Special Issue "Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hossein Azadi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Interests: land and food policies; land governance; food security; agrarian change; resilient agriculture; sustainable livelihood; vulnerability
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Sklenička Petr
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Praha–Suchdol, 165 00, Czech Republic
Interests: landscape planning; landscape ecology; land management; forest management; environmental science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Security of land tenure can be described as the entire set of uses and transfer rights of the land, which could be allocated to individuals, households, groups, and communities. Land tenure insecurity can put sustainability at great risk. An insecure land tenure system and non-accessible formal land use rights documentation can lead to poverty creation by lowering agricultural productivity, low security in investing in land, and poor land use management. The current land tenure system remains a big challenge in many developing countries due to poor land governance, lack of attention to food security, and improving agricultural productivity. Accordingly, having a secure land tenure system is crucial for sustainable land use management. National land development and economic growth policies in many developing countries are not in line with agricultural activities, particularly in rural areas. It is therefore important to examine multidimensional impacts of land tenure systems on sustainable land use. This Special Issue aims to create a multidisciplinary forum addressing the effects of secure and insecure land tenure systems on land use change and management that can either end in land use development (sustainability) or land use degradation (unsustainability). The Special Issue will, therefore, try to explore the main sustainability impacts (i.e., social, economic, and environmental aspects) of different land tenure systems.

This Special Issue of Sustainability is seeking papers that can demonstrate the sustainability effects of in/secure land tenure systems. All types of scientific contributions including qualitative, quantitative studies, analyses of current regulations, critical reviews, or case studies will be welcome in this Special Issue.

Dr. Hossein Azadi
Dr. Sklenička Petr
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • Land tenure system Secure land tenure
  • Land title
  • Land administration
  • Land reform
  • Land use policy
  • Land use development
  • Land use change
  • Sustainable land use
  • Land use degradation
  • Land use fragmentation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Spatial Structure Characteristics of Slope Farmland Quality in Plateau Mountain Area: A Case Study of Yunnan Province, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177230 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
As an important part of farmland, the slope farmland is widely distributed in the central and western plateau mountain region in China. It is necessary to scientifically evaluate the slope farmland quality (SFQ) and analyze the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ to ensure [...] Read more.
As an important part of farmland, the slope farmland is widely distributed in the central and western plateau mountain region in China. It is necessary to scientifically evaluate the slope farmland quality (SFQ) and analyze the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ to ensure reasonable utilization and partition protection of slope farmland resources. This paper takes the typical plateau mountain region—Yunnan Province in China—as an example and systematically identifies the leading factors of SFQ. The sloping integrated fertility index (SIFI) is adopted to reflect the SFQ. The evaluation system is built to quantitatively evaluate the SFQ and the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ were analyzed by a geostatistical model, autocorrelation analysis and spatial cold–hot spot analysis. The results show that the SFQ indexes in Yunnan Province are between 0.36 and 0.81, with a mean of 0.59. The SFQ grade is based on sixth-class, fifth-class, seventh-class and fourth-class land. The SFQ indexes present a normal spatial distribution, and the Gaussian model fits well with the semi-variance function of the spatial distribution of SFQ indexes. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of SFQ indexes is moderately autocorrelated. The structural factors play a major role in the spatial heterogeneity of SFQ indexes, but the influence of random factors should not be ignored. The spatial distribution of SFQ grades has a significant spatial aggregation characteristic, and the types of local indicators of spatial association (LISA) are based on high–high (HH) aggregation and low–low (LL) aggregation. The cold spot and hot spot distributions of SFQ grades display the significant spatial difference. The hot spot area is mainly distributed in Central Yunnan and the Southern Fringe, while the cold spot area mainly distributes in the Northeastern Yunnan, Northwestern Yunnan and Southwestern Yunnan. This study could provide a scientific basis for SFQ management and ecological environment protection in the plateau mountain region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Tenure Insecurity Constrains Cropping System Investment in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6557; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166557 - 13 Aug 2020
Abstract
The annual income of small-scale farmers in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, Palestine remains persistently low compared to other sectors. The objective of this study was therefore to explore some of the main barriers to reducing poverty and increasing farm income in the [...] Read more.
