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Land, Volume 7, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessPerspective Fairness and Transparency Are Required for the Inclusion of Privately Protected Areas in Publicly Accessible Conservation Databases
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
There is a growing recognition of the contribution that privately-owned land makes to conservation efforts, and governments are increasingly counting privately protected areas (PPAs) towards their international conservation commitments. The public availability of spatial data on countries’ conservation estates is important for broad-scale
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There is a growing recognition of the contribution that privately-owned land makes to conservation efforts, and governments are increasingly counting privately protected areas (PPAs) towards their international conservation commitments. The public availability of spatial data on countries’ conservation estates is important for broad-scale conservation planning and monitoring and for evaluating progress towards targets. Yet there has been limited consideration of how PPA data is reported to national and international protected area databases, particularly whether such reporting is transparent and fair (i.e., equitable) to the landholders involved. Here we consider PPA reporting procedures from three countries with high numbers of PPAs—Australia, South Africa, and the United States—illustrating the diversity within and between countries regarding what data is reported and the transparency with which it is reported. Noting a potential tension between landholder preferences for privacy and security of their property information and the benefit of sharing this information for broader conservation efforts, we identify the need to consider equity in PPA reporting processes. Unpacking potential considerations and tensions into distributional, procedural, and recognitional dimensions of equity, we propose a series of broad principles to foster transparent and fair reporting. Our approach for navigating the complexity and context-dependency of equity considerations will help strengthen PPA reporting and facilitate the transparent integration of PPAs into broader conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle From Contrary to Complementary Models: Central Places and Gateways in the South-Eastern Provence (Arles and Marseille)
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper applies the concepts of gateways and centrality, formerly opposing approaches to spatial planning, by now a powerful merged tool for archaeologists, to understand the dynamics of the evolution of cities and settlements in a long-term perspective. The samples are the two
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This paper applies the concepts of gateways and centrality, formerly opposing approaches to spatial planning, by now a powerful merged tool for archaeologists, to understand the dynamics of the evolution of cities and settlements in a long-term perspective. The samples are the two main port cities in South-Eastern Provence (France), Marseille and Arles. By means of several archaeological markers it will be shown how natural landscapes and political control influenced the fate of the economic development of both cities in Greco-Roman times. Therefore, this study focuses on the aspects of trade and administration encompassing the functionality of the ports as trans-shipment centers, the impact of political interference as well as the supply and exchange of long distance and local/regional products. Within this research framework, Marseille emerged as a static gateway for its service area with a distinct perspective on Mediterranean trade. Arles, however, was the main gateway for the whole Rhône corridor in Roman times due to its strategic location in an area characterized by a variety of landscapes and the promotion of politics as a port of the annona. The data presented here aim to reject the frequently used narrative of an ongoing competition between Arles and Marseille in favor of a more nuanced picture of economic interactions and overlapping trading networks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Central Place and Liminal Landscape in the Territory of Populonia
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 29 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Abstract
This article aims to outline new data on the urbanization of Populonia starting from its foundation, with particular reference to the results of archaeological surveys carried out by the University of Siena since the 1980s. The landscape archaeology approach has allowed us to
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This article aims to outline new data on the urbanization of Populonia starting from its foundation, with particular reference to the results of archaeological surveys carried out by the University of Siena since the 1980s. The landscape archaeology approach has allowed us to reconstruct the Etruscan city’s organization of settlements as well as its management of resources. In addition, this investigative tool has proven the most effective method to detect both places of economic or ideological centrality and specific liminal landscapes in the territory of Populonia. The urban development of the Etruscan city represents an anomalous case for several reasons that are mainly dependent on its shape, which required unconventional choices in the organization and management of its territory and natural resources. Our research leads us to suggest that the Etruscan city’s acropolis seems to have played the role of central place starting right from the establishment of the city. Within some of the new acquisitions coming from my PhD research we have to consider the feature of the hilltop fortresses system and the detection of a “liminal landscape” in the northeastern stretch of the territory between Populonia and Volterra. This particular part of the landscape had been a sacred district with a strong peripheral character and possibly close connections to the central place thanks to the significant availability of natural resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Setting and Implementing Standards for Management of Wild Tigers
