Conference Agenda

104RA: Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries - Part A
Friday, 26/Apr/2019:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Benjamin Stuch
Session Chair: Holger Hoff
Session Chair: Patrick Hostert
Location: UniS-A 003
UniS Building, Auditorium A 003, ground floor, 178 seats + 54 seats on gallery on first floor
Session Topics:
What are the visions for the planetary land system?

Session Abstract

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires large effort and transformative change in socio-ecological systems. In this regard, changes in land use systems are highly relevant because land use--directly and indirectly--relates to a number of SDGs – ranging from Zero Hunger and Clean Water, over Responsible Consumption and Production, to Climate Action or Life on Land. Since SDGs are universal and require integrated implementation, their local and national implementation must account for (i) international and global effects and (ii) trade-offs and synergies between the often conflicting individual goals. This session deals with the complex interplay between socio-economic transformation processes, land use change, environmental limits and the achievement of SDGs. Emphasis lies on systems analysis to identify synergies and trade-offs of available land management and governance options as well as on transformative land use pathways with respect to achieving different sustainability targets. Presenters are encouraged to address the externalization of land-related costs and benefits across regions (teleconnections and telecoupling) and related common but differentiated responsibilities in land use. We invite contributions that help to evaluate and compare different scientific approaches, methods, tools, indicators and data, suited to derive conclusions for integrated land management and nested multi-level land governance and policy coherence. Presenters are encouraged to present the drivers of change, socio-environmental consequences, and potential response strategies in a structured causal-effect relationship. Organizers: Benjamin Stuch; Holger Hoff; Patrick Hostert

External Resource: - SESSION RECORDING -
Full talk
ID: 630 / 104RA: 1
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: East Africa, SDG, scenarios, biodiversity, trade-offs

Balancing trade-offs among SDGs under future uncertainty: scenarios for East Africa

Arnout van Soesbergen1,2, Marieke Sassen1

1UNEP-WCMC, United Kingdom; 2King's College London

Decision makers need to balance trade-offs and capitalise on potential synergies among different SDGs and their targets. They also need to take into account future change that may affect these trade-offs and synergies. Some drivers of change, e.g. population increases, are relatively certain whilst other future social, economic and political conditions are much harder to predict. Trade-offs and synergies among SDGs may therefore vary through time but also in space. This study uses a modelling framework that considers the implications of four plausible socio-economic scenarios for East Africa in 2030 and 2050 for national-level demand, yields and production for food and other agricultural commodities in Kenya and Tanzania (SDG 2), the ensuing potential land use changes, and the implications thereof for biodiversity and ecosystem services in a spatially explicit manner (SDG 15). Potential implications for linked goals ( SDG 6 and SDG 13) are also discussed. We found that for crops, production increases are achieved through expected yield increases and area expansion, and for meat mainly through strong expansion of pasturelands. Variations among scenarios reflect different governance, trade and agricultural policy contexts. However, population growth is the main driver of land use change in all scenarios. Increases in agricultural outputs trade-off directly with loss of biodiversity and also in space with regulating ecosystem services. The latter is strongly associated with forest loss. Analysis of the impact of different conservation policy options showed that increasing protection in one area may lead to loss of unprotected critical habitat elsewhere. The results highlight the importance of using a spatially explicit approach when considering potential trade-offs and linkages among SDG targets and goals. The inexorable global population increase requires sustainably intensifying production on existing land but also considering what types of agriculture should be done where more locally, to help achieve better outcomes globally.

Full talk
ID: 451 / 104RA: 2
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: Food system, Land-based mitigation strategies, dietary change, the 1.5-degree target, Integrated Assessment Platform (IAP)

Implementing the Paris agreement in Europe requires transformation of the land and food systems

Heera Lee1, Calum Brown1, Bumsuk Seo1, Ian Holman2, Mark Rounsevell1,3

1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research(IMK-IFU), Kreuzeckbahnstr.19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; 2School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK; 3School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP, UK

Limiting average global temperature increases to between 1.5 and 2 ◦C, as agreed in the ‘Paris Agreement’ of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is a significant challenge. Achieving this aim as well as other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will likely require substantial changes in the land system. Currently, however, very little is known about the trade-offs and synergies that would occur if land-based mitigation strategies helped to meet the 1.5◦C target. This study focuses on the impacts of climate change and mitigation strategies on the European land system for the 2050s. We used a regional Integrated modelling framework, the IMPRESSIONS Integrated Assessment Platform (IAP), to identify feasible scenarios toward the 1.5◦C target that meet both food security and afforestation targets. We analysed stylised scenarios (n = 972) combining ruminant and non-ruminant meat demand, bioenergy crop demand, irrigation efficiency, and crop yield improvement. The results showed that implementing the Paris agreement requires transformations in both the supply and demand sides of the food system. Amongst 351 scenarios that met both food security and afforestation targets, only 42 scenarios (12 %) include ‘no-change’ in dietary change. However, these scenarios provide the smallest increase in forest area and require at least a 30% improvement in crop yields. When imports are maintained at today's levels to avoid the displacement of food production elsewhere, at least a 15 % yield improvement or a drastic reduction in meat demand is needed to meet multiple SDGs such as ‘No Hunger’, ‘Climate Action’, and ‘Life on Land’. As the SDGs are interdependent, land-based mitigation strategies would only be beneficial with major transformations in the supply and demand of all sectors.

