Environmental Management

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1005–1021 | Cite as

An Exploration of Scenarios to Support Sustainable Land Management Using Integrated Environmental Socio-economic Models

Article

Abstract

Scenario analysis constitutes a valuable deployment method for scientific models to inform environmental decision-making, particularly for evaluating land degradation mitigation options, which are rarely based on formal analysis. In this paper we demonstrate such an assessment using the PESERA–DESMICE modeling framework with various scenarios for 13 global land degradation hotspots. Starting with an initial assessment representing land degradation and productivity under current conditions, options to combat instances of land degradation are explored by determining: (1) Which technologies are most biophysically appropriate and most financially viable in which locations; we term these the “technology scenarios”; (2) how policy instruments such as subsidies influence upfront investment requirements and financial viability and how they lead to reduced levels of land degradation; we term these the “policy scenarios”; and (3) how technology adoption affects development issues such as food production and livelihoods; we term these the “global scenarios”. Technology scenarios help choose the best technology for a given area in biophysical and financial terms, thereby outlining where policy support may be needed to promote adoption; policy scenarios assess whether a policy alternative leads to a greater extent of technology adoption; while global scenarios demonstrate how implementing technologies may serve wider sustainable development goals. Scenarios are applied to assess spatial variation within study sites as well as to compare across different sites. Our results show significant scope to combat land degradation and raise agricultural productivity at moderate cost. We conclude that scenario assessment can provide informative input to multi-level land management decision-making processes.

Keywords

Integrated modeling Scenario analysis Spatial cost benefit analysis Land degradation mitigation Decision-making 

