s experience and expertise. • developing joint understanding of complexity between researchers from different disciplines as well as with non-scientists, understanding complexity of land and making it accessible, is key to producing useful knowledge and solutions for slm. this presents a considerable challenge, both meth- odologically and for communication in the process of working together. to achieve this understanding, methods and coopera- tion processes need to be improved, and time needs to be allo- cated for joint learning by researchers as well as partners in slm practice. measuring water infiltration, mato grosso, brazil. (stefan hohnwald) the tarim river basin. (patrick keilholz)
149 chapter 7 conclusions and key messages • flexibility and adaptive management of research processes working together and adapting constantly is characteristic of implementation-oriented research. flexibility is needed in many respects: time-frames, funding schemes, and methods. because the context in which the research is carried out is constantly changing, research projects and programmes are required to regularly check their objectives, to adapt to current changes and unforeseen events, or to take on new ideas instead of carrying out a pre-ordained plan. • think and act in the long-term all of the above mentioned activities take time, inevitably more than originally anticipated. field research in unpredictable weather conditions, monitoring within changing systems, inte- gration of different kinds of knowledge, communication among people from different contexts, and especially supporting imple- mentation and change of land management require long-term perspectives and engagement. for research this means involve- ment in the region long beyond the normal 3 to 5 year project period, in order to follow-up and build on existing research and to develop continuation strategies for the use and implementa- tion of research results. implementation-oriented research has strong contributions to make to slm. methodologies and tools to do so are available, but still need further improvement and better integration into relevant organisations and institutions. research needs to put more emphasis on solutions and their adoption in practice. it needs to move from producing knowledge about slm to developing knowledge for slm jointly with those who make use of it. to develop this interface between research and implementation, it needs different framework conditions for this kind of research as well as for the implementation of improved slm that emanates from it. framework conditions for implementation-oriented research during the last few decades – especially since the earth summit in rio 1992 – research, and research funding have taken up the challenge of contributing to sustainable development. several steps have been taken in developing suitable research methods and tools. but there is still a long way to go to adapt the frame- work conditions for research and researchers to the requirements of implementation-oriented research. the present frameworks and funding procedures are fundamen- tally still based on the traditional divide of basic (knowledge-ori- ented) research and applied (often technology-oriented) research. another and growing field of implementation-oriented research for sustainable development has not yet received the same recog- nition. this third field needs suitable framework conditions in the science and science funding systems that are different from those that were designed for basic and applied research: flexibility implementation-oriented research needs to adapt constantly to on-going changes to provide relevant knowledge, and to take advantage of opportunities that open up during the pro- ject. funding procedures and management of research pro- grammes need to reflect this need for flexibility. for example, research projects are still often asked to deliver a priori deter- minations of project outcomes, while in implementation- oriented programmes this is usually impossible – and can be counter-productive as too narrow a focus and inflexible man- agement can lead to the loss of important findings. time-frames time-frames for research programmes and projects need to be much more adaptable and longer-term. this includes pre- phases to jointly design a project with on-the–ground partners as is sometimes done (as in the follow-up call for the slm pro- gramme) as well as post-project funding for the implementa- tion of ideas that evolve during the project. many activities in research and practice only bear fruit if they are carried out long-term. for implementation-oriented research in such com- plex contexts as slm 10 years is much more realistic than 3-5 years. training teaching methods for implementation-oriented research need to be integrated into the formal training of young scientists. this particularly concerns more open and learning-oriented methodologies, communication techniques, facilitation and other methods suitable to enable stakeholder analysis, stake- holder involvement and co-production of knowledge. incentives for implementation-oriented research, scientists need a better perspective for their own future: new career paths, their not- purely-scientific activities valued, reassurance that this kind of research will continue to be funded, and that the time invested into adopting the necessary skills will be worthwhile. silver-washed fritillary. (sarah weking) intercropping in rubber plantations. (manuel krauss)
