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Resilient Landscapes: Sustaining people and nature in rural areas

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  1. Resilient Landscapes:Sustaining people and nature in rural areas Lecture 19

  2. Rural Decline is a Wicked Problem-a Knot of Ecological and Socio-economic factors • Problems that are complex all the way down from top to bottom. • They don’t successfully decompose at any one level into units that can be added back up to the whole picture. • Things are entangled within levels and across levels (up and down).

  3. Processes Work at Different Levels to Shape the Landscape Hierarchy 1 cm 1 m 100 m 1 km 10 km 1000 km Atmospheric processes occur faster than vegetative processes occurring at the same spatial scale. 10 000 yrs 4 region 1 000 yrs 3 forest century 2 climate change patch stand 1 decade LOG TIME - years crown El Niño year 0 needle month -1 long waves VegetativeStructures -2 day Atmospheric Processes fronts -3 thunderstorms hour -4 - 6 - 4 - 2 0 2 4 LOG SPACE- km

  4. Rural Decline is a Wicked Problem • One Possible Cause: Development processes ignore complexity within and between levels to maximize one objective function. • Prostitution Imperative for maximum productivity: everyone reduced to their maximum utility • Farmers = food producers • Non-farmers = cheap labor • Wildlife = pests or aesthetic amenities

  5. Presentation Overview • Analyze Causes: • How do rural ecosystems and society disintegrate? • Achieving Rural Sustainability: • How to stop disintegration and re-integrate the elements into a functioning whole?

  6. Outline • Resilience Theory • to describe rural life and how it changes • Assessing Modern Agriculture • The Green Revolution • Poland • Implementation for Rural Resilience • Certification • Sustainable Methods • Integrating Theory and Practice • Summary

  7. The Adaptive Cycle - A Map of System Dynamics Source: Holling, 1992

  8. Control of Disturbance Disturbance Frequency and Intensity Technical Restrictions Shellfish Fishery in Chesapeake Bay Herbivore grazing/browsing Fire or logging in forests Development in floodplain Local rain cycle What Promotes Resilience?

  9. Control of Disturbance Capacity to Absorb Disturbance Landscape morphometry Floodplains and flood protection Habitat availability Ability to migrate (connectivity of landscape) Spatial Heterogeneity (mangroves, eel grass) Processing and Cycling of Resources Cross-scale functional reinforcement Within-scale functional diversity What Promotes Resilience?

  10. Regulation of Renewal(or Regenerative potential) Stored Resources Soil depth, organic content, seed bank Water (aquifer, lake, river) Nutrients in biomass Facility of Response Recolonization distance Biodiversity Cross-scale functional diversity What Promotes Resilience?

  11. Regulation of Renewal(or Regenerative potential) Availability of Information Viability of cultural information transfer Language Customs (education, discourse) Politics Access to Information Human Memory & Population Age Structure Physical distribution - libraries, networks Political and economic control What Promotes Resilience?

  12. Collapse of Resilience • Surprise from Cross-scale Interactions • Occasionally Natural systems develop to a stage of “over-maturity” where elements are over-connected. • They become accidents waiting to happen. • Then collective activities of small scale processes can “cascade upward” and cause the system to flip to another system type.

  13. Outline • Resilience Theory • to describe rural life and how it changes • Assessing Modern Agriculture • The Green Revolution • Poland • Implementation for Rural Resilience • Certification • Sustainable Methods • Integrating Theory and Practice • Summary

  14. Modern Agriculture’s Promise • Apparent Success - More food for less $ • Food Trends since 1961 • Food supplies per person = 24 % higher • Food prices per person = 40 % lower • Long-term productivity threatened • Increased water scarcity and land degradation • Ignores • Regional effects can be more pronounced • Especially in Tropics (Africa and Central America) • Non-linear responses - system flips • Social injustice - food and land distribution, rural collapse

  15. Green Revolution’s Effectson Agroecosystem Indicators • Productivity Index: General Increases • Cereal yields, calorie supply, and production in most regions except Sub-Saharan Africa • Food, especially livestock, in most regions • Farm incomes in Green Revolution lands • Except - Not in most lower potential lands • More employment and higher real wages • Except - Not where mechanization coincides with growing labor supply Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  16. Cereal Production inDeveloping Countries (1961-1986) Calories per Person per Day Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  17. Declining World Food Price Index Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution 300 200 100 50 Food Price Index Year

  18. Disturbance Frequency and Intensity are increasing Technical Restrictions Rising size and impact intensity of equipment Herbivore grazing/browsing Constant grazing with no rest for fields Fire or logging in forests Fire suppression and larger harvest patterns Development in floodplain Little original floodplain remains Modern Agriculture -Control of Disturbance

  19. Capacity to Absorb Disturbance declines Landscape morphometry Engineering continues to modify river channels and floodplains for irrigation and flood protection Habitat availability Ability to migrate (connectivity of landscape) Spatial Heterogeneity Rural landscapes are increasingly converted to larger farms with larger fields shaped for large machines such that natural habitats are increasingly smaller, fragmented and disconnected. Modern Agriculture -Control of Disturbance

  20. Global Pollution caused by Agriculture Global Disturbances Will Increase asAgriculture Modifies the Climate. Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  21. Stored Resources - declining Soil depth, organic content, seed bank Water (aquifer, lake, river) Nutrients in biomass Facility of Response - declining Re-colonization distance - increasing Biodiversity - declining Cross-scale functional diversity- declining Modern Agriculture - Regulation of Renewal

  22. World-wide Patterns of Degradation of Agricultural Lands Degraded 23% Heavy No Recovery 18 % of Forest Moderate 21 % of Perm.Pasture Not Degraded 77% 38% of Cropland Light Source: Wood et al. 2000 Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Agroecosystems. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.

  23. Soil Losses from ErosionJava Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution Tons Of Top Soil Per Hectare

  24. Cumulative Productivity Losses on Agricultural Lands • Losses due to soil degradation • 17 % in total; • 13% on croplands, 4% on pastures • Losses due to Salinization • 20% of irrigated land (45 million ha) damaged result= $11 Billion annually lost • Spreading rate = 1 to 1.5 million ha per year (half the rate at which new land is being brought into irrigation).

  25. Arable Land in Developing CountriesThe Potential Appears Large Area In Millions Of Hectares Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  26. Constraints on Potential Cropland in Developing Nations Percent Of Land Affected Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  27. Irrigation and Groundwater • Over-pumping • Pumping water faster than the rate of recharge by rain and groundwater movement. • Trends in Over-pumping (Postel 1997) • USA - 20% of all irrigated land (4 mil. ha)is over-pumped • Texas - lost 25 % of groundwater in 50 years, farms close as irrigated area has fallen by 28 % • China - groundwater levels fall 1- 2 meters per year in Northern China • India - Tamil Nadu state - groundwater has fallen 25 - 30 meters in 10 years

  28. Green Revolution’s Effectson Agroecosystem Indicators • Sustainability Index • Greater pest and disease resistance • But severe new outbreaks on some new crops • Increased morbidity and mortality from pesticides • Greater reliance on inorganic nitrogen fertilizers with risk of restrictions • Greater loss of soil structure and micro-nutrients • Increased soil toxicity, waterlogging and salinity • Increased risk of damage and disruption due to acid rain, ozone depletion, Ultraviolet light penetration, climate variability Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  29. Green Revolution’s Effectson Agroecosystem Indicators • Stability Index • Greater variance in yields and production in some regions • Due to pest and pathogen attack • Global-warming induced climate variability Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  30. Per Capita Productionby Region Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution West Asia/ North Africa Asia Latin America Sub-Saharan Africa Building or even sustaining society is impossible when variable (unreliable) resources prevent planning and implementation.

  31. Green Revolution’s Effectson Agroecosystem Indicators • Equitability Index • Benefits go disproportionately to landowners and input providers (fertilizers, pesticides, seeds) • Declining real wages, increased unemployment and increased landlessness in some regions • Persistence of high levels of under- and malnutrition Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  32. Irrigation • Concentration of production power • 30% - 40% of crop output comes from the 17% of cropland that is irrigated (264 million ha) • Food Security - rising dependence on fossil fuel, canals and pumps for half the Global Population • Many countries rely on irrigation for more than half their domestic consumption • China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Japan, Koreas, Peru

  33. Rising Trend of Irrigation in Developing Countries Percent Of Arable Land that is Irrigated Million Hectares Year Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  34. Irrigation Historical Trends • Irrigation appears to increase • Hectares - 500% increase since 1900 • But is actually declining because of rising costs and declining resilience • Hectares per person - Peaked at 48 in 1978 and has declined 6 percent since. • Construction slowing <-- Costs more than doubling for canals, dikes, pumping stations • Loss of land • Waterlogging and salinization • Operation costs rise as groundwater tables fall

  35. Irrigation Intensity and Food Security • Annual Global Supply of Fresh Water (Km3) • Total = 9000 to 12 500 • Extracted for human use = 3700 • Extracted for irrigation = 2700(70% of all human use) • Crop water demands (kg water/kg crop) • 500 - potatoes • 900 - wheat • 1400 - maize • 2000 - rice • >2000 - sugar cane and bananas Source: Wood et al. 2000 Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Agroecosystems. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.

  36. Rising Trend of Fertilizer Use in Developing Countries Million Tons Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  37. Global Fertilizer Use Trends Since 1960 Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  38. Hunger in the Developing World Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  39. Access to Services inDeveloping Countries Percentage Of Population With Access Service Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  40. Poverty and Land Holdingin Bangladesh Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  41. Availability of Information (equal access to all) Viability of cultural information transfer Language Each month at least 10 languages lost Customs (education, discourse) Politics Access to Information and Power Human Memory & Population Age Structure Youth culture ignores elders Physical distribution - libraries, networks Political and economic control Control of influence and funding Resilience - Regulation of Renewal

  42. Intensification of Agricultural SystemsConcentration of Control of Information and Power • Funding - Public influence declines • Public investment declines and is overtaken by new research networks of multi-nationals. • Research Budget of a large multi-national seed company • $ 350 million = 5 % of the total global investment in Agricultural research = Most of public funded research world-wide (CIGAR). • Public Subsidies for Agricultural Production • Trend – Decline from 45 to 35% of value of production (1986 – 1988) • Spread – New Zealand – 1%, EU average 45%, Norway, Switzerland 70%

  43. Intensification of Agricultural Systems Concentration of Control of Information and Power • Production Poweris concentrating • Independence (financial, intellectual, political) of agribusiness companies declines as the food chain is vertically integrated. • The same company controls food from the field to the table. • Food Self-Sufficiency- falling in developing nations • Capacity to feed themselves falls from 96 to 91 % as cereal imports from developed world increases 300% (1969 - 1985)

  44. Intensification of Agricultural Systems Concentration of Control of Information and Power • Biological Resource Base loses diversity • 95 % of global calories and proteins come from 30 plant species • 75 % of food consumed come from 12 plant & 5 animal species • New varieties dominate fields, displace ancient species • In Asian farms- 90%wheat, 67% rice varieties are new • In USA farms - 90 % changed to the new GMO soy varieties in the last 5 years. • Genetic erosion – 10% domesticated animals lost and a further 15 % at risk.

  45. Future Challenge:Rising Population and Sinking Resources • Rising Demand for Food - depends on trends in food quality and population. • If Fertility Rate stabilized at 2.1 kids per mother • Latinos (maize) and Asia (rice) must double their plant derived energy. • - Africans (plantains, cassava) must drastically increase productivity by five fold. Source: Isabel Alvarez, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Regional Office, Rome, Italy IN Boekstein et al. eds. 2000, Towards an Agenda for Agricultural Research in Europe. Conference Proceedings 13-15 April 1999. Wageningen Pers, Wageningen, the Netherlands

  46. World Population Increase Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

  47. Outline • Resilience Theory • to describe rural life and how it changes • Assessing Modern Agriculture • The Green Revolution • Poland • Implementation for Rural Resilience • Certification • Sustainable Methods • Integrating Theory and Practice • Summary

  48. Environmental Challengesto Polish Agriculture • Percent of all Polish Agricultural Lands • 20 % - suffer from Water & Wind Erosion • Especially where shelter belt tree lines removed • 30 % - suffer from Soil acidification • 19 % - need to restore - very poor condition • This number will rise to 30 % in 2015 • Groundwater levels dropping due to excessive drainage. • Lack of facilities to control farmyard pollution.

  49. Socio-Economic ChallengesIncreasing Isolation of Rural Society • No Viable Urban-Rural Links • Declining share of Economy -> No respect • 4.8% of GDP comes from Agriculture (including hunting & forestry), down from 11.8% in 1988 • No Cultural Exchanges • Urbanites see rural society as “Polska B” - an embarrassing backwater that they ignore • Culture moves in from the West (New York, Paris) • Economic Sink • 48% of unemployed are rural, can’t afford to migrate. • Imports now exceed exports as Eastern markets decline and more Poles buy Western food

  50. Challengesto Polish Agriculture:Official View of EU and Polish Ministry of Agriculture • Fragmented, oddly-shaped, farm plots • No experience transfer to the next generation • Youth flees collapsing agricultural economy • Large portion of farmers are older • Production doesn’t meet market needs both in quantity and quality • Weak farmers organizations • Insufficient on-farm investment • Lack of skills in production, technology, marketing and management