References

  1. Abu Hammad A, Borresen T (2006) Socioeconomic factors affecting farmers’ perceptions of land degradation and stonewall terraces in Central Palestine. Environ Manag 37:380–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balana BB, Muys B, Haregeweyn N, Descheemaeker K, Deckers J, Poesen J, Nyssen J, Mathijs E (2012) Cost-benefit analysis of soil and water conservation measure: the case of exclosures in northern Ethiopia. For Policy Econ 15:27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balmford A, Rodrigues AS, Walpole M, ten Brink P, Kettunen M, Braat L, de Groot RS (2008) The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: scoping the science. European Commission, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Bekele W, Drake L (2003) Soil and water conservation decision behavior of subsistence farmers in the Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia: a case study of the Hunde-Lafto area. Ecol Econ 46:437–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellin N, van Wesemael B, Meerkerk A, Vanacker V, Barbera GG (2009) Abandonment of soil and water conservation structures in Mediterranean ecosystems: a case study from south east Spain. Catena 76:114–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bizoza AR, de Graaff J (2012) Financial cost- benefit analysis of bench terraces in Rwanda. Land Deg Dev 23:103–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blazy JM, Tixier P, Thomas A, Ozier-Lafontaine H, Salmon F, Wery J (2010) BANAD: a farm model for ex ante assessment of agro-ecological innovations and its application to banana farms in Guadeloupe. Agric Syst 103:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borselli L, Salvador Sanchis P, Bartolini D, Cassi P, Lollino P (2011, March 11) PESERA L model: an addendum to the PESERA model for sediment yield due to shallow mass movement in a watershed. DESIRE Report 82Google Scholar
  9. Buenemann M, Martius C, Jones JW, Herrmann SM, Klein D, Mulligan M, Reed MS, Winslow M, Washington-Allen RA, Lal R, Ojima D (2011) Integrative geospatial approaches for the comprehensive monitoring and assessment of land management sustainability: rationale, potentials, and characteristics. Land Deg Dev 22:226–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burney JA, Davis SJ, Lobell DB (2010) Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification. Proc Natl Acad Sci 107:12052–12057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Calatrava J, Franco JA (2011) Using pruning residues as mulch: analysis of its adoption and process of diffusion in Southern Spain olive orchards. J Environ Manag 92:620–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Graaff J, Duarte F, Fleskens L, de Figueiredo T (2010) The future of olive groves on sloping land and ex ante assessment of cross-compliance for erosion control. Land Use Policy 27:33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duarte F, Jones N, Fleskens L (2008) Traditional olive orchards on sloping land: sustainability or abandonment? J Environ Manag 89:86–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Esteves TJC, Kirkby MJ, Shakesby RA, Ferreira AJD, Soares JAA, Irvine BJ, Ferreira CSS, Coelho COA, Bento CPM, Carreiras MA (2012) Mitigating land degradation caused by wildfire: application of the PESERA model to fire-affected sites in Central Portugal. Geoderma 191:40–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fleskens L (2012) Modelling the impact and viability of sustainable land management technologies: what are the bottlenecks? Agro Environ. http://library.wur.nl/ojs/index.php/AE2012/article/view/12411/12607. Accessed 15 Nov 2013
  16. Fleskens L, Ataev A, Mamedov B, Spaan WP (2007) Desert water harvesting from takyr surfaces: assessing the potential of traditional and experimental technologies in the Karakum. Land Deg Dev 18:17–39Google Scholar
  17. Fleskens L, Irvine B, Kirkby MJ, Nainggolan D (2012, June 12) Model outputs for each hotspot site to identify the likely environmental, environmental and social effects of proposed remediation strategies. DESIRE Report 100 D5.3.1Google Scholar
  18. Fleskens L, Kirkby MJ, Irvine BJ (2013) The PESERA–DESMICE modelling framework for grid-based assessment of the physical impact and economic viability of land degradation mitigation technologies. Environ Manag (submitted)Google Scholar
  19. Fleskens L, Nainggolan D, Termansen M, Hubacek K, Reed MS (2013) Regional consequences of the way land users respond to future water availability in Murcia, Spain. Reg Environ Change 13:615–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2011) The state of the world’s land and water resources for food and agriculture (SOLAW)—managing systems at risk. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome and Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Franco JA, Calatrava J (2012) The diffusion process of no-tillage with herbicides application in Southern Spain’s olive groves. J Environ Plan Manag 55:979–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hengsdijk H, Meijerink GW, Mosugu ME (2005) Modeling the effect of three soil and water conservation practices in Tigray, Ethiopia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 105:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hessel R, Reed MS, Geeson N, Ritsema C, van Lynden G, Karavitis CA, Schwilch G, Jetten V, Burger P, van der Werff ten Bosch MJ, Verzandvoort S, van den Elsen E, Witsenburg K (2013) From framework to action: the DESIRE approach to combat desertification. Environ Manag (accepted)Google Scholar
  24. Jansen DM, Buijze ST, Boogaard HL (1999) Ex ante assessment of costs for reducing nitrate leaching from agriculture-dominated regions. Environ Model Softw 14:549–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jetten V, Shrestha D (2012, April 12) Compilation of site implementation plans and a list of available data. DESIRE Report 91 D4.3.1Google Scholar
  26. Kassie M, Jaleta M, Shiferaw B, Mmbando F, Mekuria M (2013) Adoption of interrelated sustainable agricultural practices in smallholder systems: evidence from rural Tanzania. Technol Forecast Soc Change 80:525–540Google Scholar
