Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
305R: Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Friday, 26/Apr/2019:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Ruth Defries
Session Chair: Meha Jain
Location: MB-120
Main Building, room 120, first floor, west wing, 80 (+14) seats
Session Topics:
How do we support transformation?

Session Abstract

Land cover and land use play a critical role in many outcomes for human health. Such outcomes include - but are not limited to - exposure to atmospheric pollution from land use-related fires, the spread of infectious diseases from forest cover change, and changes in nutrition from agricultural land use and urbanization. Analyses of health outcomes, which are directly relevant to stakeholders and decision-makers on short timescales, have often fallen outside the purview of land cover and land use science. At the same time, public health often does not include land use as a core component for analyses and recommended actions. The session will focus on case studies and theoretical underpinnings that can foster understanding, collaboration, and action on the land use-health nexus. The session will particularly stress links between health outcomes and land use policy decisions, suggesting alternative land use pathways that can improve public health in a range of geographies.

Session Organizers: Ruth DeFries and Meha Jain

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Full talk
ID: 585 / 305R: 1
305R Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Keywords: Africa; fuelwood; health; LULCC; poverty

Population and environment dynamics of energy access in sub-Saharan Africa

Pamela Jagger

University of Michigan, United States of America

The role of land use land cover change (LULCC) in determining household energy access and energy poverty is poorly understood. Most household energy studies emphasis demand side factors including economic status and demographic characteristics of households, ignoring the role that supply-side factors play in household decision making about fuel and technology choice and their consequences for well-being. We present results from studies in Malawi and Uganda where we consider the role of LULCC in household decisions about the type of fuel used, cooking technology choice, time allocated to collecting fuels, and expenditures on fuels. We use panel data from targeted household socioeconomic surveys, multiple waves of population representative sociodemographic datasets, and Modis data on land use land cover change to explore the relationship between LULCC, fuel choice, and livelihood outcomes including the health status of women. We find that land use land cover change transitions dramatically reduce the availability of high-quality fuelwood in the landscape. We observe that under conditions of declining forest cover and forest degradation, lower income households previously reliant on collection of high-quality fuelwood switch to lower quality fuels including crop residues and wet fuelwood, whereas better-off households transition to charcoal or purchased fuelwood. Data from both Uganda and Malawi confirm that use of low-quality fuels in household cooking is correlated with higher prevalence of symptoms of respiratory, cardiopulmonary and neurologic disease. Our work identifies a poorly understood pathway through which deforestation and forest degradation act as a poverty trap through increased use of higher polluting fuels in household cooking. Our findings suggest that areas where LULCC is associated with increased use of low-quality biomass fuels are appropriate targets for policy interventions designed to reduce fuel consumption or transition households to use of modern fuels.

Full talk
ID: 716 / 305R: 2
305R Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Keywords: millets, dietary diversity, food subsidy

Impact of food and agriculture policies on dietary patterns and malnutrition in India

Patrese Anderson2, Nirali Bakhla1, Kathy Baylis2, Ashwini Chhatre1, Kyle Davis3, Ruth DeFries3, Piyush Mehta1, Narasimha Rao4

1Indian School of Business; 2University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 3Columbia University; 4International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Green revolution and food subsidy programs in India contributed to large increases in the production of rice and wheat over the last five decades, with concomitant reduction in the proportion of coarse cereals in the food supply. At the same time, as total calorie production increased several folds, India has among the highest incidence of malnutrition. To overcome these nutrient deficiencies, households need to diversify their diets away from calorie-dense foods such as polished rice, towards coarse cereals, pulses, and fresh vegetables. Building on prior scholarship, we argue that current agricultural and food policies discourage these dietary shifts in India, particularly among the poor. We investigate the relationship between consumption patterns among Indian households, disaggregating it between home-production, market-bought, wild collected, and accessed as subsidized food. We combine data on socio-economic factors and 89 food items from large-scale national surveys between 2004 and 2012 covering more than 160,000 households, with district-level data on crop production, infrastructure investments, indicators of social and economic development, and climate variables. We examine spatial and temporal patterns in land use and land cover in terms of its relationship to changes in dietary intake of several nutrients (calories, protein, fat, iron, zinc, calcium, and Vitamin A). Our research attempts to inform recent policy debates about introduction of coarse cereals in the current public food distribution system to affordably address malnutrition by improving dietary patterns and a move towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture.

