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Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 177;

Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review

Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Autonomous University of Madrid, C/Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 2, Madrid 28049, Spain
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 10, Bern 3012, Switzerland
Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 325 Morrison Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Norwegian Institute of Bio-economy Research (NIBIO), Frederik, A.Dahls, vei 20, Ås N-1430, Norway
International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Via Ceglie 9, Valenzano 7001, Italy
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), P.O. Box, Amman 950764, Jordan
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Desertification Research Centre (NRD), University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39 07100, Italy
Department of Research and Development, Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI), Gunnarsholt, Hella 851, Iceland
Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Athens 15784, Greece
General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Ankara 6000, Turkey
Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Centre of Spatial Research and Organizations (CIEO), University of Algarve, Faro 8005-139, Portugal
Department of Forest Sciences, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), University of Helsinki, P.O.Box 27, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland
Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación—CIDE, CSIC, Carretera Moncada-Naquera Km 4.5, Moncada (Valencia) 46113, Spain
Research Unit Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology of Plants, Biocentre Klein Flottbek, University of Hamburg, Ohnhorststrasse 18, Hamburg D-22609, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Full-Text   |   PDF [493 KB, uploaded 20 February 2016]


Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i) multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii) elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance. View Full-Text
Keywords: drylands; restoration; rehabilitation; land management; participatory-approach; WOCAT drylands; restoration; rehabilitation; land management; participatory-approach; WOCAT
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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Marques, M.J.; Schwilch, G.; Lauterburg, N.; Crittenden, S.; Tesfai, M.; Stolte, J.; Zdruli, P.; Zucca, C.; Petursdottir, T.; Evelpidou, N.; Karkani, A.; AsliYilmazgil, Y.; Panagopoulos, T.; Yirdaw, E.; Kanninen, M.; Rubio, J.L.; Schmiedel, U.; Doko, A. Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review. Sustainability 2016, 8, 177.

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