150 making sense of research for sustainable land management supervision phd candidates in complex inter- and transdisciplinary as well as implementation-oriented research projects need a sup- portive environment and active supervision to balance the challenge of this kind of research with their – usually mono- disciplinary – tasks of completing their thesis. management/ coordination highly qualified and experienced project coordinators are cru- cial for the integration of knowledge and experience across disciplines, and between scientists and non-scientists. they are needed for effective knowledge management and synthe- sis building from different kinds of knowledge. for the organi- sational management of projects, they need to be supported by project secretariats. in addition it should be standard proce- dure for implementation-oriented research to make use of the competence of experts for communication, facilitation, stake- holder analysis and involvement. partners research funding also needs to provide incentives and finan- cial means for implementation partners, for example budgets for testing new slm options or coordinating implementation processes. support should also be provided through inter-min- isterial and cross-sector cooperation initiated by funders, for example between research funding and development aid, or diplomatic support of activities in the partner countries. framework conditions for slm implementation land use and land management are, to a large extent, also gov- ernance issues. balancing the different societal claims and needs related to land management is a political and societal task, espe- cially whenever short-term or singular benefits stand against long- term sustainability. most of the current structures, institutions and administrations related to land management are not designed to provide that kind of governance – even if science starts more successfully to deliver information about social, political and institutional set-ups, vested economic interests or interconnections and trade-offs between individual interests and common goods. ideas and land management options developed by researchers sometimes meet hurdles in implementation because of socio-eco- nomic factors, e.g.: • lack of legislation and/or law enforcement • lack of science into policy • perverse subsidies/ incentives • population density • low level of education and knowledge • lack of access to financing • insecure or unclear land use or tenure, resulting in the loss of long-term perspectives • lack of cooperation among different administrative units and ministries. it is not the role, nor in the power of research, to change such framework conditions into an enabling environment. but research results can have a stronger impact practice when the political and socio-economic structures are supportive of the necessary changes in land management. this involves: incorporating nexus-thinking and action in many levels of policy, planning, and decision-making. this requires better cross-sector cooperation, understanding and taking interde- pendencies of land management into account and developing corresponding strategies. the implementation of the un 2030 agenda and the sdgs ask for exactly this kind of paradigm shift from sectorial and issue thinking to systems thinking. taking on-site/ off-site effects of land management into account in planning activities as well as legislation or subsi- dies, while coordinating respective action across all scales. creating incentives to compensate trade-offs of slm (see limit- ing factors above). this includes subsidies as well as clarifying land use rights and providing long-term tenure security to make investments in slm attractive. such incentives are only effective if adapted to regional, and even local, conditions. providing transparency regarding available data and infor- mation on land-related aspects for all stakeholders involved. access to knowledge between research and practice needs to work in both directions: researchers providing their results to practitioners, and people and institutions in land management practice allowing researchers access to their data and knowl- edge. securing long-term monitoring and experience-sharing, involving multiple actors, using local/ regional universities as independent knowledge managers, assuring high quality and accessibility for slm information and as a remedy against ‘institutional amnesia’ (don’t re-invent the wheel every time!). grassland at the north sea coast, germany. (hanna timmermann) sheep herding in the andremba area, madagascar. (tobias feldt)
151 chapter 7 conclusions and key messages outlook when looking ahead there are some additional tasks for stake- holders in science, science funding, land management, land gov- ernance and beyond to make more sense of slm research: tasks for slm practice and policy: close the ‘governance gap’ concerning land management: improve and/or develop political and administrative structures that reflect the complexity of land management by cross-sec- torial cooperation or new institutional set-ups. this would clar- ify the political and administrative responsibility for slm, and help to minimize trade-offs between different sectors, and to balance different societal claims on land. it would also provide slm researchers with adequate partners who can take up inte- grated and complex research results (e.g. make use of decision support systems based on integrated models). openness and willingness to base decisions on evidence and long-term societal goals. this can be supported by providing platforms, establishing interface mechanisms and many other specific occasions for research to present and discuss results. engage in stakeholder dialogues within research projects, and take their outcomes into account in land-related planning and decision-making. tasks for slm research: clarify ‘ecosystem boundaries’ – following the ‘planetary boundaries’ concept – in the sense of researching limits for the use intensity of land-based ecosystems necessary to avoid land and water degradation in different contexts. this includes research on economic and societal costs if these limits are not respected. research socio-economic framework conditions for slm implementation: this includes developing recommendations on how to close