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
Tiger numbers have collapsed so dramatically that conservationists are adopting a strategy of securing populations in priority conservation landscapes. This includes improving management effectiveness in these sites. The Conservation Assured|Tiger Standards (CA|TS) are designed to help ensure effectiveness and provide a benchmark against
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Tiger numbers have collapsed so dramatically that conservationists are adopting a strategy of securing populations in priority conservation landscapes. This includes improving management effectiveness in these sites. The Conservation Assured|Tiger Standards (CA|TS) are designed to help ensure effectiveness and provide a benchmark against which to measure progress. CA|TS is a distillation of best practice and a roadmap to management effectiveness, linking management to expert-driven standards covering all aspects of management, including those which are tiger-specific (monitoring, maintenance of prey, control of poaching). Sites are audited against a set of standards and if met, are accredited as CA|TS Approved. We describe CA|TS in the context of tiger conservation, describe the evolution and philosophy of the system and consider its application across the tiger range, before drawing on lessons learned from 5 years of development. Important benefits include the independence of CA|TS from existing governmental or NGO institutions, the emphasis on regional governance and the existence of active support groups. Conversely, the participatory approach has slowed implementation. CA|TS remains more attractive to well managed sites than to sites that are struggling, although building capacity in the latter is its key aim. The close connections between people working on tiger conservation make some aspects of independent assessment challenging. Finally, if CA|TS is to succeed in its long term aims, it needs to go hand in hand with secure and adequate funding to increase management capacity in many tiger conservation areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Forest Area and Canopy Cover Based on Visual Interpretation of Satellite Images in Ethiopia
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 14 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Forests, particularly in the tropics, are suffering from deforestation and forest degradations. The estimation of forest area and canopy cover is an essential part of the establishment of a measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) system that is needed for monitoring carbon stocks and
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Forests, particularly in the tropics, are suffering from deforestation and forest degradations. The estimation of forest area and canopy cover is an essential part of the establishment of a measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) system that is needed for monitoring carbon stocks and the associated greenhouse gas emissions and removals. Information about forest area and canopy cover might be obtained by visual image interpretation as an alternative to expensive fieldwork. The objectives of this study were to evaluate different types of satellite images for forest area and canopy cover estimation though visual image interpretation, and assess the influence of sample sizes on the estimates. Seven sites in Ethiopia with different vegetation systems were subjectively identified, and visual interpretations were carried out in a systematical design. Bootstrapping was applied to evaluate the effects of sample sizes. The results showed that high-resolution satellite images (≤5 m) (PlanetScope and RapidEye) images produced very similar estimates, while coarser resolution imagery (10 m, Sentinel-2) estimates were dependent on forest conditions. Estimates based on Sentinel-2 images varied significantly from the two other types of images in sites with denser forest cover. The estimates from PlanetScope and RapidEye were less sensitive to changes in sample size. Full article
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Open AccessReview An Overview of the Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Changes (1980–2014) on Urban Water Security of Kolkata
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Urban Water Security is essential in urban planning to manage cities’ water infrastructures and strengthen their water stress resilience and adaptive capacities. Decision making, governance and socio-economic factors play important roles in achieving Urban Water Security. Kolkata is a growing megacity in a
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Urban Water Security is essential in urban planning to manage cities’ water infrastructures and strengthen their water stress resilience and adaptive capacities. Decision making, governance and socio-economic factors play important roles in achieving Urban Water Security. Kolkata is a growing megacity in a developing country, which is facing rising pressures on water-environmental provisions due to the rapid population growth and urbanization and resultant governance and infrastructural issues. This review focusses on Kolkata, which is facing critical water issues, as a case study. The study presents an overview of the urban water (in)security and its dimensions in Kolkata city, such as water consumption and distribution in the city along with the changing land use-land cover of the city area, based on the results obtained from the satellite data-based land use-land cover classification, available literature, and documents from public institutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tropical Protected Areas Under Increasing Threats from Climate Change and Deforestation
