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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030703

Farmers’ Value Assessment of Sociocultural and Ecological Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

1,2
and
1,3,*
1
College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dilla University, Dilla 419, Ethiopia
3
National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center for Rural Land Resources Use and Consolidation, Nanjing 210095, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services (ESs) are commonly used to define areas for land use and management planning. To date, there has been limited research conducted in Ethiopia regarding farmers’ evaluations of ESs. This article addresses farmers’ evaluations and perceptions of 16 ESs that are provided by five major land uses within two catchments, using a combined method of data generation and synthesis. Most farmers perceived the majority of land use/land cover (LUC) types as multifunctional; however, they showed distinctly diverse opinions of the benefits and services that the land uses provide. The farmers also distinguished pristine ESs as different importantance depending on their location in up- or downstream regions. Accordingly, shade and shelter values in the upstream region and fodder sources in the downstream regions were among the services perceived as the most important, followed by erosion control. Conversely, water treatment and tenure security were attributed poor value. Farmers’ also identified various threats to the studied ESs that were believed to be the consequences of overpopulation coupled with climate change. Routine anthropogenic activities, woodlots extraction, agribusiness investment, and drought and rainfall variability appeared to be the main drivers of these threats. The farmers’ perceptions recorded in this study generally parallel empirical research, wherein anthropogenic and environmental challenges affect the ecosystems. This general consensus represents an important basis for the establishment of collaborative land management activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural landscape; land use/land cover types; ecological value assessment; farmers’ sociocultural perception; agroforestry agricultural landscape; land use/land cover types; ecological value assessment; farmers’ sociocultural perception; agroforestry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Temesgen, H.; Wu, W. Farmers’ Value Assessment of Sociocultural and Ecological Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes. Sustainability 2018, 10, 703.

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