gaps in land governance (institutions, legisla- tion, administrative procedures) and how to improve incentive structures for slm. therefore slm research projects need to involve researchers from political science, economy, govern- ance, jurisprudence, etc. to a much larger degree than it is cur- rently the case. tasks for a wide group of people from research, research funding, governance and practice of land management: raise awareness at all levels about interdependences around land, the importance of the related ecosystem services and our dependence on them for production, material, energy, air and water, recreation and cultural needs. this is a communication task for policy and education in which research can play an important role. all stakeholders involved in implementation-oriented slm research need to grow into a new role in this collaboration: learn together, and from each other. clarify and overcome the different expectations towards each other. work together for the improvement of slm. and create framework conditions in research and practice of slm that enable all participating coop- eration partners to do so. water channels through the taklamakan desert, china. (patrick keilholz) andremba village from a bird's eye view, madagascar. (katja brinkmann)
152 making sense of research for sustainable land management okavango basin, manfred finckh
153 part 2 case studies part 2
154 making sense of research for sustainable land management case studies part 2 brazil, pierson barretto
155 part 2 introduction part 2 comprises a selection of project related case studies. after a first glimpse of the overall research results from the 12 regional projects, a selection of the most practice oriented results – the ‘technologies’ and ‘approaches’ (introduced in part 1) – are presented according to the familiar and standardized, wocat format for documenting and disseminating slm. the documentation is supported by its carefully- structured and user-friendly database. each case study consists of a series of sections: a description, technical specifications, implementation activities, costs, an overview of the natural and human environment, as well as an analysis of impacts, economics and adoption of the technology in the specific context. the majority of the technologies and approaches documented within the bmbf-slm programme are presented in this book. however, there are others that can only be found in the database. linked to the written documentation of technologies and approaches are six ‘instructional videos’ or ‘video clips’ illustrating further details and data (see table page 156). these videos not only provide slm knowledge for sharing, but can also motivate farmers/ land users to replicate a particular slm technology on their fields, and can stimulate projects and programmes to adopt a particular approach (see https:// www.wocat.net/en/knowledge-base/slm-videos.html). all this data is based on authentic information from the field - to help in advocacy for evidence-based slm. introduction
156 making sense of research for sustainable land management case studies carbiocial carbon-enrichment of tropical agricultural soil with organic matter from storylines to scenarios: raising awareness and decision support innovate the ‘green liver system’: eco-friendly water purification constellation analysis innovate biological pest control through promoting habitats for native fauna bayesian network approach brazil page 159 page 167 page 163 page 171 page 179 sumario drip irrigation under plastic mulch for cotton production in xinjiang province, china sumario apocynum planting to protect and profit from saline soils in the tarim river basin, north-west china surumer integrating native trees in rubber monocultures scientist-practitioner communication for sustainable rubber cultivation in china china page 183 page 187 page 191 page 195 cc-landstrad high-quality inner urban development open dialogue platform on sustainable land management cc-landstrad adapted management of organic soils cc-landstrad grassland preservation comtess water retention polders to improve water management stakeholder participation in integrated assessment and planning of vulnerable coastal regions comtess water retention polders without agriculture to improve water management comtess water retention polders with adapted land use (north sea region) comtess drainage of coastal areas in north-western germany germany page 199 page 203 page 211 page 207 page 215 video* page 219 video* page 223 database** database** page 175 video*
157 part 2 case studies sulama sustainable propagation of the fodder tree euphorbia stenoclada (‘samata’) madagascar role-playing games in natural resource management sulama increasing environmental awareness using comic-style illustrations as a visual communication tool sulama rapid and participatory rural appraisal study (marp) sulama participatory monitoring and evaluation of long-term changes in ecosystems madagascar page 239 page 235 page 243 page 227 video* page 231 video* tfo conservation agriculture in a semi-arid area namibia page 247 kulunda minimum tillage field days kulunda no-till vocational training russian federation page 259 page 251 video* page 255 legato ecological engineering for biological pest control in lowland rice agroecosystems entertainment-education for ecological engineering lucci water saving through reuse of return flow in paddy fields vu gia thu bon river basin - vgtb information centre vietnam/ philippines page 275 page 263 page 267 database** video* page 271 * see video related to case study under https://www.wocat.net/en/knowledge-base/slm-videos.html ** the case study can only be found in the wocat database under https://www.wocat.net/en/knowledge- base.html; https://qcat.wocat.net/en/wocat. all case studies can also be found under the same link(s) for more information on projects refer to annex page 280.