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 28 July 2018
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Abstract
Identifying protected areas most susceptible to climate change and deforestation represents critical information for determining conservation investments. Development of effective landscape interventions is required to ensure the preservation and protection of these areas essential to ecosystem service provision, provide high biodiversity value, and
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Identifying protected areas most susceptible to climate change and deforestation represents critical information for determining conservation investments. Development of effective landscape interventions is required to ensure the preservation and protection of these areas essential to ecosystem service provision, provide high biodiversity value, and serve a critical habitat connectivity role. We identified vulnerable protected areas in the humid tropical forest biome using climate metrics for 2050 and future deforestation risk for 2024 modeled from historical deforestation and global drivers of deforestation. Results show distinct continental and regional patterns of combined threats to protected areas. Eleven Mha (2%) of global humid tropical protected area was exposed to the highest combined threats and should be prioritized for investments in landscape interventions focused on adaptation to climate stressors. Global tropical protected area exposed to the lowest deforestation risk but highest climate risks totaled 135 Mha (26%). Thirty-five percent of South America’s protected area fell into this risk category and should be prioritized for increasing protected area size and connectivity to facilitate species movement. Global humid tropical protected area exposed to a combination of the lowest deforestation and lowest climate risks totaled 89 Mha (17%), and were disproportionately located in Africa (34%) and Asia (17%), indicating opportunities for low-risk conservation investments for improved connectivity to these potential climate refugia. This type of biome-scale, protected area analysis, combining both climate change and deforestation threats, is critical to informing policies and landscape interventions to maximize investments for environmental conservation and increase ecosystem resilience to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle Landscape and Hunting. The Economy of the Eschatia
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper explores the place of ancient Greek hunting within the Greek landscape and environment, with particular reference to the eschatia, the marginal, uncultivated (or marginally cultivated) land. It is part of a bigger project on the social history of hunting in
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This paper explores the place of ancient Greek hunting within the Greek landscape and environment, with particular reference to the eschatia, the marginal, uncultivated (or marginally cultivated) land. It is part of a bigger project on the social history of hunting in archaic and classical Greece, where emphasis is placed on the economic and dietary contribution of hunting for Greek communities. Hunting has attracted scholarly attention, mostly as a result of the role that hunting narratives play in Greek mythology, and the importance of hunting scenes in Greek art. Rather than talking about the role of hunting in rites of passage, I would like to explore the relationships of different social classes to hunting (which is understood here to include all forms of capturing animals on land, including trapping and snaring). The ‘un-central’ landscape of the eschatia appears to be an important locus for hunting practices, and therefore, a productive landscape. Hunting in the eschatia was opportunistic, required minimum effort in terms of crossing distances, allowed access to game that could be profitable in the market, and made the transport of game easier to manage. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modelling Land Sharing and Land Sparing Relationship with Rural Population in the Cerrado
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
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Abstract
Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first
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Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first aims to integrate agricultural activities with biodiversity conservation by means of enhancing the quality of the agricultural matrix in the landscape towards a wildlife friendly matrix. The other model aims to spare natural habitats from agriculture for conservation. This work aimed to explore spatial evidences of land sharing/sparing and its relationship with rural population in the Brazilian Cerrado. A Land Sharing/Sparing Index based on TerraClass Cerrado map was proposed. Spatial analysis based on Global and Local Moran statistics and Geographically Weighted Regression were made in order to explore the influence of local rural population on the probability of spatial land sharing/sparing clusters occurrence. Spatial patterns of land sharing were found in the Cerrado and a positive association with rural population was found in some regions, such as in its northern portion. Land use policies should consider regional infrastructural and participative governance potentialities. The results suggests possible areas where joint agricultural activities and human presence may be favourable for biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America)
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Open AccessArticle Needs Assessment in Land Administration: The Potential of the Nominal Group Technique