  27. Kirkby MJ, Irvine BJ, Jones RJA, Govers G, The PESERA Team (2008) The PESERA coarse scale erosion model for Europe: I—model rationale and implementation. Eur J Soil Sci 59:1293–1306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kizos T, Dalaka A, Petanidou T (2010) Farmers’ attitudes and landscape change: evidence from the abandonment of terraced cultivations on Lesvos, Greece. Agric Human Values 27:199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. König HJ, Sghaier M, Schuler J, Abdeladhim M, Helming K, Tonneau JP, Ounalli N, Imbernon J, Morris J, Wiggering H (2012) Participatory impact assessment of soil and water conservation scenarios in Oum Zessar Watershed, Tunisia. Environ Manag 50:153–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Koohafkan P, Altieri MA, Gimenez EH (2012) Green agriculture: foundations for biodiverse, resilient and productive agricultural systems. Int J Agric Sustain 10:61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kosmas C, Danalatos NG, Gerontidis S (2000) The effect of land parameters on vegetation performance and degree of erosion under Mediterranean conditions. Catena 40:3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lescot JM, Bordenave P, Petit K, Leccia O (2013) A spatially distributed cost-effectiveness analysis framework for controlling water pollution. Environ Model Softw 41:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mantel S, van Lynden GWJ, van der Werff ten Bosch MJ, Karavitis CA, Kosmas C (2011, March) Drivers, policies and laws in DESIRE study sites. DESIRE Report 72 D1.3.1 and D2.1.2Google Scholar
  34. Marohn C, Schreinemachers P, Viet Quang D, Berger T, Siripalangkanont P, Thi Nguyen T, Cadisch G (2013) A software coupling approach to assess low-cost soil conservation strategies for highland agriculture in Vietnam. Environ Model Softw 45:116–128Google Scholar
  35. Meadows ME, Hoffman TM (2003) Land degradation and climate change in South Africa. Geogr J 169:168–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nyssen J, Haregeweyn N, Descheemaeker K, Gebremichael D, Vancampenhout K, Poesen J, Haile M, Moeyersons J, Buytaert W, Naudts J, Deckers J, Govers G (2006) Comment on “Modelling the effect of soil and water conservation practices in Tigray, Ethiopia” [Agric Ecosyst Environ 105 (2005) 29–40]. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:407–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Perkins JS, Reed MS, Akanyang L, Atlhopheng JR, Chanda R, Magole L, Mphinyane W, Mulale K, Sebego RJ, Fleskens L, Irvine BJ, Kirkby MJ (2013) Making land management more sustainable: experience implementing a new methodological framework in Botswana. Land Deg Dev 24:463–477Google Scholar
  38. Rubio JL, Bochet E (1998) Desertification indicators as diagnosis criteria for desertification risk assessment in Europe. J Arid Environ 39:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Salvati L, Bajocco S, Ceccarelli T, Zitti M, Perini L (2011) Towards a process-based evaluation of land vulnerability to soil degradation in Italy. Ecol Indic 11:1216–1227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schwilch G, Bachmann F, Valente S, Coelho C, Moreira J, Laouina A, Chaker M, Aderghal M, Santos P, Reed MS (2012a) A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for sustainable land management. J Environ Manag 107:52–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schwilch G, Hessel R, Verzandvoort S (eds.) (2012b) Desire for greener land. Options for sustainable land management in drylands. University of Bern—CDE, Alterra—Wageningen UR, ISRIC—World Soil Information and CTA—Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural CooperationGoogle Scholar
  42. Sirrine D, Shennan C, Sirrine JR (2010) Comparing agroforestry systems’ ex ante adoption potential and ex post adoption: on-farm participatory research from southern Malawi. Agrofor Syst 79:253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stringer LC, Fleskens L, Reed MS, de Vente J, Zengin M (2013) Participatory evaluation of monitoring and modeling of sustainable land management technologies in areas prone to land degradation. Environ Manag. doi:10.1007/s00267-013-0126-5
  44. Stringer LC, Dyer JC, Reed MS, Dougill AJ, Twyman C, Mkwambisi D (2009) Adaptations to climate change, drought and desertification: insights to enhance policy in southern Africa. Environ Sci Policy 12:748–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stringer LC, Dougill AJ, Thomas AD, Spracklen DV, Chesterman S, Ifejika Speranza C, Rueff H, Riddell M, Williams M, Beedy T, Abson DJ, Klintenberg P, Syampungani S, Powell P, Palmer AR, Seely MK, Mkwambisi DD, Falcao M, Sitoe A, Ross S, Kopolo G (2012) Challenges and opportunities in linking carbon sequestration, livelihoods and ecosystem service provision in drylands. Environ Sci Policy 19–20:121–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tenge AJ, de Graaff J, Hella JP (2005) Financial efficiency of major soil and water conservation measures in West Usambara highlands, Tanzania. Appl Geogr 25:348–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tenge AJ, Okoba BO, Sterk G (2007) Participatory soil and water conservation planning using a financial analysis tool in the West Usambara highlands of Tanzania. Land Deg Dev 18:321–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tittonell P, Giller KE (2013) When yield gaps are poverty traps: the paradigm of ecological intensification in African smallholder agriculture. Field Crops Res 143:76–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tucker M, Napier TL (2002) Preferred sources and channels of soil and water conservation information among farmers in three midwestern US watersheds. Agric Ecosyst Environ 92:297–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van Lynden G, Mantel S, Hessel R (2011, March 11) An overview of desertification problems in the study countries (maps & report). DESIRE Report 73 D1.2.1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth & Environment, University of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Department of Soil Physics and Land ManagementWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ScienceAarhus UniversityÅrhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations