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Land, Volume 8, Issue 11 (November 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Intensification of rainfed agriculture in the Ethiopian highlands has resulted in soil degradation [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Welfare Effect Evaluation of Land-Lost Farmers’ Households under Different Livelihood Asset Allocation
Land 2019, 8(11), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110176 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Based on research into the theory of household assets and the welfare of farmers, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-entropy weight method and cloud model were used to study the welfare level of land-lost farmers’ households under the different livelihood assets of Taohuayi Village, [...] Read more.
Based on research into the theory of household assets and the welfare of farmers, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-entropy weight method and cloud model were used to study the welfare level of land-lost farmers’ households under the different livelihood assets of Taohuayi Village, Taohuasan Village and Taohuawu Village in Taohua Town, Nanchang City. The results show that (1) The comprehensive welfare level of asset-deficient farmers’ households is between the “bad” and “medium” levels and is closer to the “bad” level. The comprehensive welfare level of asset-balanced farmers’ households is between “general” and “good” and is closer to the “good” level. (2) Judging from the various functional activity indicators that affect the welfare of the land-lost farmers, after the asset-deficient farmers’ households lose their land, the welfare level of the family’s financial situation, social security, living environment, mental status, development opportunities, and political participation are generally at low to medium-low levels, and only living conditions are at medium-to-high levels. (3) The welfare level of the living environment of the asset-balanced farmers’ households is at a moderately low level, and the welfare of the remaining functional activities is at a medium to a medium-high level. We then propose corresponding policy recommendations. After losing land, it is necessary to implement a differentiated circulation guarantee and support policies to achieve targeted compensation and support for the land-lost farmers’ households to improve the welfare level of land-lost farmers’ households under different living asset allocation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Transition from Housing Demolition to Conservation and Renovation in Shanghai: Challenges and Countermeasures
Land 2019, 8(11), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110175 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the past few decades, a considerable number of old houses have been demolished in China’s urban redevelopment projects, which led to the disappearance of some historic buildings and the relocation of the original residents. Recently, the strategy of housing demolition (HD) in [...] Read more.
In the past few decades, a considerable number of old houses have been demolished in China’s urban redevelopment projects, which led to the disappearance of some historic buildings and the relocation of the original residents. Recently, the strategy of housing demolition (HD) in Chinese cities has been replaced by housing conservation and renovation (HCR). However, the transition from HD to HCR is not carried out well. This study aims to explore the key challenges in HCR practice by using a mixed method. Based on the field investigations in pilot projects and semistructured interviews, current HCR practices in Shanghai are summarized, and the four key challenges are identified as: (1) funding shortages; (2) an underdeveloped regulatory environment; (3) a psychological gap between the government and residents; and (4) a lack of stakeholders’ involvement. Targeted measures are proposed to mitigate the challenges. The findings and suggestions here could provide valuable references for the government when making decisions on sustainable housing conservation and renovation, and may promote urban renewal practices in China and other developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transition of Collective Land in Modernistic Residential Settings in New Belgrade, Serbia
Land 2019, 8(11), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110174 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
Turbulent periods of transition from socialism to neoliberal capitalism, which have affected the relationships between holders of power and governing structures in Serbia, have left a lasting impact on the urban spaces of Belgrade’s cityscape. The typical assumption is that the transformation of [...] Read more.
Turbulent periods of transition from socialism to neoliberal capitalism, which have affected the relationships between holders of power and governing structures in Serbia, have left a lasting impact on the urban spaces of Belgrade’s cityscape. The typical assumption is that the transformation of the urban form in the post-socialist transition is induced by planning interventions which serve to legitimize these neoliberal aspirations. The methodological approach of this paper is broadly structured as a chronological case analysis at three levels: the identification of three basic periods of institutional change, historical analysis of the urban policies that permitted transformation of the subject area, and morphogenesis of the selected site alongside the Sava River in New Belgrade. Neoliberal aspirations are traced through the moments of destruction and moments of creation as locally specific manifestations of neoliberal mechanisms observable through the urban form. Comparison of all three levels of the study traces how planning and political decisions have affected strategic directions of development and, consequently, the dynamics and spatial logic of how new structures have invaded the street frontage. The paper demonstrates that planning interventions in the post-socialist transition period, guided by the neoliberal mechanisms, has had a profound impact on the super-block morphology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Law, Violence, and Property Expropriation in Syria: Impediments to Restitution and Return
Land 2019, 8(11), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110173 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
After eight years of civil war, parts of Syria are now free from conflict. In recognition of the return to peace, the government officially welcomes back all who fled the country to escape violence. Yet, a pattern of property expropriation supported by the [...] Read more.
