Implementation of Multifunctional Land Management: Research Needs



Siloed and sectored management practices have contributed to the minimisation of soil erosion in dryland China thanks to soil conservation efforts for decades, but they have also led to other environmental problems such as water shortage. This further aggravates conflicts and competition between water users, for instance, between upstream and downstream users, rural and urban areas, and agriculture and forestry. This increases socioeconomic pressure and undermines regional sustainability. Such vicious circle of ‘solutions to one problem leading to a new problem’ has to be broken by shifting a single-resource/sector-oriented land system to a multifunctional land-use system. Multifunctional land use is an all-encompassing system that is coordinated and integrated across sectors in a balanced environmental and social setting, and resulting in benefits for both environment and society. Despite decades of looking for solutions and advances in the development of multifunctional land-use systems, several issues still discourage and impede their implementation. Our work reviews the progress made in science and practice, as well as the challenges to implementation, using the Loess Plateau in China as an example. In this context, research needs are identified and suggestions are made for realising multifunctionality in an ecological system.


Ecosystem Service Soil Erosion Loess Plateau Groundwater Recharge Soil Conservation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), United Nations UniversityDresdenGermany

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