Full talk
ID: 439 / 104RA: 3
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: Planetary boundaries, food system, land use change, absolute sustainability, meta-analysis

Future food scenarios in the context of planetary boundaries: a comprehensive synthesis

Michalis Hadjikakou, Nicholas Bowles, Ozge Geyik, Mohammad Abdullah Shaikh, Brett Bryan

Deakin University, Australia

The global food system is a key driver of land use change and other global environmental impacts. Food production is directly linked to the transgression of specific planetary boundaries (PBs), especially those of land system change, climate change, biosphere integrity, biochemical flows and freshwater use. A growing number of modelling studies employing diverse forecasting methods and scenario assumptions have estimated environmental implications of alternative food futures for a range of business-as-usual (BAU) scenarios and other simulated trends and interventions. These projections have not been previously synthesized and systematically compared against agriculture-specific PBs while accounting for study bias and the considerable uncertainty range in PB thresholds.

To address this gap, we carried out a comprehensive meta-analysis of the environmental impacts of published food scenarios for 2050. We compared all scenario projections against downscaled distributions of PB control variables for the food and land system, encompassing the full range of uncertainty in the definition of PBs. We also derived meta-analytic models of the effectiveness of three intervention types (higher production efficiency, diet moderation, and mixed measures) in reducing PB exceedance relative to BAU across each control variable. Finally, we fitted meta-regression models to examine the role of key storyline parameters (population, GDP, cereal yields, demand for animal calories) in determining PB exceedance across all studies and scenarios.

Our findings support recent literature by highlighting the high risk of PB exceedance under BAU scenarios and the need for mixed interventions incorporating ambitious diet and efficiency measures to ensure global food production remains within the safe operating space. We also reveal how the relative effectiveness of interventions varies considerably depending on the PB system and choice of control variable, highlighting key synergies and trade-offs. Our synthesis makes a significant and well-timed contribution to the literature on future food systems and their impacts on PBs.

Full talk
ID: 805 / 104RA: 4
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: biodiversity; land use; habitat loss; restoration; conservation; bending the curve

Reversing terrestrial biodiversity declines due to habitat loss: A multi-model assessment

David Leclère1, Michael Obersteiner1, Mike Barrett2, Stuart H M Butchart3,4, Abhishek Chaudhary5,6, Adriana De Palma7, Fabrice A J DeClerck8,9, Moreno Di Marco10, Jonathan Doelman11, Martina Durauer1, Robin Freeman12, Mike Harfoot13, Tomoko Hasegawa14,1, Stefanie Hellweg15, Jelle P Hilbers11, Samantha L L Hill7,13, Florian Humpenöder16, Nancy Jennings17, Tamas Krisztin1, Georgina M Mace18, Haruka Ohashi19, Alexander Popp16, Andy Purvis7,20, Aafke M Schipper11,21, Andrzej Tabeau22, Hugo Valin1, Hans van Meijl22, Willem-Jan van Zeist11, Piero Visconti1,12,18, Rob Alkemade11,23, Rosamunde Almond24, Gill Bunting3, Neil D Burgess13, Sarah E Cornell25, Fulvio Di Fulvio1, Simon Ferrier26, Steffen Fritz1, Shinichiro Fujimori14,27,28, Monique Grooten24, Thomas D Harwood26, Petr Havlík1, Mario Herrero29, Andrew J Hoskins26, Tom Kram11, Hermann Lotze-Campen1,30,31, Tetsuya Matsui19, Carsten Meyer32,33, Deon Nel34,35, Tim Newbold18, Guido Schmidt-Traub36, Elke Stehfest11, Bernardo Strassburg37,38, Detlef P van Vuuren11,39, Cristopher Ware26, James E M Watson40,41, Wenchao Wu14, Lucy Young3

1Ecosystem Services Management (ESM) Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); 2WWF UK; 3BirdLife International; 4Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge; 5Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich; 6Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur; 7Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum; 8EAT; 9Bioversity International, CGIAR; 10CSIRO Land and Water; 11PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; 12Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London; 13UN Environment, World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); 14Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES); 15Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich; 16Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); 17Dotmoth; 18Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research (CEBR), Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London; 19Center for International Partnerships and Research on Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Forest Research and Management Organization; 20Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London; 21Radboud University, Department of Environmental Science; 22Wageningen Economic Research (WECR), Wageningen University and Research; 23Wageningen University, Environmental Systems Analysis Group; 24WWF Netherlands; 25Stockholm Resilience Centre; 26CSIRO Land and Water; 27Kyoto University, Department of Environmental Engineering; 28Energy (ENE) Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); 29CSIRO Agriculture and Food; 30Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Integrative Research Institute for Transformations in Human-Environment Systems; 31Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics; 32German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv); 33Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology, University of Leipzig; 34WWF International; 35Global Resilience Partnership, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University; 36Paris Office, Sustainable Development Solutions Network; 37Rio Conservation and Sustainability Science Centre, Department of Geography and the Environment, Pontifícia Universidade Católica; 38International Institute for Sustainability; 39Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University; 40School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland; 41Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Conservation Programs

Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses of terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity. While the amplitude of required efforts is uncertain, there is evidence that even just feeding the growing human population will challenge our ability to reach the targets. In this study, we integrate an ensemble of four land-use models and eight biodiversity models to understand whether and how we can reverse the terrestrial biodiversity declines due to habitat loss and degradation – major threats to biodiversity. We show that ambitious and coordinated efforts may allow the global biodiversity trends due to habitat loss to be reversed by 2050, while the growing human population is still adequately fed. Increasing the extent and management of protected areas, restoring degraded land, and increasing landscape-level conservation planning may allow avoiding >66% of future biodiversity losses due to habitat loss, and set biodiversity on a track to recovery. However, avoiding >75% of future losses and reversing the biodiversity trends before 2050 without conflicting with affordable food provision will require tackling the drivers of land-use change through sustainable intensification of agriculture, increased trade, reduced food waste, and reduced animal-derived calories in human diets, and even then will remain very challenging in some biodiversity hotspots. Our results also suggest that integrated strategies, in combination with bold targets, should be central to the development of a post-2020 biodiversity strategy.

Full talk
ID: 462 / 104RA: 5
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: Science policy, trade-offs, Sustainable Development Goals, farming systems

A tale of two perspectives: aligning land systems research and policy for the SDGs in European agriculture

Murray W. Scown1, Klara J. Winkler1,2, Kimberly A. Nicholas1

1Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 2Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Agriculture is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of the important nutritional, economic, and social benefits it provides to people. However, agriculture also has substantial negative impacts on land, biodiversity, water, and the global climate. Evaluating and balancing the trade-offs and synergies among goals in agricultural land systems requires support from research and policy, as well as empirical evidence often obtained through indicators. We analyse the current focus of agricultural land systems research (from a review of 69 research articles) and policy (the SDGs, EU’s Common Agricultural Policy [CAP], and associated Agri-Environmental Indicators) in Europe, and find the two perspectives largely diverge (only having 27% of variables in common) and currently provide limited support for holistic evaluation of trade-offs and synergies in agriculture for the SDGs. Research largely focuses on environmental and social drivers that are not considered in policies (65/104 variables), while policies are concerned with many outcomes not typically covered by land systems research (28/54 variables). We also identify four prevailing approaches to agricultural land systems research in Europe, none of which are truly holistic systems approaches, which potentially limits our understanding of trade-offs and synergies in agriculture. Indicators used to evaluate the CAP are focused on sustainable agriculture (SDG 2), work and economic growth (SDG 8), and life on land (SDG 15), while other important goals such as health (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5), and innovation (SDG 9) are overlooked from this sectoral perspective in the EU. We recommend systems approaches to research that holistically encompass environmental and social drivers, management choices, and outcomes to support agriculture’s contribution to the SDGs in Europe, and we present a classification of land system components to help design such holistic research. We also suggest land system researchers critically participate in the CAP reform process currently underway.

Flash talk
ID: 420 / 104RA: 6
104R Roads to sustainability: Land use within sustainable development goals and planetary boundaries
Keywords: Telecoupling, tomato, local impacts, global food trade

Hidden/long-distance effects of consumer choices for tomato.

Sanderine Nonhebel1, Antonio Castro2, Maria Jose Ibarrola-Rivas3, Thomas Kastner4, Francis Turkelboom5

1University of Groningen, The Netherlands; 2Idaho State University, USA; 3Instituto de Geografía, UNAM, Mexico; 4Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Germany; 5Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO), Brussels, Belgium

The global production of food requires huge amounts of resources and is a main reason for trespassing the planetary boundaries. As not eating is not an option only consuming other products or producing them in more environmentally friendly ways is a solution. In this paper we look at the impact of consumer choices. We take the (German) consumer as our starting point and we compare the impact of a choice for the Dutch of Spanish tomatoes. Germany is one of the largest tomato importers and in general they originate from The Netherlands or from Spain. The Dutch production system includes heated greenhouses using a lot of fossil energy (natural gas). In Spain climate is different and no heating is required, but extra irrigation is needed, since the area (Almeria) is short in water. In the Dutch production system tomatoes are picked by workers from rural areas Poland on temporary contracts and in Spain by people from Morocco (Rif region). Our analysis shows the hidden effects of a rather simple choice for tomatoes in a German supermarket: when they originate from The Netherlands the tomatoes affect the global climate change and generate money in rural Poland, when the tomatoes originate from Spain, they contribute to the huge water shortage issues in Almeria and generate income in the Moroccan Rif area. These long-distance impacts should be taken into consideration when searching for more sustainable food production systems.