After eight years of civil war, parts of Syria are now free from conflict. In recognition of the return to peace, the government officially welcomes back all who fled the country to escape violence. Yet, a pattern of property expropriation supported by the government during the war limits the ability of some to return and reclaim their homes and businesses. We argue here that intentional changes to law and policy regarding property rights during the war has led to asset losses for members of groups opposed to the government and created a barrier to property restitution and the return of these groups. We examine legal documents and secondary sources identifying government actions and their impact, noting the proliferation of laws that systematically erode the property rights of people who lack proximity, legal status, and regime allies. As the results of these laws manifest after the war, a disproportionate number of Syrians who opposed the government will find themselves without the houses, land, and property they held before the war began. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theories of Land Reform and Their Impact on Land Reform Success in Southern Africa
Land 2019, 8(11), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110172 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Our purpose is to present and test a typology of land reform theories as a means of understanding and interrogating the motives behind land reform and to better equip land administrators and policymakers to enact land reform programs that are appropriate for their [...] Read more.
Our purpose is to present and test a typology of land reform theories as a means of understanding and interrogating the motives behind land reform and to better equip land administrators and policymakers to enact land reform programs that are appropriate for their contexts. Here, land reform is understood to include the related concepts of land redistribution, land restitution, land tenure reform and land administration reform. The theory typology thus has application for land restitution programs specifically operating in the global South. The continuum of theories is derived from literature and tested through a multiple case study of land reform in Nigeria, Mozambique, and South Africa, drawing from a combination of primary and secondary data. The findings suggest an over-reliance on replacement theories in all three contexts, although the Mozambican experience draws on theories towards the middle of the continuum (the adaptation theories). This is recommended as the most viable approach for the context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban–Rural Construction Land Replacement for More Sustainable Land Use and Regional Development in China: Policies and Practices
Land 2019, 8(11), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110171 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the rapid development of urbanization and industrialization, land exploitation in China has caused a decrease of cultivated land, posing a threat to national food security. To achieve the goals of both economic development and cultivated land protection, China launched an urban–rural land [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of urbanization and industrialization, land exploitation in China has caused a decrease of cultivated land, posing a threat to national food security. To achieve the goals of both economic development and cultivated land protection, China launched an urban–rural land replacement measure supported by a new land use policy of “increasing vs. decreasing balance” of construction land between urban and rural areas in 2008. Setting China’s urban and rural land use policies in a historical context and urban–rural sustainable development, this paper discusses four practices in Jiangsu Province, Tianjin Municipality, Shandong Province, and Chongqing Municipality. These practices achieved success in impelling agricultural modernization development, improving rural infrastructure and living circumstances, releasing the potential of rural land resources, and increasing cultivated land and urban construction land in the past decade. However, in some practices, problems, and even some conflicts, exist in the protection of farmers’ rights and interests. These challenges are discussed in the context of implementation. In order to better implement urban–rural construction land replacement and achieve better results, the authors argue that farmers’ rights and interests must always be put first and their wishes should be respected more, a consolidated urban–rural land market and a better land market mechanism should be founded, the supply of public goods and services for villagers should be further improved, and supervision and evaluation mechanisms should be further strengthened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Land Use and Social Issues)
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Open AccessArticle
The Land Transfer from the State Treasury to Local Government Units as a Factor of Social Development of Rural Areas in Poland
Land 2019, 8(11), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110170 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Sustainable rural development (with the development of social functions) is currently one of the basic objectives of the rural areas policy in Poland. The main purpose of this article is to determine the level of social development of rural areas and to examine [...] Read more.
Sustainable rural development (with the development of social functions) is currently one of the basic objectives of the rural areas policy in Poland. The main purpose of this article is to determine the level of social development of rural areas and to examine whether the National Support Center for Agriculture (NSCA) activities (in the form of transferring land to communes for the implementation of social goals) have an impact on that development, and to what extent. In this article, an assessment of the social development level of rural areas using the Hellwig method was carried out. The research covered the years 2005 and 2018, on the districts of the Warmian-Masurian voivodship located in the northeastern part of Poland. The detailed analysis also covered the rural and rural-urban communes of Lidzbark, Kętrzyn, and Bartoszyce districts. The obtained results were compared with the area of land transferred by the NSCA Regional Office Olsztyn to local government units in 2004–2017, for the implementation of social goals. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used for a comparison. The results are presented in tabular form and visualized using GIS software in the form of carto-diagrams (diagram maps). Results show a positive influence of NSCA on social development of rural areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Potato Agrobiodiversity in the Highlands of Central Peru: A Case Study of Smallholder Management across Farming Landscapes
Land 2019, 8(11), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110169 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the high Andes, environmental and socio-economic drivers are transforming agriculture and presumably affecting the in situ conservation of potato (Solanum spp.). To monitor the use and conservation of intraspecific diversity, systematic and comparative studies across agricultural land-use systems are needed. We [...] Read more.
In the high Andes, environmental and socio-economic drivers are transforming agriculture and presumably affecting the in situ conservation of potato (Solanum spp.). To monitor the use and conservation of intraspecific diversity, systematic and comparative studies across agricultural land-use systems are needed. We investigated the spatial-temporal dynamics of potato in two landscapes of Peru’s central Andes: A highland plateau (Huancavelica) compared to an eastern slope (Pasco). We examined household-level areal allocations, altitudinal distribution, sectoral fallowing practices, and the conservation status for three main cultivar groups: (i) Bred varieties, (ii) floury landraces, and (iii) bitter landraces. Mixed methods were used to survey 323 households and the 1101 potato fields they managed in 2012–2013. We compared the contemporary altitudinal distribution of landraces with 1975–1985 altimeter data from the International Potato Center. Intensification is occurring in each landscape while maintaining high intraspecific diversity. Access to land and production for sale compared to consumption significantly affected smallholder management and differentiated landscapes. Most landraces were scarce across households: 45.4% in Huancavelica and 61.7% in Pasco. Potato cultivation has moved upward by an average of 306 m since 1975. Landrace diversity is versatile but unevenly distributed across landscapes. This requires adaptive ways to incentivize in situ conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Tenure Guidelines in Policy and Practice: Democratizing Land Control in Guatemala
Land 2019, 8(11), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110168 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper explores the challenges for democratizing land and natural resource control in Guatemala through use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (Tenure Guidelines). This international human rights instrument comes at a critical moment, [...] Read more.
This paper explores the challenges for democratizing land and natural resource control in Guatemala through use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (Tenure Guidelines). This international human rights instrument comes at a critical moment, in which the current global land rush has shaped contemporary agrarian transformation with serious implications for the right to food and control of natural resources. The Tenure Guidelines provide us with a unique opportunity to put land and natural resource tenure squarely under the prescriptions of international human rights law, rather than allowing tenure to be subsumed by a narrow understanding of property rights based on civil and merchant law. In Guatemala, we are witnessing a political opening, where the government has incorporated the language of the Tenure Guidelines into its regulatory framework unlike any other country in Latin America. At the same time, the world watches on while a slow-motion coup engulfs the Central American country, reflecting a global trend of gutting democracies and coopting the language and legislation meant to protect them. Thus, the implementation of the Tenure Guidelines is strongly contested by state and corporate actors seeking to use the instrument in order to gain political legitimacy for the expansion of agribusiness like oil palm and sugarcane, and other forms of extractive industry. This paper’s findings indicate that when applied together with a rights-based approach, the Tenure Guidelines are a powerful social and political tool. Such is especially true of the most marginalized populations who require protection and respect for their existing tenure rights, promotion of reforms for better access to and control over land and resources, and restoration of tenure rights resulting from displacement or dispossession. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tree Wind Breaks in Central Asia and Their Effects on Agricultural Water Consumption
Land 2019, 8(11), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110167 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Across Central Asia, agriculture largely depends on irrigation due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. Water is abstracted from rivers, which are largely fed by glacier melt. In the course of climate change, glaciers melt down so that a reduced glacier volume and [...] Read more.
Across Central Asia, agriculture largely depends on irrigation due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. Water is abstracted from rivers, which are largely fed by glacier melt. In the course of climate change, glaciers melt down so that a reduced glacier volume and reduced water runoffs are expected to be available for irrigation. Tree wind breaks are one option to reduce water consumption in irrigated agriculture and build resilience against climate change. This paper therefore assesses the water consumption of major crops in Kyrgyzstan and adjacent areas, i.e., cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in combination with tree wind breaks. Crop water consumption was assessed through the Penman Monteith approach. Tree wind break types investigated were single rows from poplars (Populus spec.) and multiple rows with understory vegetation by elm (Ulmus minor L.) and poplar, respectively. Tree water consumption was determined through sapflow measurements. The seasonal reference evapotranspiration (ETo) for field crops was 876–995 mm without wind breaks and dropped to less than half through multiple row wind breaks with understory vegetation (50 m spacing). Tree water consumption was 1125–1558 mm for poplar and 435 mm for elm. Among the wind break crop systems, elm wind breaks resulted in the highest reductions of water consumption, followed by single row poplars, at spacing of 50 and 100 m, respectively. However, elm grows much slower than poplar, so poplars might be more attractive for farmers. Furthermore, single row wind breaks might by much easier to be integrated into the agrarian landscape as they consume less space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought, Land Use and Soil)
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Open AccessArticle
How Much is Enough? Improving Participatory Mapping Using Area Rarefaction Curves
Land 2019, 8(11), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110166 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Participatory mapping is a valuable approach for documenting the influence of human activities on species, ecosystems, and ecosystem services, as well as the variability of human activities over space and time. This method is particularly valuable in data-poor systems; however, there has never [...] Read more.
Participatory mapping is a valuable approach for documenting the influence of human activities on species, ecosystems, and ecosystem services, as well as the variability of human activities over space and time. This method is particularly valuable in data-poor systems; however, there has never been a systematic approach for identifying the total number of respondents necessary to map the entire spatial extent of a particular human activity. Here, we develop a new technique for identifying sufficient respondent sample sizes for participatory mapping by adapting species rarefaction curves. With a case study from a heavily fished marine ecosystem in the central Philippines, we analyze participatory maps depicting locations of individuals’ fishing grounds across six decades. Within a specified area, we assessed how different sample sizes (i.e. small vs. large numbers of respondents) would influence the estimated extent of fishing for a specified area. The estimated extent of fishing demonstrated asymptotic behavior as after interviewing a sufficiently large number of individuals, additional respondents did not increase the estimated extent. We determined that 120 fishers were necessary to capture 90% of the maximum spatial extent of fishing within our study area from 1990 to 2010, equivalent to 1.1% of male fishers in the region. However, a higher number of elder fishers need to be interviewed to accurately map fishing extent in 1960 to 1980. Participatory maps can provide context for current ecosystem conditions and can support guidelines for management and conservation. Their utility is strengthened by better consideration of the impacts of respondent sample sizes and how this can vary over time for historical assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Differentiation of Long-Term Land Use Changes: A Case Study of Czechia
Land 2019, 8(11), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110165 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The major topic of this article is the evaluation of the regional differentiation of the long-term changes in land use in Czechia. This study searches the spatial and temporal differentiation of the changes and their driving forces since the 19th century. The comprehensive [...] Read more.
The major topic of this article is the evaluation of the regional differentiation of the long-term changes in land use in Czechia. This study searches the spatial and temporal differentiation of the changes and their driving forces since the 19th century. The comprehensive land use land cover change database (LUCC Czechia Database) which comprises cadastral data on the land use in the years 1845, 1896, 1948, 1990, 2000, and 2010 for more than 8000 units, was the main data source. The chief benefit of this article can be seen in the methodical procedures of the application of the “Rate of heterogeneity” (H) derived from the Gini coefficient in the research of the differentiation/inequality of the long-term land use change. GIS modeling tools were used to calculate the selected geographical characteristics (altitude and slope) of the examined units for the purpose of searching the factors of the land use changes. The results show a strong trend in the differentiation of the long-term land use changes. Two main antagonistic processes took place in the land use structure during the observed period of 1845–2010. The fertile regions experienced agricultural intensification with the concentration of the arable land in these regions. On the other hand, the infertile regions experienced extensification, accompanied by afforestation and grass planting during the last decades. The influence of natural conditions (altitude and slope) on the distribution of the land use has been growing—the arable land has been concentrated into the lower altitudes and, more significantly, into less steep areas. Grasslands and forests predominantly occupy the less favored areas with higher altitudes and steeper slopes. The built-up areas have been strongly concentrated and regionally polarized. In 1845, half of the Czech built-up areas were concentrated in 31% of the total country area, whereas in 2010, it was in 21%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
REDD+ Implementation in Community-Based Muyong Forest Management in Ifugao, Philippines
Land 2019, 8(11), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110164 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Ifugao province of the Philippines has a traditional muyong forest system that supplies water and prevents soil erosion of the world-famous Ifugao rice terraces. The socio-political structure of Ifugao has been the key to the maintenance and communal use of land, as well [...] Read more.
Ifugao province of the Philippines has a traditional muyong forest system that supplies water and prevents soil erosion of the world-famous Ifugao rice terraces. The socio-political structure of Ifugao has been the key to the maintenance and communal use of land, as well as the muyong forest, without causing excessive damage to the land. Recently, the Ifugao is facing various challenges viz. deforestation, slash-and-burn, introduction of commercial rice, and climate change. The aim of the study is to qualitatively assess the forest management practices in the muyong forest and the way forward to implement the United Nations—Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. Community forestry can be an interesting option to reduce CO2 emissions from deforestation in Ifugao. This study qualitatively explores the societal problems in the area using focus group discussion (FGD) and key informant interviews (KII). The results show that the terracing lifestyle is at risk, due to mounting economic pressures from the domestic economy. Societal changes are altering the perceptions of the youth in terms of muyong sustainable management. They are threatening the sustainability of the terraces in the long-term because of outward migration and less value given to traditional practices. Furthermore, integration of commercial rice is changing the traditional agricultural system and placing less focus on forest maintenance. This study also discusses potential challenges and opportunities of REDD+ intervention and the role of REDD+ to foster sustainable muyong forest management as well as to find new innovative ways to maintain the Ifugao traditional system while coping with the modernization of the Ifugao economy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Capitalising on the European Research Outcome for Improved Spatial Planning Practices and Territorial Governance
Land 2019, 8(11), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110163 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
If distinguishing between spatial planning systems and practices, the latter reflect on the continuity and perspective of planning cultures and are concerned with the values, attitudes, mindsets and routines shared by those taking part in concrete planning processes. Some recent studies demonstrated comparative [...] Read more.
If distinguishing between spatial planning systems and practices, the latter reflect on the continuity and perspective of planning cultures and are concerned with the values, attitudes, mindsets and routines shared by those taking part in concrete planning processes. Some recent studies demonstrated comparative assessment of European spatial planning. Thus, the coexistence of continuity and change, as well as convergence and divergence concerning planning practices, was delineated. Moreover, the trends and directions in the evolution of spatial planning and territorial governance were explored when focusing on linkages between diverse national planning perspectives and EU policies. The relevant outcome of European projects met their visionary statements in general and are towards the inspiration of policymaking by territorial evidence. However, it showed a highly differential landscape for territorial governance and spatial planning across Europe in terms of terminology, concepts, tools and practices. Therefore, the paper focuses on how the most relevant outcome of European research may initiate a reasonable in-depth study of concrete planning practices and substantiate an effective planning approach. Mainly based on critical literature review and comparative analysis and synthesis techniques, the overviewed key research results led (1) to agenda-setting for comprehensive evidence gathering (CEG) if exploring spatial planning practices and territorial governance in selected European countries, and (2) to a set of objectives for a values-led planning (VLP) approach to be introduced for improvement of land use management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation, and Social Good)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
‘Not One More Bloody Acre’: Land Restitution and the Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Process in Aotearoa New Zealand
Land 2019, 8(11), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110162 - 31 Oct 2019
Abstract
Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed between Māori rangatira (chiefs) and the British Crown in 1840 guaranteed to Māori the ‘full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands’. In the decades that followed, Māori were systematically dispossessed of all but a fraction of their [...] Read more.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed between Māori rangatira (chiefs) and the British Crown in 1840 guaranteed to Māori the ‘full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands’. In the decades that followed, Māori were systematically dispossessed of all but a fraction of their land through a variety of mechanisms, including raupatu (confiscation), the individualisation of title, excessive Crown purchasing and the compulsory acquisition of land for public works. Māori, who have deep cultural and whakapapa (genealogical) connections to the land, were left culturally, materially and spiritually impoverished. Land loss has long been a central grievance for many Māori and the return of land has been a guiding motivation for whānau (extended family), hapū (sub-tribe) and iwi (tribe) seeking redress from the Crown. Since the 1990s, many groups have entered into negotiations to settle their historical grievances with the Crown and while land loss and the deep yearning for its return are central to many Māori claims, precious little land is typically returned to Māori through the settlement process. This paper seeks to critically examine the Treaty settlement process in light of land restitution policies enacted elsewhere and argues that one of the many flaws in the process is the paucity of land returned to Māori. Full article
Open AccessReview
Towards Responsible Consolidation of Customary Lands: A Research Synthesis
Land 2019, 8(11), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110161 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
The use of land consolidation on customary lands has been limited, though land fragmentation persists. Land fragmentation on customary lands has two main causes—the nature of the customary land tenure system, and the somewhat linked agricultural system. Since attempts to increase food productivity [...] Read more.
The use of land consolidation on customary lands has been limited, though land fragmentation persists. Land fragmentation on customary lands has two main causes—the nature of the customary land tenure system, and the somewhat linked agricultural system. Since attempts to increase food productivity on customary lands have involved fertilisation and mechanisation on the small and scattered farmlands, these approaches have fallen short of increasing food productivity. A study to develop a responsible approach to land consolidation on customary lands using a design research approach is undertaken and reported here. Based on a comparative study, it is found that three factors inhibit the development of a responsible land consolidation approach on customary lands—the coverage of a land administration system, a land valuation approach, and a land reallocation approach the fits the customary land tenure system. To fill these gaps, firstly, this study developed the participatory land administration that brought together traditional land administration approaches with emerging bottom-up approaches, as well as technological advances that drive these approaches together with the growing societal needs. Secondly, a valuation approach was developed to enable the comparison of the farmlands in rural areas that are without land markets. Finally, a land reallocation approach was developed based on the political, economic and social, as well as technical and legal characteristics of rural customary farmlands. This study concludes that though the land consolidation strategy developed is significantly able to reduce land fragmentation, both physical and land tenure, the local customs are an obstruction to the technical processes to achieve the best form of farmland structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation, and Social Good)
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Open AccessArticle
Historical Trajectory in Vegetation Cover in Northeastern Namibia Based on AVHRR Satellite Imagery (1982–2015)
Land 2019, 8(11), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110160 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
The negative impact of the reduction of vegetation cover is already being felt in the Zambezi Region in northeastern Namibia. The region has been undergoing various land cover changes in the past decades. To understand the historical trend of vegetation cover (increase or [...] Read more.
The negative impact of the reduction of vegetation cover is already being felt in the Zambezi Region in northeastern Namibia. The region has been undergoing various land cover changes in the past decades. To understand the historical trend of vegetation cover (increase or decrease), we analyzed 8-km resolution Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling Studies (GIMMS) from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and 0.25° × 0.25° (resampled to 8 km) resolution Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC). We used the Time Series Segmented Residual Trends (TSS-RESTREND) method. We found that the general trajectory of vegetation cover was negative. Pixel-wise analysis and visual interpretation of historical images both revealed clear signs of vegetation cover change. We observed a single breakpoint in the vegetation trajectory which correlated to the 1991–1992 drought in southern Central Africa. Potential drivers of land cover change are the (il)legal expansion of subsistence farming, population growth, and wood extraction. These findings will serve as a reference for decision makers and policymakers. To better understand the human-induced land cover change at the micro scale and sub-regional level, we recommend using higher resolution remote sensing datasets and historical documents to assess the effect of demographic change, disease, civil unrest, and war. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deep Tillage Improves Degraded Soils in the (Sub) Humid Ethiopian Highlands
Land 2019, 8(11), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110159 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
Intensification of rainfed agriculture in the Ethiopian highlands has resulted in soil degradation and hardpan formation, which has reduced rooting depth, decreased deep percolation, and increased direct runoff and sediment transport. The main objective of this study was to assess the potential impact [...] Read more.
Intensification of rainfed agriculture in the Ethiopian highlands has resulted in soil degradation and hardpan formation, which has reduced rooting depth, decreased deep percolation, and increased direct runoff and sediment transport. The main objective of this study was to assess the potential impact of subsoiling on surface runoff, sediment loss, soil water content, infiltration rate, and maize yield. Three tillage treatments were replicated at five locations: (i) no tillage (zero tillage), (ii) conventional tillage (ox-driven Maresha plow, up to a depth of 15 cm), and (iii) manual deep ripping of the soil’s restrictive layers down to a depth of 60 cm (deep till). Results show that the posttreatment bulk density and penetration resistance of deep tillage was significantly less than in the traditional tillage and zero-tillage systems. In addition, the posttreatment infiltration rate for deep tillage was significantly greater, which resulted in significantly smaller runoff and sedimentation rates compared to conventional tillage and zero tillage. Maize yields were improved by 6% under deep tillage compared to conventional tillage and by 29% compared to no tillage. Overall, our findings show that deep tillage can be effective in overcoming some of the detrimental effects of hardpans in degraded soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN))
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal-Spatial Differentiation and Optimization Analysis of Cultivated Land Green Utilization Efficiency in China
Land 2019, 8(11), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110158 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
Cultivated land is closely related to national food security, rural economic development and social stability. The cultivated land pollution and carbon emissions caused by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, film residues, etc., in the process of cultivated land utilization pose a serious threat to the [...] Read more.
Cultivated land is closely related to national food security, rural economic development and social stability. The cultivated land pollution and carbon emissions caused by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, film residues, etc., in the process of cultivated land utilization pose a serious threat to the cultivated land ecosystem in China. The comprehensive analysis on the cultivated land green utilization efficiency (GUECL), its influencing factors, and optimization direction provides a valuable basis for the green utilization of cultivated land. Based on a panel data of 30 provinces (cities or districts) in China from 2001 to 2016, the GUECL in China under the constraints of pollution and carbon emissions was measured by using a super-efficient SBM-VRS (slack based model-variable return to scale) model. The influencing factors and optimization directions of the GUECL were analyzed through the Tobit model and slack values, respectively. The results show that the GUECL in China rose with fluctuations from 2001 to 2016. Since 2014, the eastern region has surpassed the western region and has become the region with the highest mean GUECL value. The room for resource conservation and pollution reduction varies in different regions of China. Farmers’ dependence on cultivated land and agricultural added value are positively related to the GUECL in China. Farmers’ occupational differentiation, agricultural machinery density, and agricultural disaster rate have had negative effects on the GUECL in China. The loss of the GUECL in China is mainly due to the redundancies of land input, pollution emission, and mechanical input. By analyzing these influencing factors and optimization directions, it is concluded that improving rural land transfer market and agricultural infrastructure construction, establishing a new agricultural technology extension system, and vigorously cultivating new professional farmers are the targeted measures to improve the GUECL. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Prospects for Agricultural Sustainable Intensification: A Review of Research
Land 2019, 8(11), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110157 - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
In recent years, as a way to achieve higher agricultural output while reducing the negative impact of agricultural production on the environment, agricultural sustainable intensification has attracted worldwide attention. Under the framework of "connotation definition-measuring method-influencing factor-implementation path", this paper systematically sorts out [...] Read more.
In recent years, as a way to achieve higher agricultural output while reducing the negative impact of agricultural production on the environment, agricultural sustainable intensification has attracted worldwide attention. Under the framework of "connotation definition-measuring method-influencing factor-implementation path", this paper systematically sorts out the main research results in the field of agricultural sustainable intensification. The results show that: (1) The connotation of agricultural sustainable intensification has not been clearly defined. It is widely believed that sustainable intensification has the characteristics of increasing production and reducing environmental damage, and is widely used in agricultural, biological and environmental sciences; (2) The measurement methods and indicators of agricultural sustainable intensification are diverse, and the measurement cases are mainly distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa and America; (3) The influencing factors of agricultural sustainable intensification can be roughly divided into four aspects: socio-economic factors, farmers’ own characteristics and natural factors, among which population pressure is the potential driving force for agricultural sustainable intensification; (4) The most obvious feature of agricultural sustainable intensification is the reduction of the yield gap. The strategy of implementing agricultural sustainable intensification can be attributed to the effective use of inputs and the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies. Therefore, the implementation path can be summarized as enhancing the effectiveness of external inputs to the agricultural system and optimizing the practice and technology mix within the crop production system. Finally, this paper concludes that research on connotation definition, influencing mechanism, different regional models, incentive mechanism for farmers, impact evaluation and system design of agricultural sustainable intensification should be strengthened in future. Full article
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