158 making sense of research for sustainable land management
159 carbon-enrichment of tropical agricultural soil with organic matter brazil - enriquecimento de carbono em solo de lavoura com matéria orgânica carbon-enrichment of tropical agricultural soils with locally available organic matter in the cerrado agricultural landscape, brazil. in the carbiocial project viable land management strategies were explored to optimize the level of carbon in soil and water, helping to maintain and/or improve ecosystem functions, under changing climatic conditions in the southern amazon and the brazilian cerrado. in the framework of this project, on-farm experiments were performed to enrich tropical agricultural soils in the medium term, with different types of organic matter (om). in the experiment the effect of different types of om amendments on soil carbon and macro-nutrients (n, p, and k), soil physical properties (waterholding capacity) and crop yield (soy biomass and grain production) were assessed. the amendments applied are locally available, and are either free (being waste materials) or considered cost-efficient. the objective of this on-going experiment is to compare the impact of (i) the quality and quantity of om applied, (ii) and the application methods (directly on the soil surface or incorporation by harrow) on soil chemical and physical properties. it is hypothesised that the addition of om can enhance crop yields and, potentially, soil biodiversity. the effects of the different om types, amounts and application methods were evaluated after one, two and three years. from the results, the aim is to provide recommendations for the development of soil om-enrichment schemes and carbon- friendly landscape management programs for farmers, using local resources. the experiment was established on an area of about one hectare on a ferrasol (red latosol) at the rio engano farm, in the municipality of campo verde, mato grosso state. the farm has a total area of ca. 1500 ha, 830 ha of which are cultivated with soybean and maize rotation, under a zero-tillage system, which is typical of many farms in this region. it is located in the brazilian cerrado (savanna) biome at about 685 m a.s.l. this biome covers 2 million km2 , which is 23% of the country area. it has a semi-humid climate with a pronounced dry season. the precipitation during the rainy season (september-april) varies between 800 and 2000 mm/year. at the beginning of the experiment (february 2012), three different types of om amendments were applied. they comprised (a) sugarcane filter cake (saccharum officinarum from ethanol/sugar-production, (b) sawdust of peroba and cedrinho (peroba jaune and erisma uncinatum, respectively) and (c) coarse chips of eucalyptus sp. quantities applied were 0 (control), 6, 12 and 18 tonnes of each per hectare; using two methods: directly on the soil surface, and incorporated by harrow. there were three repetitions per treatment. the area was not fenced to allow the farmers to continue with their field routines on all plots. in february 2013, 2014 and 2015 soil samples were taken to analyze their chemical and physical properties. soybean samples were also taken in february 2014 and 2015 to estimate biomass and grain production. from the initial results some conclusions can be drawn: 1) organic amendment addition to ferrasols can significantly increase soil organic carbon, even in amounts as low as 6 t/ha. 2) amendments should be reapplied every 2 years. 3) the amendment type and application method does not have a significant effect on increasing soil organic carbon. 4) the addition of om amendments is a win-win situation as a solution for organic matter waste recycling, and simultaneously to improve soil quality. left: experimental plots on a tropical agricultural soil (a ferrasol) after organic matter additions. (photo: malte unger) right: sawdust of peroba and cedrinho (peroba jaune and erisma uncinatum, respectively). these are types of organic matter added to the soil. (photo: malte unger) location: mato grosso region: campo verde technology area: 0.011544 km2 conservation measure: agronomic stage of intervention: mitigation / reduction of land degradation origin: developed through experiments / research, recent (<10 years ago); externally / introduced through project, recent (<10 years ago) land use type: cropland: annual cropping climate: subhumid, tropics wocat database reference: t_bra004en related approach: none compiled by: luisa f. vega, christian- albrechts university of kiel, germany, email@example.com; ricardo s. s. amorim federal university of mato grosso, brazil, firstname.lastname@example.org; stefan hohnwald, georg- august-university of göttingen, germany email@example.com date: july, 2016 slm technologies – carbon-enrichment of tropical agricultural soil with organic matter, brazil
160 making sense of research for sustainable land management soil depth (cm) 0-20 20-50 50-80 80-120 >120 growing season(s): 150 days (november to march), 120 days (april to july) soil texture: fine / heavy (clay) soil fertility: very low topsoil organic matter: high (>3%) soil drainage/infiltration: good soil water storage capacity: medium ground water table: 5 - 50 m availability of surface water: good water quality: for agricultural use only biodiversity: low tolerant of climatic extremes: heavy rainfall events (intensity and amount), wind storms / dust storms. sensitive to climatic extremes: temperature increase, floods, droughts / dry spells, decreasing length of growing period. if sensitive, what modifications were made / are possible: addition of organic matter to the soil can improve water infiltration and holding capacity, increasing soil resilience to floods and droughts. classification land use problems: croplands demonstrate a reduction in soil organic matter, after their conversion from indigenous vegetation into agricultural fields. it is especially critical in the ferrasol soils of the brazilian cerrado, as its organic matter content is relatively low, and tropical temperatures and humidity accelerate microbial activity (price and sowers 2004) (expert's point of view). there are also problems regarding soil compaction and rainfall regime change (land user's point of view). land use climate degradation conservation measure annual cropping: rainfed subhumid chemical soil deterioration: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content biological degradation: quality and species composition / diversity decline agronomic: organic matter / soil fertility; soil surface and subsurface treatment stage of intervention origin level of technical knowledge prevention mitigation / reduction rehabilitation land user's initiative: experiments / research: recent (<10 years ago) externally introduced: recent (<10 years ago) agricultural advisor land user main causes of land degradation: direct causes - human induced: deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires), soil management, crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub). indirect causes: population pressure. main technical functions: increase in organic matter increase / maintain water stored in soil secondary technical functions: improvement of topsoil structure (compaction) stabilization of soil (e.g. by soil aggregates) increase in nutrient availability (supply, recycling) increase of infiltration increase of groundwater level / recharge of groundwater water harvesting / increase water supply environment natural environment average annual rainfall (mm) altitude (m a.s.l.) landform slope (%) > 4000 3000-4000 2000-3000 1500-2000 1000-1500 750-1000 500-750 250-500 < 250 > 4000 3000-4000 2500-3000 2000-2500 1500-2000 1000-1500 500-1000 100-500 <100 plateau / plains ridges mountain slopes hill slopes footslopes valley floors flat gentle moderate rolling hilly steep very steep
161 human environment cropland per household (ha) <0.5 0.5-1 1-2 2-5 5-15 15-50 50-100 100-500 500-1,000 1,000-10,000 >10,000 land user: individual / household, small-scale land users, average land users, mainly men. population density: < 10 persons/km2 annual population growth: > 4% land ownership: individual, titled land use rights: individual water use rights: leased (the water use is regulated by the environmental secretary of the state (sema). thus, water users have to obtain an environmental license, whereby the volume of water consumption is declared. the licence is free of charge). relative level of wealth: rich, 46% of the land users; average, 51% of the land users; poor, 3% of the land users. importance of off-farm income: less than 10% of all income: off-farm income in the cerrado is usually not significant for farmers. their income depends principally on agricultural activities such as soybean, maize and cotton. access to service and infrastructure: low: health, education; moderate: market, roads & transport, drinking water and sanitation, financial services; high: technical assistance, employment (e.g. off-farm), energy. market orientation: commercial / market mechanization: mechanised livestock grazing on cropland: no technical drawing enrichment of tropical agricultural soil (a ferrasol) with organic matter amendments. experimental design: amendment types, amounts and application methods (direct on the soil or with harrow incorporation). studied variables: soil carbon and nutrients, soil physical properties (water-holding capacity) and crop yield (soybean biomass and grain production) (diego orduz). implementation activities, inputs and costs establishment activities establishment inputs and costs per ha not applicable maintenance/recurrent activities maintenance/recurrent inputs and costs per ha per year 1. transport of amendments by trucks (0.2 tonne/us$) 2. spreading / incorporation of organic matter by tractor (us$ 3/ha for petrol and us$ 5/ha for tractor driver). *five ha can be treated per day inputs costs (us$) % met by land user labour (person/ha) 5.00 100% equipment tractor use (day)* 15.00 100% truck transport (30 tonnes/ha) 150.00 100% total 170.00 100% remarks: the used organic matter amendments are cost-free. it is suggested to use cost-free materials if possible or cost–efficient materials to reduce implementation and maintenance costs. transport of amendments is paid by tonne, independently of the type. the om application methods (direct on the soil by hand or with harrow incorporation) did not show significant differences. for this reason only the costs for the tractor were calculated, because it is a more economic option. slm technologies – carbon-enrichment of tropical agricultural soil with organic matter, brazil labour (person/ha) 5.00100% tractor use (day)* 15.00100% 150.00100% total 170.00100%
