The Nexus Times

This thing called Land Use: Reflecting on a life in land use research

The theme of this issue of the Nexus Times is Land Use, a term that has waxed and waned in prominence in the discourses on sustainability and more recently on the “perfect storm” of nexus security issues.  Here we reflect on how many of the challenges for land use research identified in 1995 remain to be faced in 2019.

The climate change policy challenge: Balancing the multiple roles of land use

The EU Climate Change policy target of net zero emissions by 2050 implies the need for significant land use change, with tensions between carbon sequestration and the provision of food, bioenergy and other ecosystem functions and services. The article argues that we need new analysis methods and science-policy processes to tackle these challenges.

Balancing food production and biodiversity conservation

Land use and biodiversity conservation are intimately linked. Agriculture is the dominant type of land use in Europe, with about 75% of the terrestrial area used for crop production, grassland and forest (EEA, 2017). As such, it has an important role in European landscapes and biodiversity.

Land use change connected with the evolution of farming systems: modernisation in practice

Accounting for ecosystem services using costs as well as benefits, measured by metrics beyond financial benefit, can effectively support debate and evaluation of trade-offs between services, impacts of land management activities, and has direct relevance for decision- and policy-making.

The tradeoff between land use and natural capital

The analysis of the complexity of the coupled agricultural land system shows that land management rather than biodiversity is a necessary subject for evaluation of provisioning services from agriculture.

The Nexus and Land: the spinning record and the pivot

A working, balanced nexus that offers the possibility of sustainability, can be thought of as orchestral music played on a well-mixed record: all the parts are harmonized so that we can really enjoy the music...