The annual income of small-scale farmers in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, Palestine remains persistently low compared to other sectors. The objective of this study was therefore to explore some of the main barriers to reducing poverty and increasing farm income in the region. A “Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey” (RHoMIS) was conducted with 248 farmers in the three governorates of the Jordan Valley. The results of the survey were verified in a series of stakeholder interviews and participatory workshops where farmers and stakeholders provided detailed insight with regard to the relationships between land tenure status, farm management, and poverty. The analyses of the data revealed that differences in cropping system were significantly associated with land tenure status, such that rented land displayed a greater proportion of open field cropping, while owned land and sharecropping tenure status displayed greater proportions of production systems that require greater initial investment (i.e., perennial and greenhouse). Moreover, as confirmed by a structural equation model and the interviews and workshops these associations led to significant differences in farm income and progress out of poverty index scores. However, while sharecropping farms enjoyed the benefits of being able to invest in longer-term, more profitable farming strategies, questions were raised regarding the sustainability of these farms as well as the vulnerability of the farming households that manage the land. We concluded that small-scale agricultural development in the Jordan Valley relies on farming households achieving more secure land tenure and that rural development agencies should prioritise farming households that rent land and practice open field cropping systems within their projects and programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Explaining Peasants’ Intention and Behavior of Farmland Trusteeship in China: Implications for Sustainable Agricultural Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145748 - 17 Jul 2020
Abstract
Developing countries generally face the problem of sustainable agricultural production during the process of agricultural modernization. Farmland trusteeship is an emerging mode of sustainable agricultural production and has played an important role in China. At present, the Chinese government has taken it as [...] Read more.
Developing countries generally face the problem of sustainable agricultural production during the process of agricultural modernization. Farmland trusteeship is an emerging mode of sustainable agricultural production and has played an important role in China. At present, the Chinese government has taken it as a pilot mode, but its effect also depends on the extensive participation of peasants. Based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and structural equation model (SEM) method, the paper analyzed peasants’ participation intention, behavior, drivers, and the influence of policy support on peasants’ participation behavior, using survey data of Jiangsu province and peasants’ participation variables. The results suggest that: (1) The behavioral attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control variables of peasants’ participation in farmland trusteeship have a significant direct impact on peasants’ willingness to participate, and these three factors indirectly influence peasants’ participation behavior by influencing peasants’ intention; (2) perceptual behavioral control variables such as the size of farmland trusteeship organization had no significant influence on peasants’ participation behaviors; (3) government policy support has a direct and significant impact on peasants’ participation behaviors. These findings not only generate broad direct implications for Chinese policymakers to improve peasants’ participation for sustainable agricultural production, but also provide lessons for other developing countries for agricultural modernization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Detecting and Analyzing Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Region of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, Libya Using Time-Series Landsat Data from 1985 to 2017
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114490 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
The region of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar in northeastern Libya has undergone rapid, wide-ranging changes in the land use and land cover (LULC) intensified by the conversion of natural resources for food purpose, urbanization, and other socioeconomic benefits. This study examined the use of geographic [...] Read more.
The region of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar in northeastern Libya has undergone rapid, wide-ranging changes in the land use and land cover (LULC) intensified by the conversion of natural resources for food purpose, urbanization, and other socioeconomic benefits. This study examined the use of geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to gain a quantitative understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of LULC. In addition, the major factors behind LULC changes and decline of natural vegetation in the region were analyzed. A post-classification comparison approach was used to detect LULC changes in the study area between 1985 and 2017 using four Landsat images from 1985, 2000, 2010, and 2017. The observed changes were indicative of a decrease in the expanse of the natural Mediterranean forest which lost 9018 ha over 32 years, 39% of its total area, with the highest deforestation rate registered between 2010 and 2017 estimated at 513 ha. year−1. Orchards and rain-fed agriculture lands gained 4095 ha, which matches 55% of initial area, whereas the land under irrigated crops increased by 2266 ha, about 85% of the original area. The area of urban and built-up land in 2017 was more than double in 1985 and achieved the highest urbanization rate between 2010 and 2017 at 203 ha.year−1. Results indicate an unstable trend of bare and low vegetation lands which generally increased by about 50%. From the outcomes of this research, it is strongly recommended that urgent measures be taken to conserve the natural forest and to achieve a rational use of agricultural land in the region of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Effects of Fertilizers with Regional Climate Variability on Yield Trends of Sweet Corn
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3528; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093528 - 26 Apr 2020
Abstract
Climate change affects global crop production year after year. Exploring the impact of different fertilization methods on crop yield stability has become an extremely important topic in sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study is to explore the effects of various fertilization regimes [...] Read more.
Climate change affects global crop production year after year. Exploring the impact of different fertilization methods on crop yield stability has become an extremely important topic in sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study is to explore the effects of various fertilization regimes with climate variability on yield stability for sweet corn production in southern Taiwan. Three fertilization treatments composed of chemical fertilizer only (CF), integrated fertilizer (half organic/half chemical fertilizer) (IF), and organic fertilizer only (OF) were implemented from 2009 to 2018 based on the well-maintained soils since 1988. While the same amounts of these fertilizers were applied during the period, we found that different fertilization changed the marketable yields of fresh fruit (ear), which slightly increased for organic fertilizer, but substantially decreased for both chemical (p = 0.0001) and integrated (p = 0.0061) fertilizer. Thus, based on these 10 years of observation, yields among fertilization treatments were analyzed with weather and soil parameters to determine the possible factors involved. Both multiple linear regression equation (p < 0.0001, adj. R2 > 0.57) and regression tree analysis illustrated significantly negative correlations between average ear weight and relative humidity under the chemical fertilizer treatment. In this study, we show for the first time that chemical fertilizer had the lowest yield resilience in response to regional relative humidity change compared to organic and integrated fertilizers. Our results also indicate that specific soil microbes have the potential to help sweet corn face environmental vulnerability in subtropical regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Access in the Development of Horticultural Crops in East Africa. A Case Study of Passion Fruit in Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073041 - 10 Apr 2020
Abstract
Rapid population growth in fertile agricultural lands of East Africa creates land scarcity, which has become a major hindrance to land access for the introduction of new horticultural crops. But their introduction in these areas is increasing, because of their high market price, [...] Read more.
Rapid population growth in fertile agricultural lands of East Africa creates land scarcity, which has become a major hindrance to land access for the introduction of new horticultural crops. But their introduction in these areas is increasing, because of their high market price, which improves farmers’ income. As such, this research evaluated land access dynamics (availability, acquisition, and use changes) on the introduction of passion fruits in East Africa. The study used purposeful sampling to collect information from 171 passion fruit farmers from Burundi (60), Kenya (51), and Rwanda (60) through interviews during field surveys. Among the respondents from all three countries, inheritance and land purchase were the predominant modes of land access (>50% and >21%, respectively). Furthermore, the substitution of other crops by passion fruits was high (>60%) among Kenyan and Rwandan farmers, but low (18%) among Burundian farmers. Our findings indicate that land access influences the patterns of adoption of new crops, since, when limited in supply, it may require the acquisition of new land space, abandonment of other crops, or opting for mixed farming. As such, land access should be a consideration in the promotion of new crops for sustainable agricultural ventures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Labor Migration on Farmers’ Cultivated Land Quality Protection
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072953 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Since the reform and opening up, a large proportion of the Chinese rural labor force has transferred to urban and non-agricultural industries. Rural labor transfer not only changes the allocation of household labor in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors but also affects the utilization [...] Read more.
Since the reform and opening up, a large proportion of the Chinese rural labor force has transferred to urban and non-agricultural industries. Rural labor transfer not only changes the allocation of household labor in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors but also affects the utilization of other agricultural production factors. Based on data from 818 households in three counties in northern Jiangsu province, this paper analyzed the impact of labor migration on farmers’ adoption of cultivated land quality protection (CLQP) behaviors. The survey results showed that farmers’ awareness of CLQP was still very weak, and the proportion of farmers adopting measures such as subsoiling, straw application, cover crops and green manures and the complementary use of organic fertilizers was still relatively low. The empirical results showed that perennial out-migration for work can constrain households’ protective inputs into soil conservation, but part-time farming locally can promote households’ inputs. The results also showed that farmer characteristics, farming conditions and external environment also significantly affected the farmers’ adoption of soil conservation practices. According to these conclusions, this paper puts forward the corresponding policy implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Impact of Land Use Rights on the Investment and Efficiency of Organic Farming
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247148 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of three land tenure arrangements on organic farming (OF) in terms of increment of efficiency, yield, and investment in soil-improving activities by using farm-level data gathered from three districts located at Punjab, Pakistan. A multivariate tobit model that [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of three land tenure arrangements on organic farming (OF) in terms of increment of efficiency, yield, and investment in soil-improving activities by using farm-level data gathered from three districts located at Punjab, Pakistan. A multivariate tobit model that captured the probable substitute and investment choices, as well as the endogenous nature of land tenure arrangements, has been employed in this analysis. The empirical outcomes displayed that rights of land use affected the decisions made by farmers to invest in land and to improve efficiency. In detail, owner-farmers with secure rental arrangements invested more in improving their land and productivity compared to those with unsecured lease agreements. The yield per hectare was the highest for owner cultivation farm, while sharecropper output seemed the lowest, which are in agreement with the hypothesis of Marshallian inefficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Landscape Patterns of the Giant Panda Protection Area in Sichuan Province and Their Impact on Giant Pandas
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215993 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
As the flagship species of biodiversity conservation in China, the giant panda has significant ecological protection value and plays an important demonstrative role for conservation. Sichuan Province has the largest area of giant panda habitat, making its protected areas the most important for [...] Read more.