162 making sense of research for sustainable land management assessment impacts of the technology production and socio-economic benefits production and socio-economic disadvantages reduced expenses for agricultural inputs provides a better environmental and technical use for agro-industrial residues reduced risk of production failure reduced demand for irrigation water costs of transport and application of om amendments socio-cultural benefits socio-cultural disadvantages improved conservation / erosion knowledge ecological benefits ecological disadvantages increased soil micro-organisms and fauna off-site benefits off-site disadvantages contribution to human well-being / livelihoods enrichment of tropical agricultural soil with organic matter amendments is a solution for organic matter waste recycling. benefits/costs according to land user benefits compared with costs short-term: long-term: establishment slightly negative positive maintenance/recurrent slightly negative positive the technology cost of maintenance is the same as establishment cost. according to the results, amendments should be reapplied every two years, starting with amounts as little as 6 t/ha. acceptance/adoption: there is no trend towards (growing) spontaneous adoption of the technology. antonio huebner, the land owner and user of the rio engano farm is aware of the technological benefits for soil fertility. however, he considers that costs of transporting and applying om could hinder the technology incorporation from becoming common practice for soil management. concluding statements strengths and how to sustain/improve weaknesses and how to overcome the addition of industrial organic matter (om) waste from levels of only 6 tonnes/ha onwards can significantly increase soil organic carbon on a ferrasol in the brazilian cerrado. this increase took place regardless of the type of om waste applied and even when the soil was under no-tillage for more than 20 years amendment reapplication should be done in 2 years intervals. the costs of transport and application can hinder the extensive use of soil om enrichment practices among land users in the brazilian cerrado subsidies could encourage the technology adoption. there is no specific machinery for om spreading / incorporation, which increases human workload to reduce human labour, it is recommended to design / adapt machinery for this purpose (e.g. of lime or mulch application machinery). however, more tests and improvements of the application methods are desirable. materials used as om amendments could be toxic and pose a risk of soil pollution it is important that land users are well informed about the risks. crude forest material such as sawdust from peroba and cedrinho or roughly processed material such as filter cake of sugarcane used in this study should not have a toxic effect. regarding the potential allelopathic effect of eucalyptus, its decomposing biomass does not seem to have a significant inhibitory effect on other crops (chu et al. 2014) key reference(s): chu, c. et al. (2014) allelopathic effects of eucalyptus on native and introduced tree species, forest ecology and management, volume 323: 79- 84 price pb, sowers t (2004) temperature dependence of metabolic rates for microbial growth, maintenance, and survival. proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of america 101:4631-4636 tivet f et al. (2013) aggregate c depletion by plowing and its restoration by diverse biomass-c inputs under no-till in sub-tropical and tropical regions of brazil. soil and tillage research, 126 :203-218 zech w. et al. (1997) factors controlling humific g. ation and mineralization of soil organic matter in the tropics. geoderma 79 : 117-161. contact person(s): prof. dr. ulrich irmler , institute for ecosystem research, christian-albrechts-universität kiel, 24118 kiel, germany, firstname.lastname@example.org- kiel.de prof. dr. karl m. wantzen, cnrs umr citeres, university of tours, 37200 tours, france, email@example.com, www.karlmwantzen.de acknowledgments: we would like to thank dr. malte unger for participating in the experimental design and for setting the experiment in field. we express our gratitude to mr. antonio huebner for granting us permission to work in his farm. we also thank edwaldo dias bocuti for kindly assisting us with information about the study area.
