Governing sustainable land-use in a changing climate

Land is the natural capital from which an enormous amount of ecosystem services flow. Sustainable land use, which can be defined as land use that meets human needs for ecosystem services both now and in the future, is essential to meet global goals for climate mitigation and sustainable development. However, it is not clear what governance of land use is needed to meet these goals when there are conflicting demands for ecosystem services, e.g. increasing food production while maintaining biodiversity.

We aim to develop and apply a conceptual framework for examining the interactions and trade-offs among multiple ecosystem services as well as their spatial interactions. We have selected six indicators of key ecosystem services flowing from agricultural and forest landscapes: food production, wood/fiber production, climate mitigation, nutrient retention, biodiversity conservation and cultural heritage. Using the case of Sweden, we use a combination of existing data, process-based simulation modelling (LPJ-GUESS) and ecological modelling to calculate these indicators for a range of future land-use scenarios, and identify optimal trade-offs.

The framework is expected to provide a systematic way to consider tradeoffs in ecosystem services in land-use decisions and governance for sustainable management of land use. The project is in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC), Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science (INES) and Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), in the form of a Pufendorf Advanced Study Group under the leadership of Kimberly Nicholas (LUCSUS) and will running in 2018.

Links: INES


Pufendorf ASG

Responsible: Mark Brady 


Mark Brady

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