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper introduces the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) for conducting needs assessments in land administration projects. Understanding the local context of what citizens, communities and organisations need remains a complex challenge yet fundamental to the success of land administration projects. To date, key
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This paper introduces the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) for conducting needs assessments in land administration projects. Understanding the local context of what citizens, communities and organisations need remains a complex challenge yet fundamental to the success of land administration projects. To date, key methods of understanding and identifying local needs have been qualitative in nature with various strengths and limitations. For land administration, it is also important for empirical methods to attend to power imbalances amongst participants that are a hallmark and driver of land tenure security. Although NGT has hardly been used in the domain of land administration, based on our experience of employing the method in a research project in East Africa, we argue that it presents a valuable addition to needs assessment strategies. We provide a broad outline of the method before providing a detailed description of how we employed the method. We discuss the opportunities and challenges that NGT offers, arguing that it is a time and resource efficient way of engaging communities in a participatory and equitable process which facilitates the co-production of valid and reliable knowledge on needs, and consensus on how these needs should be prioritised. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Relative Concentration of Interaction—A Proposal for an Integrated Understanding of Centrality and Central Places
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
The importance of a place can be assessed via an analysis of its centrality. However, although central place research has a long history, there is no generally accepted theoretical base, leading to continuous debates about the core elements of centrality and those features
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The importance of a place can be assessed via an analysis of its centrality. However, although central place research has a long history, there is no generally accepted theoretical base, leading to continuous debates about the core elements of centrality and those features that ultimately constitute the centrality of a place. We propose a generalized definition that understands centrality as the relative concentration of interaction. Using this definition, we are able to integrate various social, cultural, and natural aspects in the analysis of a central place and its landscape setting. We present a semi-quantitative method to assess the actual and potential centrality and that enables us (a) to draw conclusions about the type and characteristics of central places, (b) to investigate their development throughout time, and (c) to compare them to each other. We sketch the application of the method using two exemplary sites: the Iron Age site Heuneburg and the Roman palace Felix Romuliana Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physical and Anthropogenic Factors Related to Landslide Activity in the Northern Peloponnese, Greece
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 15 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
The geological, geomorphic conditions of a mountainous environment along with precipitation and human activities influence landslide occurrences. In many cases, their relation to landslide events is not well defined. The scope of the present study is to identify the influence of physical and
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The geological, geomorphic conditions of a mountainous environment along with precipitation and human activities influence landslide occurrences. In many cases, their relation to landslide events is not well defined. The scope of the present study is to identify the influence of physical and anthropogenic factors in landslide activity. The study area is a mountainous part of the northern Peloponnesus in southern Greece. The existing landslides, lithology, slope angle, rainfall, two types of road network (highway-provincial roads and rural roads) along with land use of the study area are taken into consideration. Each physical and anthropogenic factor is further divided into sub-categories. Statistical analysis of landslide frequency and density, as well as frequency and density ratios, are applied and combined with a geographic information system (GIS) to evaluate the collected data and determine the relationship between physical and anthropogenic factors and landslide activity. The results prove that Plio-Pleistocene fine-grained sediments and flysch, relatively steep slopes (15°–30°) and a rise in the amount of rainfall increase landslide frequency and density. Additionally, Plio-Pleistocene fine-grained sediments and flysch, as well as schist chert formations, moderate (5°–15°) and relatively steep slopes (15°–30°), along with the amount of rainfall of >700 mm are strongly associated with landslide occurrences. The frequency and magnitude of landslides increase in close proximity to roads. Their maximum values are observed within the 50 m buffer zone. This corresponds to a 100 m wide zone along with any type of road corridors, increasing landslide occurrences. In addition, a buffer zone of 75 m or 150 m wide zone along highway and provincial roads, as well as a buffer zone of 100 m or 200 m wide zones along rural roads, are strongly correlated with landslide events. The extensive cultivated land of the study area is strongly related to landslide activity. By contrast, urban areas are poorly related to landslides, because most of them are located in the northern coastal part of the study area where landslides are limited. The results provide information on physical and anthropogenic factors characterizing landslide events in the study area. The applied methodology rapidly estimates areas prone to landslides and it may be utilized for landslide hazard assessment mapping as well as for new and existing land use planning projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Planning for Natural Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle Indicators for Measuring Spatial Justice and Land Tenure Security for Poor and Low Income Urban Dwellers