163 from storylines to scenarios: raising awareness and decision support brazil left: discussing results with land users to raise awareness. (photo: stefan hohnwald) right: land use system along route br 163. (photo: stefan hohnwald) location: mato grosso / pará, brazil approach area: 2,157,000 km2 type of approach: project / programme-based focus: scenario building from storylines wocat database reference: a_bra007en related technology: none compiled by: jan goepel, university of kassel, germany, firstname.lastname@example.org date: 18th june 2016 investigating viable carbon-optimized land management strategies, which main- tain or improve ecosystem function, under changing climate conditions in the southern amazon - using regional scenarios generated from storylines. one objective of the carbiocial project, in close cooperation with its brazilian partner project carbioma, is to explore how land use change in one of brazil’s most dynamic regions will develop in the next 30 years and how it will be affected by the implementation of land-use planning options and conservation policies. for this purpose a set of scenarios was created. the scenarios portray different plausible development pathways for the region. each scenario consists of a storyline: a brief narrative of the future. at this level farmers and institutions are involved. an expert panel translated the findings of several stakeholder workshops and exten- sive stakeholder and expert interviews, conducted in 2012, into qualitative information needed to elaborate these scenarios. four storylines emerged: (1) “business-as-usual”; (2) sustaina- ble, extensive use of the amazon; (3) legal intensification; (3) illegal intensification. it was agreed that the communication between qualitative social science data and quantitative data had to be considered carefully. a blend of the required input factors for the models was agreed as guiding principles for all storylines: these were: population, agrarian production, livestock, agrarian and environmental policies, protected areas, infrastructure, impact of cli- mate change (mitigation/adaptation). in a second step, qualitative data had to be added to the models; to limit bias, all available german experts on southern amazonia participated in a day-long (and quite controversial) brainstorming session producing content for the four story- lines. after translating the results into portuguese the outcome was discussed with representatives of government and ngos to discuss their plausibility and to modify accordingly. the input of local stakeholders was included on the basis of discussions and qualitative interviews. gener- ally speaking, the feedback loops with brazilian stakeholders’ happened rather arbitrarily. participation could have been better if planned more methodically and earlier. the three hypothetical storylines describe different pathways of future regional development within the two states. due to the strong linkages of southern amazonia to global markets (e.g. exports of soybean and meat) it was necessary to portray this dependency as one important determinant within the scenarios. also, law enforcement of the existing legal situation was considered: more than 40% of amazônia comprises protected areas. in order to portray the possibility of progressive environmental and indigenous legislation, a vibrant civil society, and well-institutionalized public prosecutors, a sustainability scenario was designed. the next step was the quantification of the qualitative information to facilitate a simulation- based scenario analysis. simulation models will be combined as software packages to sup- port the decision-taking process from local to landscape and regional scale. all research and implementation activities include direct involvement of the stakeholders. field experiments for improving c storage and ecosystem function will be performed in cooperation with an ngo founded by the farmers of mato grosso. a set of land use maps was generated to depict scenarios from 2010 to 2030. the objective of this modelling and mapping exercise is to support decision-makers to better interpret the scenarios and their implications. these new layers of information will facilitate further model or gis-based analysis of land use change impacts on the regional carbon balance and the loss of biodiversity, and may act as a test-bed for the development of strategies towards sustaina- ble land management. slm approach – from storylines to scenarios: raising awareness and decision support, brazil