Full talk
ID: 466 / 305R: 3
305R Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Keywords: malaria, land use, Southeast Asia, vector-borne disease

Malaria landscape: examining the role of land cover / land use nexus in malaria transmission in Myanmar

Tatiana V Loboda1, Mark Carroll2, Amanda Hoffman-Hall1, Myaing Myaing Nyunt3, Christopher Plowe3

1University of Maryland, United States of America; 2Science Systems and Applications Inc./ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, United State of America; 3Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, United States of America

Myanmar is an emerging democracy that bears the heaviest malaria burden in Southeast Asia, the region that has been the historical gateway for the global dissemination of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria spread is a highly complex process driven by a host of ecological, meteorological, biological, and epidemiological drivers which are in turn influenced by socio-economic conditions, population flow, military conflicts, and the healthcare system. The disease burden within Myanmar is distributed highly unevenly even at the local (village-to-village) scale and the drivers of the observed spatial patterns are not immediately apparent. Yet, to support the Myanmar Government’s and World Health Organization’s malaria elimination agenda it is critical that space-time predictive capabilities are available to drive targeted intervention campaigns. Historically satellite-data-driven malaria models primarily focused on vector habitat suitability assessments which, even when successful, were proven to be insufficient predictors of malaria prevalence. In the context of the closed-loop human-mosquito-human parasite transfer, knowledge of dynamics of human exposure to biting mosquitoes on the landscape is of crucial importance for developing predictive capabilities for malaria risk assessment. In this work, we use satellite remote sensing in combination with medical and socio-economic surveys of subclinical malaria and entomological surveys to explore the role of land cover and land use as indicators of both human exposure and vector hazard in malaria risk. Our results indicate that at the individual level, malaria prevalence is highest within the working-age population. This, in combination with very low levels of malaria prevalence in children under 10-years of age, indicates that malaria transmission is occurring in areas removed from the immediate village settings and the occupational exposure can be linked to land use. In addition, our results show that the rate of land cover change may be linked to the high rates of malaria prevalence at the village scale.

Full talk
ID: 791 / 305R: 4
305R Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Keywords: land-use change, urbanization, Lyme disease, United States

Urbanization, land-use change and human health: an exploration about human Lyme disease cases in the Northeastern United States

Liying Guo, Liping Di

Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems/ George Mason University, United States of America

Figuring out the role of urbanization and land-use changes in the increased human Lyme disease cases is of particular importance to public health. Lyme disease (LD) is a tick-borne disease transmitted the pathogen by the infected tick acquiring. The confirmed annual LD cases have continued to increase since Centers for Disease Control (CDC) begun to record the LD cases. Currently LD is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States, mostly concentrated in the Northeast and Upper Midwest with 96% of reported LD cases. According to CDC, the confirmed LD cases for entire U.S. during the five-year period from 1992-1996 were 59,363 and that from 2007-2011 were 133,249, a two-time increase. However, phenomenal increase of confirmed cases has been reported in the suburban sprawl counties of the Northeast megalopolis along the I-95 corridor. In Metro-DC area, Fairfax and Loudoun counties of Virginia and Montgomery and Howard counties of Maryland all reported more than 10-times increases in the confirmed LD cases during the same period. Coincidently, those counties were also the hotspots of land use changes due to urban expansion. Meanwhile, traditional mature urban areas, such as DC and Baltimore city, experienced few increases or even decrease of LD cases. Therefore, what is the role of land use changes in the increase of LD cases? What causes the dramatic contrast in the LD cases between the rapid urbanizing counties and the mature urban area? To answer these questions, this study tested a set of hypotheses about the relationship between urbanization, land-use changes and the number of LD cases in the Metro-DC area. The different patterns in the increase of the LD cases between the mature urban areas and the urbanizing counties provide a hint on using land-use changes and associated landscape indices to identify the environmental causes for the phenomenal increase of LD. This study is benefit for lowering or mitigating zoonotic threat driven by land-use change through early detection and knowledge-based land use planning.