As the flagship species of biodiversity conservation in China, the giant panda has significant ecological protection value and plays an important demonstrative role for conservation. Sichuan Province has the largest area of giant panda habitat, making its protected areas the most important for the conservation of this species. However, the habitats of the giant panda are shrinking due to human disturbance through land encroachment for agriculture and other forms of resource exploitation. Reducing these pressures requires assessing current land use and the causes of fragmenting giant panda habitats. This paper reports on changes in land-use patterns and socio-economic development in typical counties with giant panda habitats in Sichuan in 2003 and 2015, with a focus on giant panda protection areas and human pressures in the surrounding lands. We found that road construction, industrial infrastructure, and other forms of economic development have led to increases in human populations and fragmentation of the giant panda habitats, such that that the population of this species has been significantly reduced in some counties. Improving the protection of giant panda requires designing regional economic development activities based on scientific principles to provide benefits to both the local people and the giant pandas. For example, when making land use plans, the local government should consider the impact of the development of the communities surrounding the giant panda areas on the giant pandas’ habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Land Certification on Sustainable Land Use Practices: Case of Gozamin District, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5551; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205551 - 09 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Agroforestry is attracting considerable attention in Ethiopia because of its potential for sustainable land use practices. As land tenure insecurity is a major limiting factor for sustainable land use practices in Ethiopia and developing countries in general, the Ethiopian government launched a rural [...] Read more.
Agroforestry is attracting considerable attention in Ethiopia because of its potential for sustainable land use practices. As land tenure insecurity is a major limiting factor for sustainable land use practices in Ethiopia and developing countries in general, the Ethiopian government launched a rural land certification program to secure land tenure. There are limited empirical studies about the impacts of land certification on sustainable land use practices. To fill this knowledge gap, this study was outlined for an area in the Ethiopian Gozamen district. It investigates the impact of land certification on sustainable land use practices and is focused on factors affecting tree plantation based on a household survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations. The results of the study showed that the majority of the respondents practiced sustainable land use practices after their land was certified. Therefore, land certification has a great contribution on sustainable land use practices. In addition, age, consultancy, land size, education, and nurseries proved as significant factors for tree plantation. As access to land is a basic socio-economic precondition for sustainable agriculture and forestry in developing countries, tenure security is a key pathway for the development of the poor and it contributes essentially to achieve sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Land Tenure Systems Affect Sustainable Agricultural Development?
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3925; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143925 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The current study aims to investigate the agricultural investment differences among three kinds of land lease agreements and their effect on farmers’ decisions regarding sustainable growth in terms of soil conservation and wheat productivity, using cross-sectional data from rural households in Punjab, Pakistan. [...] Read more.
The current study aims to investigate the agricultural investment differences among three kinds of land lease agreements and their effect on farmers’ decisions regarding sustainable growth in terms of soil conservation and wheat productivity, using cross-sectional data from rural households in Punjab, Pakistan. The “multivariate Tobit model” was used for the empirical analysis because it considers the possible substitution of investment choices and the tenancy status’ endogeneity. Compared to agricultural lands on lease contracts, landowners involved in agribusiness are more likely to invest in measures to improve soil and increase productivity. Moreover, the present study has also identified that the yield per hectare is much higher for landowners than sharecroppers, and thus, the Marshall’s assumption of low efficiency of tenants under sharecroppers is supported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
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