164 making sense of research for sustainable land management problem, objectives and constraints problems: high loss of vegetative and soil carbon due to agricultural expansion (deforestation), agricultural emissions, biodiversity loss. aims / objectives: the joint main goals are 1) to perform region-specific analyses in order to improve and apply interdisciplinary sets of models of land use impacts on carbon stocks, water and ghg balances, 2) to develop and optimize land management strategies that minimize carbon loss- es and ghg emissions, and maximize carbon sequestration, 3) to assess the trade-offs between land management options and socio- economic impacts in terms of ghg reduction, profitability, ecological sustainability, and last but not least, 4) to support the brazilian partners to implement the optimal techniques in practice, considering the soybean value chain and overall carbon balance. constraints addressed constraints treatments social / cultural / religious acceptance of research results dissemination of research results in the form of policy briefs (short graphical illustration of results) and “output-stick” (usb stick with more detailed research results). legal / land use and / water rights land tenure none participation and decision making stakeholders / target groups approach costs met by: planners land users, individual, groups slm specialists / agricultural advisors politicians / decision makers − international, (german ministry of education and research, bmbf) 100% total 100% annual budget for slm component: us$ 100,000-1,000,000 decisions on choice of the technology: mainly by slm specialists with consultation of land users. decisions on method of implementing the technology: by land users alone (own-initiative / bottom-up) approach designed by: international specialists, land users. implementing bodies: local community / land users, government (planning authorities). land user involvement phase involvement activities initiation/motivation interactive land users and planning authorities; identification of research priorities, state- of-the-art of agricultural practices, identification of problems. planning none implementation none monitoring/evaluation none research passive research plots for demonstration. differences between participation of men and women: no involvement of disadvantaged groups: yes, moderate. indigenous groups were involved in stakeholder workshops with the aim of discussing different storyline options, and in the following feedback loops discussing the resulting storylines.
165 technical support training / awareness raising: training provided for land users. training comprised demonstration areas, public meetings, site visits / farmer-to-farmer visits. training focused on raising awareness of the consequences of “business-as-usual” behavior compared with other scenarios. advisory service: name: dissemination of research results in the form of policy briefs and more detailed “output sticks” (see above) research: yes, great research. topics covered include technology and ecology. mostly on-farm and on-station research. external material support / subsidies contribution per area (state/private sector): no labour: not relevant input: see above credit: credit was not available support to local institutions: no monitoring and evaluation monitored aspects methods and indicators bio-physical ad hoc observations by project staff area treated ad hoc observations by project staff no. of land users involved ad hoc observations by project staff bio-physical ad hoc measurements by project staff socio-cultural observations and measurements by project staff economic / production observations by project staff changes as result of monitoring and evaluation: there were few changes in the approach. dissemination; form of dissemination was adjusted according to the requirements of target groups. there were no changes in the technology. refinement with feedback from regional stakeholders (farmers, ngos, local institutions, planning authori- ties). development by expert workshops* interpreter qualitative/ quantitative translation by modelers and storyline developers (ex- pert panels). simulation (land use change mod- elers). *http://www.csee.umbc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/meeting_cartoon.jpg feedback, plausibility organogram: the scenario building process. qualitative scenarios (“storylines”) were developed by an expert panel and successively refined with feedback from regional stake- holders and project partners. in the second step the storylines were interpreted, quantified, and used for scenario building and analysis based on computer models. slm approach – from storylines to scenarios: raising awareness and decision support, brazil