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
There exist various indicators that measure land tenure security for urbanites. Most of those indicators measure the degree to which land titling promotes the security of tenure. Based on the reviewed literature, it is admitted that land titling is not a panacea to
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There exist various indicators that measure land tenure security for urbanites. Most of those indicators measure the degree to which land titling promotes the security of tenure. Based on the reviewed literature, it is admitted that land titling is not a panacea to land tenure security. Measuring the degree of land tenure security should not rely only on the legalisation of landownership. This paper makes a meta-analysis and conceptual modelling to connect spatial justice and land tenure security. It discusses the potential of inclusive urban development grounded on the claim that spatial justice enhances land tenure security. A comprehensive framework of indicators which can measure the degree of land tenure security from a spatial justice lens is thereafter derived. The meta-analysis and conceptual modelling were coupled with research synthesis to perform an in-depth review and qualitative content analysis of the literature on concepts of spatial justice, land tenure security, and urban (re)development processes. This study proposes 60 indicators which measure the degree of spatial justice and land tenure security along a continuum of spatial justice and land tenure security. Those indicators provide a more holistic approach for measuring land tenure security from a spatial justice lens than the separated sets of existing indicators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Changing Uses of Cadastral Information: A User-Driven Case Study
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Cadastral information and land administration systems are central to effective land markets, land use and sustainable development. This paper focuses on one aspect of land administration dynamism: the changing uses of cadastral information. We follow a qualitative approach and offer an overview of
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Cadastral information and land administration systems are central to effective land markets, land use and sustainable development. This paper focuses on one aspect of land administration dynamism: the changing uses of cadastral information. We follow a qualitative approach and offer an overview of why, how, and in what form user groups use cadastre and land register data in Finland. We then explore different user groups’ perceptions of emerging changes and discuss their implications for the future land administration system. We identify six major changes that potentially have such implications: the streamlining of environmental permit procedures, the integration of public services, three-dimensional land use planning, tightening banking regulations, digital services, and e-government, and coordination among public data agencies. The paper addresses the relatively unexplored customer side of cadastral information and reiterates the need for an interoperable, accurate and reliable land administration system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Model Based Regional Estimates of Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potentials from Rice Croplands in Bangladesh
Received: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is cultivated as a major crop in most Asian countries and its production is expected to increase to meet the demands of a growing population. This is expected to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from paddy rice ecosystems,
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Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is cultivated as a major crop in most Asian countries and its production is expected to increase to meet the demands of a growing population. This is expected to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from paddy rice ecosystems, unless mitigation measures are in place. It is therefore important to assess GHG mitigation potential whilst maintaining yield. Using the process-based ecosystem model DayCent, a spatial analysis was carried out in a rice harvested area in Bangladesh for the period 1996 to 2015, considering the impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration, GHG emissions and yield under various mitigation options. An integrated management (IM, a best management practice) considering reduced water, tillage with residue management, reduced mineral nitrogen fertilizer and manure, led to a net offset by, on average, −2.43 t carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq.) ha−1 year−1 (GHG removal) and a reduction in yield-scaled emissions intensity by −0.55 to −0.65 t CO2-eq. t−1 yield. Under integrated management, it is possible to increase SOC stocks on average by 1.7% per year in rice paddies in Bangladesh, which is nearly 4 times the rate of change targeted by the “4 per mille” initiative arising from the Paris Climate Agreement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Applying Built-Up and Bare-Soil Indices from Landsat 8 to Cities in Dry Climates
