Unprecedented pressures on land and its governance have been created. As evident around the globe, where land governance is deficient, high levels of corruption often flourish. Under such a system, land distribution is unequal, tenure is insecure, and natural resources are poorly managed.
When we talk about corruption in terms of statistics, it’s easy to forget the human cost of abused power. Behind every fact or figure are real people, forced to live without the services, opportunities and rights they deserve. All too often, these stories remain hidden – silenced through threats and intimidation, or drowned out by louder, more powerful voices. But with the right help, people can and do speak out. From rural villages to global cities, we are working around the world to help people break the silence and stand up against corruption.
Europe will remain an important supplier of agricultural goods in the future but the greatest untapped potential lies in Africa, which could become the “bread basket” for the rest of the world, the president of Yara, a multinational fertiliser and crop nutrition company, told EURACTIV.
By Liz Alden Wily and Fabrice Dubertret, Members of the LandMark Operations Team.
Do community-held lands thrive today in Europe? If so, what can communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America learn from their long experiences? This was the topic of a Practitioner Lab hosted by LandMark : the Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands at the XVI biennial conference of the International Association for Study of the Commons held in Utrecht on the 10th of July. A panel of four experts from Europe (Monica Vasile, Romania; Evelyn Dietsche, Germany; Rita Serra, Portugal; and Pedro Medrano, Spain) helped participants understand the realities of commons in their countries today. Pedro Medrano represented the Soria Forest Association of Spain, winner of the Elinor Ostrom Practitioner Award 2017.
In European mountain areas, shrub encroachment resulting from farmland abandonment is most often managed by mechanical operations such as roller chopping or controlled burning, which have proved to be ineffective and unsustainable. Recent agroecological findings highlight the potential impact of grazing on long-term shrub dynamics. We thus explored the potential contribution of livestock farms to the management of shrub encroachment.
Arsenic concentrations are reported for the <2mm fraction of ca. 2200 soil samples each from agricultural (Ap horizon, 0–20cm) and grazing land (Gr, 0–10cm), covering western Europe at a sample density of 1site/2500km². Median As concentrations in an aqua regia extraction determined by inductively coupled plasma emission mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) were 5.7mg/kg for the Ap samples and 5.8mg/kg for the Gr samples. The median for the total As concentration as determined by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) was 7mg/kg in both soil materials.
The paper reveals that ever since the 1950s, after the first land reform of distributing landownership (or possession under public ownership) to small farmers, the irrational and polyopolisticland use by able-bodied part-time and absent small farmers earning higher off-farm income butunwilling to lease the under-producing land beyond their family consumption need to full-timefarmers, has been a global obstacle with both public and private land ownership, traditional andmodern agriculture, fragmented small and consolidatorily enlarged land, low and high incomeeconomies, food under-self-suffi
We used the process-oriented niche model CLIMEX to estimate the potential global distribution of serrated tussock under projected future climates. Serrated tussock is a drought-tolerant, wind- and human-dispersed grass of South American origin that has invaded pastures in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South Africa. The likely effect of climate change on its potential global distribution was assessed by applying six climate-change scenarios to a previously developed model.
At present, spatially very detailed data sets can be obtained about soil, landscape and crop variability. However, there is a need to select independent key properties to identify management classes needed for precise land management. In a previous study performed in the European loess belt, topsoil pH, apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and elevation were identified as key properties. In this study we enlarged the number of soil properties by including gamma ray measurements and employed a similar methodology to a field in the sand belt of northern Europe.
Over the last 50 years, the modernisation and mechanisation of agricultural techniques caused important habitat alterations in agricultural ecosystems that lead to the decline of farmland wildlife populations throughout Europe. During 2008 and 2009, we investigated the effects of Habitat Improvement Actions (HIAs) and reforestations on populations of common pheasant Phasianus colchicus in order to evaluate the influence of both habitat management strategies on pheasant male density and distribution.