Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
201R: Desertification, land degradation and drought - challenges, risks and response
Friday, 26/Apr/2019:
3:00pm - 4:15pm

Session Chair: Chizoba Chinweze
Location: UniS-A -122
UniS Building, room A -122, basement, 72 seats
Session Topics:
What do people want from land?

Session Abstract

This session will address different risk topics and cross-cutting themes that focus on the role of science and society in managing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) in all regions of the world. DLDD challenge is of a global dimension and poses a problem for sustainable development in all countries particularly in developing countries, in Africa drought means famine. How can people be made less vulnerable from the many threats of DLDD arising from climate change, how to increase resilience through the application of local and scientific knowledge and the contribution of policy makers, will be key questions to be addressed.

It is worthy to note that the Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda aims to ‘protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss’. Land is a vital resource for producing food and other ecosystem goods and services; and is central to the “nexus” that links energy, food, water, and environmental health in an interdependent loop. Experts estimated that in 2030, the demands for energy will rise 50%, food 45%, and water 30%. It is also expected that continuing land degradation will drive 700 million people out of their homes. Therefore, land degradation issue became a matter which requires an immediate attention thus the need for this session to contribute to the wealth of knowledge for our future survival.

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Full talk
ID: 516 / 201R: 1
201R Desertification, land degradation and drought – challenges, risks and response
Keywords: Enclosure, environmental microbiology, land degradation, rehabilitation; soil quality

Enhancing soil organic carbon, particulate organic carbon, and microbial biomass in semi-arid rangeland using pasture enclosures

Collins Ouma Oduor1, Nancy Karanja1, Richard Ndemo Onwonga1, David Pelster2,3, Gert Nyberg4

1Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya; 2Mazingira Centre, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya; 3Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Science and Technology Branch; 4Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands through the establishment of enclosures is believed to improve soil quality and peoples livelihoods and enhance the sustainability of rangelands. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of pasture enclosures on soil bulk density (BD) and total soil organic carbon (SOC) and its labile fractions (particulate organic carbon (POC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN)) as key indicators of soil quality at 0-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm soil depths. Two typical enclosure systems in West Pokot County, Kenya were identified; Grazing dominated enclosure (GDE) and contractual grazing enclosure (CGE). Livestock management in both systems was via the free-range system. The two enclosure systems were selected based on three age classes (3-10, 11-20 and >20 years since establishment) (n =3). The adjacent open grazing area (OGR) was used as a reference (n = 9). Relative to OGR, the pasture enclosures significantly decreased soil BD and increased the concentrations of total SOC, POC, MBC and MBN (p<0.001). Considerably higher concentrations of POC and MBC were recorded in GDE than CGE (P = 0.01) with POC accounting for 24.5 – 29.5% of the total SOC. The proportional increase in POC and MBC was higher in GDE (55.6% and 30.5% respectively) compared to CGE (39.2 and 13.9% respectively), indicating that GDE was more effective in restoring soil quality. The MBC was positively correlated with total SOC and POC in the three soil depths (p<0.001). This study demonstrated that controlling livestock grazing through the establishment of pasture enclosures is the key strategy to increase SOC and its labile fractions in degraded rangelands; a precondition for mitigating against the changing climate. Future research should focus on the carrying capacity of the enclosures and landscape dynamics of carbon to better understand the ecology of this fragile ecosystem.

Full talk
ID: 431 / 201R: 2
201R Desertification, land degradation and drought – challenges, risks and response
Keywords: drought response, food sector, insurance, climate index-reference area, Sri Lanka

Land area heterogeneity and drought response through climate-indexed insurance in agriculture: Evidence from a choice experiment

DV Pahan Prasada

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Recent droughts (2016-2017) led to a nearly 25% reduction in harvest and nearly 30% reduction in area-cultivated in Sri Lanka. Droughts create deep impacts of food security and reinforce the need to find a solution to climate change impacts on small-holder agriculture. Precipitation-indexed insurance is offered as a solution to drought impact in agriculture. However, in most implementations, the area coverage of the reference area for the index calculation is not always clear. This varies from small village units (based on geographical isolation/historical precedence), through Divisions (which encompass several villages) to Districts (administrative units for planning). Insurers choose the reference area size based on a number of reasons including the cost effectiveness in installing precipitation gauges. We look at the preferences for the different reference area sizes for indexing precipitation in adoption of indexed insurance via a choice experiment.

