An example of an agricultural landscape/enviroment Source: www.iucn.org
An example of an agricultural landscape/environment
Source: www.iucn.org

Examining the topic of the week a little differently, let’s take a brief look at various land management techniques; your feedback is needed. What type of land management practices occur in your country or in your region of the world? Is it simple and decentralized or complex and heavily regulated?

How do other factors such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and the sustainable maintenance of natural resources affect agricultural practices in your local sector?

A recent project held on Union Island of the Caribbean region, by several partners including the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) focused on Participatory 3D mapping (P3DM).

” This is a community-based mapping method which integrates local spatial knowledge with data on elevation of the land and depth of the sea to produce stand-alone, scaled and geo-referenced relief models.”

It is a 3D map made by using simple materials to create a model of the island’s resources. Understanding the environment of the island and the factors which affect it assists in creating and executing action plans to maintain its existing resources.

On this tiny island which is a part of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, climate change has been affecting the coastal resources of the island which severly affect the fishing communities of area. Agriculture has become undesirable as an income generating sector while tourism, a big earner for many, has its own issues in terms of unequal income distribution, poor development and limited contribution to the economy due to seasonality.

Regardless through the participatory approach stakeholders including the islanders themselves have changed their land and natural resource management strategy in order to benefit all. This video highlights the programme and provides feedback from the participants. – Beneath the Surface: Mapping Union Island

Conversely, the upcoming Global Landscape Forum offers a different method that also has an integrated strategy of managing resources that benefits both people and the environment called the landscape approach.

“It takes into account the entire landscape that could include several complex mosaics such as logging, community concessions, customary land, protected areas and the like which traditionally are examined individually. The approach seeks to understand the landscape as a whole, understanding what are the drivers of change within it in order to effectively manage each sector in a complimentary manner rather than having trade offs among them. The challenge lies in having all relevant stakeholders on board for such a change in management.”

For a full understanding of this concept listen to this interview with scientist Terry Sunderland as he explains on the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Blog

As it relates to balancing the production of food and conservation of the environment, each situation would differ across the globe as various relevant factors come into play.

Given the current structure of your agricultural sector, available resources, policies and infrastructural outlets, what land and resource management method would you recommend? This is an open call for your feedback! Place your comments in the post below or on the tech4agri facebook page.

For more information on Participatory Geographic information systems visit the following websites:

>> http://www.ppgis.net/ 

>> http://www.iapad.org/

For more information on Landscapes approach visit the following websites:

>> https://soundcloud.com/#cifor-forests 

>> http://www.landscapes.org/category/blog,news/

Modern Land Management: More than meets the eye

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