- The concept of Sustainable Land Management: a comparative discussion (at a global scale)   click here to open paper content84 kb
by    Weith, Thomas & Repp, Annegret | thomas.weith@zalf.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The abstract seeks to initiate a discussion about the concept of
Sustainable Land Management in an internationally comparative perspective.
To enable mutual learning, it will focus on comparing governance approaches
with regard to main drivers for land use demands and to different multi-
level governance frameworks.
Mankind has influenced landscape for centuries and created different types
of land use. With regard to the development of land use in Europe, main
drivers of currently increasing influence comprise changes in values (e.g.
sustainability), economic and social trends (e.g. globalisation,
demographic change), technological innovations and political priorities
(e.g. in climate and biodiversity policy). A high variety of institutional
arrangements and regulatory schemes on several policy levels (EU, national,
regional, local) has been initiated in order to deal with these land use
demands and resulting land use conflicts. Examples include European
agricultural policy (e.g. cross-compliance rules) and water policy (Water
Framework Direction), national development procedures (e.g. spatial
planning in Germany, Austria and Switzerland), regional development schemes
(e.g. in the UK) or local planning and building schemes.

However, referring to experience from Germany, problems in governing land
are currently seen in a missing integrative approach and fragmented problem
analysis. This gap is being addressed by the concept of Sustainable Land
Management, as initiated by a research funding measure which has been
launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in
2010 (Weith et al. 2010). Before then, the concept had mainly been used
outside Europe as a normative approach in land use of developing countries
(Hurni 1997; The World Bank 2006). Only in Australia and New Zealand
‘Sustainable Land Management’ constitutes an official topic of national
environmental policy, albeit strongly connected to solutions with regard to
climate change.

Land management questions and activities therefore vary considerably, with
the usage of the concept of Sustainable Land Management being related to
different understandings and governance approaches, depending on the
geographical area and policy context (Weith et al. 2013). The German
funding measure “Sustainable Land Management” comprises 13 joint projects
within Module B, working on the development of system solutions for land
management in different regions in Germany. Due to the high variety of
involved actors and complex interactions one main aspect of research refers
to handling complexity by inter- and transdisciplinary methods (Klein et
al. 2001). Public actors, companies or civil society actors are seen as
starting points, nuclei, and development partners for the imple­mentation of
sustainable solutions in land management. In that context, all projects
seek to combine contents of governance in a synergetic way. Examples
include the combination of water management with waste management, water
management with energy supply, settlement development with mobility aspects
or housing and energy consumption.

However, these approaches are mainly embedded in and adjusted to the German
and EU policy context. Enhanced international exchange on the understanding
and concept of sustainable land management and a comparison of approaches
will thus enable researchers and practical experts to benefit from each
other in two main ways: First, a more comprehensive understanding of
conceptual contents will be fostered and second, adequate governance
processes can be compared as well as further developed and adapted to the
respective policy contexts.

Since the International Planners Exchange as part of the ISOCARP Congress
2013 could provide an excellent opportunity to launch such an international
exchange, we propose the following guiding questions for discussion:

What are key elements for sustainable land management, what is covered by
the term/concept?

To what extent are new spatial developments and new land use conflicts
being reflected adequately by analytical models and tools on the one hand,
and by existing governance modes on the other hand? What is missing?

What might be new governance options towards sustainable land use?

Selected References

Hurni, H. (1997): Concepts of sustainable land management. In: ITC Journal
1997 (3-4), 210-215.

Klein, J. et al. (2001): Transdisciplinarity: Joint Problem Solving among
Science, Technology and Society – An effective way for managing complexity.

The World Bank (2006): Sustainable Land Management. Washington.

Weith, Th., Schulz, K., Gaasch, N., Seppelt, R., Werntze, A., Eppink, F.
(2010): Towards Integration: Sustainable Land Management. A new German
Research Funding Measure. Local Land & Soil News 34/35 II/10, 21-22.

Weith, Th., Besendörfer, C., Gaasch, N., Kaiser, D.B., Müller, K., Repp,
A., Rogga, S., Strauß, C., Zscheischler, J. (2013): Nachhaltiges
Landmanagement: Was ist das? Diskussionspapier Nr. 7 des Wissenschaftlichen
Begleitvorhabens (Modul B), April 2013.
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper