Special Issue "Ecosystem Services Provisioning from Land"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 3414

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Victor Squires
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Guest Professor, Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2. Formerly University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
3. College of Grassland Science, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Interests: coupled human–environment systems (chans); biodiversity conservation; dryland ecology; rangeland/livestock interactions; halophytes
Prof. Dr. John Leake
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Global Food and Resources, Faculty of the Professions North Terrace Adelaide, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Interests: complex systems; natural resources management; experiential learning; impact assessment and halophytes
Prof. Dr. Haiying Feng
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Qinzhou Development Research Institute, College of Economics & Management, Bei Bu Gulf University, Qinzhou 535011, China
Interests: development studies; sustainable development strategies; poverty analysis; impact assessment; social studies; community development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecosystem services are much studied and there is growing interest in the future global trends in population pressure, demographics (like mass migration and aging), climate change, economics, geopolitics, the UN SDGs. We are interested in projecting current trajectories into the future past 2030 past 2050. We see that continued provisioning of ecosystems goods and services will become an enormous challenge. We invite people with views and ideas about these matters to join us and contribute to the Special Issue of Land.

Soils have been the basis of our food supply since the dawn of agriculture; they also provide other “free” ecosystem services such as regulating water and nutrient availability, and are the largest single store of terrestrial carbon, regulating the climate. In the past, as soils came under pressure from nutrient depletion, erosion, and/or salinity accumulation, farmers moved on or invested effort to restore productivity to the extent that income from this could profitably cover the cost of the desired food and fiber etc., but not the other “free” ecosystems services. It is now widely recognized that this practice of “moving on” is no longer realistically possible, and that additional investment is required to reverse the decline and other unfunded ecosystem services, collectively referred to as ecosystem goods and services (EG&S).

There are a number of market failures here that are addressed in this Special Issue of Land:

  • A poor capacity to connect markets for these other services (buyers of carbon and bio-diversity credits, etc.) to the land users who can produce them, and to monitor and account for the transactions to buyers to mediate supply.
  • The slow dissemination of knowledge of how these ecosystems services are monetized is also relevant to the production of ecosystem goods, food, and fiber, etc., and case studies of successful applications of relevant technology to many land users who might take them up.
  • A poor capacity to develop and successfully communicate policy incentives and market systems relevant to the socio-cultural and institutional circumstance of many areas where these might be produced, or their production increased.

Some discussion points that might generate a paper!

  • Describing the connections between marketable ecosystem goods; food and fiber etc. and the other “free” ecosystem services available in different land systems; arable dry and irrigated lands, dry pastures, grasslands, and arid lands mediated by livestock and other income sources, and conceptual ways to value these EG&S.
  • Describing successful case studies of activities to rehabilitate land for EG&S in different land systems.
  • Developing or reporting on institutional processes and incentives to plan, mobilize, and effectively monitor rehabilitation plans and resources from international to regional and local levels where action is to take place, in different socio-cultural and institutional circumstances. These could serve as a series of primers for interested international financial institutions, the private sector, and specialized ecosystem merchants.
  • Identifying and discussing key driving forces, trade-offs, and synergies of ecosystem services.
  • Discussing the vulnerability of ecosystem services provisioning to the spread of urbanization.

Dr. Victor Squires
Prof. Dr. John Leake
Prof. Dr. Haiying Feng
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ecosystem goods and services (EG&S)
  • soil
  • agriculture
  • carbon
  • bio-diversity
  • ecosystem goods
  • ecosystem food
  • fiber
  • policy incentives
  • socio-cultural
  • institutional circumstance
  • stakeholders
  • monetization
  • livelihoods

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Perspective
Ecosystem Services Provisioning, Urban Growth and the Rural–Urban Interface: A Case Study from China
Land 2021, 10(4), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040337 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
The rural-urban (peri-urban) interface zones are important places that generate demands for ecosystem goods and services (EG & S). Urban regions face transitions in land use that affect ecosystem services (EG & S) and thus human wellbeing. Especially in urban areas with high [...] Read more.
The rural-urban (peri-urban) interface zones are important places that generate demands for ecosystem goods and services (EG & S). Urban regions face transitions in land use that affect ecosystem services (EG & S) and thus human wellbeing. Especially in urban areas with high population densities (as in most of China) and high demand for EG & S, the future availability of such services must be considered in order to promote effective and sustainable decision making and prevent further ecosystem degradation. The challenge for local government planners and land managers is to find tools that allow relevant data to be collected and analyzed. Ideally, such tools should be able to give a rapid assessment, and not involve large teams of highly trained personnel or incur high costs. The paper reports on the development and trial of such a tool. The paper has three main parts. First, we present a brief overview of the current and developing situation in China, in relation to urbanization, population shifts and the creation of peri-urban areas (PUAs). Next, we build on insights from the literature and from discussions with village heads and county- and prefecture-level officials to develop an understanding of their needs for tools to help planning and land management within the constraints of the national policy. Lastly, a “template” was derived from our multi-method approach that provided a new technical tool for the rapid assessment of the value of EG & S in each of five land use categories. The tool embodies a way to address trade-offs between environmental, social and economic values in the transition zone between rural and urban areas. The tool was trialed in QinBei District in Guangxi Autonomous Region in south China and judged to be useful and adaptable to other rural–urban regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services Provisioning from Land)
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Commentary
Investment in Land Restoration: New Perspectives with Special Reference to Australia
Land 2021, 10(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020156 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Environmental services of biodiversity, clean water, etc., have been considered byproducts of farming and grazing, but population pressures and a move from rural to peri-urban areas are changing land use practices, reducing these services and increasing land degradation. A range of ecosystem markets [...] Read more.
Environmental services of biodiversity, clean water, etc., have been considered byproducts of farming and grazing, but population pressures and a move from rural to peri-urban areas are changing land use practices, reducing these services and increasing land degradation. A range of ecosystem markets have been reversing this damage, but these are not widely institutionalized, so land managers do not see them as “real” in the way they do for traditional food and fiber products. There are difficulties defining and monitoring non-food/fiber ecosystem services so they can be reliably marketed, and those markets that do operate usually do so in a piecemeal single product way in the interest of simplicity for the buyer, and seldom adequately regulate or compensate land managers for non-market benefits. New profitable uses of degraded water and regenerating land are emerging, but they require technology transfer or supply chain development to facilitate adoption. There is a need for a transformational change in the way land and water are used to promote a broader approach, so environmental services become a mainstream activity for land managers. A far-sighted Philanthropist is required to support an International institution to take up the challenge of institutionalizing such a ‘brokerage’ system to operate globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services Provisioning from Land)
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