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Arid and semi-arid regions have different spectral characteristics from other climatic regions. Therefore, appropriate remotely sensed indicators of land use and land cover types need to be defined for arid and semi-arid lands, as indices developed for other climatic regions may not give
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Arid and semi-arid regions have different spectral characteristics from other climatic regions. Therefore, appropriate remotely sensed indicators of land use and land cover types need to be defined for arid and semi-arid lands, as indices developed for other climatic regions may not give plausible results in arid and semi-arid regions. For instance, the normalized difference built-up index (NDBI) and normalized difference bareness index (NDBaI) are unable to distinguish between built-up areas and bare and dry soil that surrounds many cities in dry climates. This paper proposes the application of two newly developed indices, the dry built-up index (DBI) and dry bare-soil index (DBSI) to map built-up and bare areas in a dry climate from Landsat 8. The developed DBI and DBSI were applied to map urban areas and bare soil in the city of Erbil, Iraq. The results show an overall classification accuracy of 93% (κ = 0.86) and 92% (κ = 0.84) for DBI and DBSI, respectively. The results indicate the suitability of the proposed indices to discriminate between urban areas and bare soil in arid and semi-arid climates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Uneven Influence of Climate Trends and Agricultural Policies on Maize Production in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
Maize is an important staple crop in Mexico, and the recent intensification of climate variability, in combination with non-climatic forces, has hindered increases in production, especially for smallholder farmers. This article demonstrates the influence of these drivers on maize production trends in the
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Maize is an important staple crop in Mexico, and the recent intensification of climate variability, in combination with non-climatic forces, has hindered increases in production, especially for smallholder farmers. This article demonstrates the influence of these drivers on maize production trends in the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula using a mixed methods approach of climatic analysis and semi-structured interviews. Climate trend analysis and generalized additive models (GAMs) demonstrate relationships between production and climatic variability, using 1980-2010 precipitation and temperature data. Data from forty interviews with government officials and representatives of farmers' associations (gathered in 2015 and 2016) highlight the influence of agricultural policy on maize production in the region. The climate trend analysis yielded mixed results, with a statistically significant negative rainfall trend for Quintana Roo and variability in maximum temperature changes across the region, with an increase in Yucatan State and Quintana Roo and a decrease in Campeche. Climate and production GAMs indicate a strong significant relationship between production and climate fluctuations for Campeche (79%) and Quintana Roo (72%) and a weaker significant relationship for the Yucatan State (31%). Informants identified precipitation variability and ineffective public policies for smallholder agricultural development as primary obstacles for maize production, including inadequate design of agricultural programs, inconsistent agricultural support, and ineffective farmers' organizations. Quantifying the influence of climate change on maize production, and the amplifying influence of national and regional agricultural policy for smallholder farmers, will inform more appropriate policy design and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Livelihoods on the Edge without a Safety Net: The Case of Smallholder Crop Farming in North-Central Namibia
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Semi-arid Namibia is marginal for agricultural production. Low soil fertility combined with low and variable rainfall restrict the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who often struggle to produce enough food. Although historically, communities have adopted a number of coping mechanisms, climate change threatens to
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Semi-arid Namibia is marginal for agricultural production. Low soil fertility combined with low and variable rainfall restrict the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who often struggle to produce enough food. Although historically, communities have adopted a number of coping mechanisms, climate change threatens to further reduce agricultural production. There are many additional options available to smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change, but they are not necessarily adopting these measures despite having noticed increasing temperatures and declining rainfall. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three villages in Onesi constituency to examine what agricultural practices smallholder crop farmers use, perception of changes in their yields, their perspective on future yields and whether they are planning on changing their agricultural practices. The results suggest that to sustain the livelihoods of rural communities in north-central Namibia, support is needed from local and regional authorities, as well as traditional and religious leaders to assist with enhancing access to information, enabling information sharing on adaptation options, and increasing awareness on climate change, its impacts and what can be done about it. In addition to this, implementation of the adaptation action also requires demonstration sites and building capacity to enable the development of self-help groups. Full article
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