Full talk
ID: 624 / 305R: 5
305R Human health outcomes of land use decisions
Keywords: nutrition security, food trade, sustainable diets, human health

Global nutrition metabolism: trends and patterns of dietary nutrient production and trade

Ozge Geyik, Brett Bryan, Michalis Hadjikakou

Deakin University, Australia

The quantity and quality of food consumption have changed substantially over the last two decades. The triple burden of malnutrition – the coexistence of hunger, micronutrient deficiency and obesity – has become more prevalent around the world. Despite a growing focus on the nutritional aspect of global food supplies, historical trends in the stock, production, a variety of uses (e.g. feed and seed), and net trade balance of nutrients are yet to be fully understood. Given the increasing volumes of international food trade – from 16% to 25% of total production between 2009 and 2014 – a better understanding of the dynamics of nutrient flows and their links to land systems is of critical importance for research and policy-making.

Current literature provides a time-limited understanding of nutrient availability using highly aggregated food categories such as vegetables, animals, and seafood. It also suggests that international trade may be a contributing factor in global nutrition security. This study analyses the spatial and temporal trends of global nutrient availability with fine-level production and trade data of crops, livestock, and aquaculture during 1990-2016. It then, evaluates corresponding nutritional values produced locally, re-distributed via trade, and the final balance after stocks, losses and other uses are accounted for. Finally, the study analyses the trends in country-specific nutrient adequacy as the share of people who are provided with Recommended Dietary Intake as defined by the World Health Organization.

We expect to find significant but differentiated trends among different food groups and regions and to identify key crops and trade flows associated with different nutrients and changing patterns over time.

As one of the strong determinants of human health, nutrition security requires nuanced consideration in land system decisions. Outcomes of this study are also important for advancing knowledge on environmental aspects of nutrition security as the next step forward. Furthermore, given the observed changes in the nutritional content of a variety of crops (such as wheat and rice) with the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, understanding the flows and re-distribution patterns of nutrients is essential for decision-making in agricultural and aquacultural production, and trade.

Flash talk
ID: 635 / 305R: 6
308R Mixed-methods approaches to identify and include the peoples’ needs in modeling urban spaces and their settings
Keywords: ABM, deprived urban areas, mixed methods, remote sensing, ethnography

A holistic perspective on modelling deprived urban areas

Nina Schwarz1, Mike Lees2, Karin Pfeffer1, Debraj Roy2

1University of Twente, the Netherlands; 2Computational Science Lab, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A vast amount of the world’s urban population is living in deprived urban areas, aka slums. With much of the future urban population growth projected for Africa and Asia, managing deprived urban areas will likely remain a major challenge also in the future. In this talk, we will thus focus on studying deprived urban areas, using the lens of complex systems thinking. Our starting point is the current state of the art in agent-based modelling (ABM) of deprived urban areas as one of the methods of complexity science. ABMs model systems in a bottom-up approach; for instance, location choices of residents can result in spatial patterns of deprivation and/or urban land use change at the settlement or city level. Building and validating such models requires significant temporal and spatial data and other contextual information. Qualitative ethnographic work and spatial mapping of deprived areas through remote sensing can contribute here: Ethnographic work with its manifold methods such as interviews, analysing biographies or participatory observation has, for instance, revealed that deprived areas are not homogenous – people’s needs are very different even within the same locality, and they might face multiple deprivations at once. Complementary to the rich level of detail about individuals or families provided by ethnographic work, remote sensing contributes through mapping urban land use and urban structures, for instance, building density and roof materials as indicators for open spaces and housing quality. Combining these methods does not solely benefit building ABMs and analysing their outputs, but leads to a holistic, mixed-methods approach for better understanding the development of deprived urban areas. With such a holistic approach, all domains could benefit from each other. For example, ABMs can serve as virtual laboratories for testing hypotheses originally developed in ethnographic studies.