Socio-ecological effectiveness of land management
|Main authors:||Diana Sietz, Luuk Fleskens, Lindsay C. Stringer|
|Source document:||Sietz, D. et al. (2017) Report on integrated modelling strategy. CASCADE Project Deliverable 8.2 33 pp|
Widespread failure in ecosystem restoration and degradation prevention, even with massive investments, has underpinned the broad agreement that ecosystems can behave in complex, non-linear ways. Restoration of ecosystem performance and prevention of degradation can require considerably stronger efforts in non-linear than in gradually responding systems, but can also benefit from particular opportunities due to non-linear dynamics. Hence, knowledge on dynamic ecosystem regimes and threshold dynamics can provide crucial advances for sustainable land management enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.
This section of CASCADiS presents a conceptualisation and modelling strategy to evaluate the socio-ecological effectiveness of land management considering non-linear ecosystem dynamics and windows of opportunities and risks. Socio-ecological effectiveness is defined here as the potential of a management strategy to help maintain or restore ecosystem services while ensuring land users meet their basic needs. It is evaluated based on insights into ecological effects and financial attractiveness focussing on drylands in southern Europe.
The conceptualisation presented here is the first to link ecological theory of non-linear ecosystem dynamics to Land Degradation Neutrality as a pre-requisite for meaningful operationalisation and monitoring of progress towards Land Degradation Neutrality.
This conceptualisation provides the basis for a 5-step modelling approach.
For more details see »Modelling socio-ecological effectiveness of land management
- »Step 1: Defining managment scenarios: management scenarios are defined relating to land users’ risk aversion, opportunistic and conservational strategies as well as windows of opportunities and risks arising in particularly dry and wet years
- »Step 2: Assessing ecological impacts of land management: the rangeland resilience model is parametrised in such a way that it represents observed ecological conditions and used to simulate ecological impacts (vegetation cover dynamics) considering the management scenarios and windows of opportunities and risks.
- »Step 3: Estimating economic impacts of land management: economic impacts are investigated based on vegetation cover dynamics, investment costs and livestock income yielding cash flow series.
- »Step 4: Uncertainty analysis: sensitivity analysis is performed to test the robustness of results.
- »Step 5: Evaluating socio-ecological effectiveness: socio-ecological effectiveness of management scenarios is evaluated and discussed with stakeholders to validate the findings. This approach is outlined in more detail in the following sections.
These insights into non-linear ecosystem dynamics help to better evaluate the effectiveness of land management options for achieving policy goals setting a positive trajectory for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and LDN.
For more details see »Outlook