In the discrete choice methodology, the ‘marginal willingness-to-pay’ for potential attributes (including the reference area for index calculation) of weather-indexed insurance were measured. We use ‘stated preference approach’ to evaluate farmer preferences by offering farmers different binary choice scenarios constructed as a fractional factorial assignment of different levels of each attribute. The four attributes included are namely, the reference coverage area for weather index calculation (namely, village, divisional-secretary area, district), type of implementation (namely, government, bank , agribusiness company), the method of calculation of compensation (namely, fixed , cost of inputs, value of output/revenue) and the premium per one term (namely, 200LKR, 400LKR, 600LKR). A total of 2583 choice scenarios evaluated among 287 individuals were analysed using the conditional logistic and mixed logit estimation and marginal willingness to pay distributions were estimated for each attribute.

Smaller administrative division (in contrast to larger administrative boundaries) is preferred by respondents as reference area for weather-index calculation. Government (vis-à-vis the bank and the agribusiness company) is preferred as the management authority. The revenue-based compensation approach (vis-à-vis cost-based approach and fixed compensation) is statistical significantly preferred as the method of calculating compensation. The average negative marginal willingness-to-pay (MWTP) for Division and District reference areas are -678 and -1,889 LKR (1USD=150LKR) respectively. This indicates a strong marginal willingness to pay for insurance indices referenced to small area units (i.e. village). This is in contrast to the consideration of District level for decision making on drought impacts and agricultural land use decisions in the current planning framework.

Full talk
ID: 319 / 201R: 3
201R Desertification, land degradation and drought – challenges, risks and response
Keywords: Land Degradation;Restoration Technology; Ecological Vulnerable Regions.

Effects of restoration technology on desertification in ecological vulnerable regions of China

Lin Zhen

Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, People's Republic of

Ecological restoration has increased in prominence since the last century as an active way to reverse ecosystem deterioration derived from human interventions. The goal of this study was to classify the desertification regions in China, investigate the restoration technologies adopted in the region, and assess the impact of restoration approaches on ecological and economic conditions of the stakeholders. Indicators for the assessment are selected based on the SDGs, targets for ecological-civilization of China and the regions under concern. Data covers land use maps, MODIS images, statistics and stakeholders' questionnaire surveys. The results show that vegetation coverage changed over the past decades with spatial variations across different desertification lands, and the households who employed integrated approaches tended to get more benefits, higher capability of resisting risks, and higher income than those who did not. These findings imply that balanced ecological and economic development is possible when appropriate management approaches are adopted. However, evaluation and monitoring of land conditions are needed to readjust restoration policy and associated approaches in a timely manner.

Flash talk
ID: 832 / 201R: 4
201R Desertification, land degradation and drought – challenges, risks and response
Keywords: Degradation, Amazon, Trajectories, Emissions

Degradation trajectories in the Amazon and their contribution for greenhouse gases emissions

Talita Oliveira Assis1, Diego Melo2, Celso von Randow1, Ana Paula Aguiar3

1Brazilian National Institute for Space Research - INPE; 2FUNDEP; 3Stockholm Resilience Centre

Forest degradation is widespread around the world, due to multiple factors such as unsustainable logging, agriculture, invasive species, fire, fuelwood gathering, and livestock grazing. In the Brazilian Amazon, forest degradation is mostly associated to logging and fire, or a combination of both. In this work, we analyzed trajectories of forest degradation that started each year from 2006 to 2014 and assessed the emissions of greenhouse gases due the degradation in the Brazilian Amazon forest in that period, using the spatially-explicit INPE-EM carbon emission modeling framework. The trajectories analysis shows the importance of considering CO2 emissions from forest degradation, since 62% of the total area suffered only one degradation event in whole period and only 9% of the total area was converted into clear cut deforestation. Between 2006 and 2014, 4080 MtonCO2 were emitted by deforestation, while 744 MtonCO2, or 18% of the estimated value for deforestation, were emitted by degradation. Besides that, the CO2 an absorption of 247 MtnCO2 is estimated in the period from forest regeneration of those areas, considering historical values of degradation in the model. These results highlight the importance of monitoring forest degradation, estimating the emissions of greenhouse gases and understanding their impacts.

Flash talk
ID: 869 / 201R: 5
201R Desertification, land degradation and drought – challenges, risks and response
Keywords: land degradation, agriculture, satellite data, restoration, Latin America

Mapping and targeting efforts to restore degraded lands for agriculture in Latin America

Paul C West1, James S Gerber1, Andrea Santos Garcia1,2, Lindsey Sloat1, Deepak K Ray1, Peder Engstrom1, Samuel Stiffman1, Glenn Hyman3, Julia R Mangueira2,4, Ginya Truitt Nakata4, Mauricio Castro Schmitz4, Irene Farrow4

1University of Minneosota, United States of America; 2University of São Paulo, Brazil; 3International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia; 4The Nature Conservancy

Restoring degraded lands is a critical pathway for improving food security and reducing agricultural expansion into natural habitat. There is a wide range of estimates of degraded lands, resulting from differences in methods, definitions, source data, original vegetation, and intent of how the product will be used. To focus limited resources more deliberately, governments, non-profits, development banks, and foundations need better maps for assessing degradation status and trends, and—critically—effectiveness of interventions. In this presentation, we summarize a project to map degraded agricultural lands across Latin America and how The Nature Conservancy and its partners can use these data to target restoration efforts. We mapped ten indicators of landscape condition, cropland productivity, and pasture productivity. Hotspots of each indicator within each biome were combined to identify places where there is a convergence of evidence of land degradation. The multi-metric, biome-specific analysis helps account for the inherent differences across biomes, such as expected bare soil on pastures in potential arid shrublands versus rainforest. We will also present our preliminary validation that uses crowd-sourced data from geo-referenced photographs, an online map-based expert survey, and field observations from other studies. Finally, we will present how the product is being improved as well as being used to guide action.

Flash talk
ID: 676 / 201R: 6
213R Land tenure (security) and land use (change)
Keywords: access, livelihoods, entitlements, pastoralism, Kenya

The relationship between access, livelihoods, governance, and land tenure in Ilkisongo Maasai pastoralist commons of southern Kenya

Ryan Robert Unks

University of Lyon 2, France

In the context of ongoing changes in livelihoods, authority, and governance, numerous collectively-titled Ilkisongo Maasai pastoralist group ranches in Kajiado County, Kenya have undergone subdivision. This presents a barrier to mobility for wildlife and herders alike that seek to access spatially and temporally variable key resources, but has increasingly been advocated as a solution to ongoing struggles over land. Drawing from developments in theory that expand understandings of the relationship of property and land use by including analysis of institutional, political-economic, social, and discursive relations to analyze benefit streams, we relate changes in access and ongoing struggles over land to current views of management and tenure in collectively titled rangelands. Wildlife conservation, agricultural expansion, and extractive industries have all interacted with group ranch governance, and are closely related to changing herding institutions that mediate access to resources. These shifts are intertwined with differential abilities to adapt to exclusion from state and privately held land, commodification of water and forage, and shifting authority. The ability to adapt depends upon novel sets of entitlements that are required to sustain livestock and agricultural production, leading to stratified abilities to adapt to multiple livelihood stressors due to changes in climate, livestock disease, livestock predation, farm pests, and market vulnerability. Adding to understandings of power dynamics in land control and conversations about adaptation, as well as understandings of the constraints to collective land management and tenure, I discuss shifts in land use and livelihoods in these group ranch wildlife conservation contexts as they relate to state policies, NGO interactions, resource extraction, and local governance processes. I show how the stratified structure of livelihoods and vulnerability relates to plural views of authority and property that underpin and shape collective land management, governance, and interventions to maintain open rangelands for wildlife conservation.

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