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Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

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***HOT OFF THE PRESS***


Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

by

Ilan Chabay, Martin Frick and Jennifer Helgeson

hits the shelves!


Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future
Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

**Click here to pre-order your copy**

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See below for: 

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About the book: 

Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future addresses solutions to land restoration and related topics, such as human security, development, and water and air pollution. The book aims to exchange lessons to enrich the academic understanding of these issues and the solution sets available. Click here to download the Table of Contents.

Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future brings together expertise from a variety of professional positions and experience – practitioners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and policy specialists in formulating a representative and holistic view of land restoration. The authors in this volume represent a range of perspectives on the topic of land restoration and its relationship with security in different dimensions. Click here to download the List of Contributors.

This compilation of current research provides a holistic overview of land degradation and restoration from the scientific and practical development points of view. Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future is the product of tireless work and dedication by a remarkable group of authors, spread around the globe and from such diverse disciplines, all working on aspects of land restoration. It was made possible through an extensive network of relationships mainly built at the annual “Caux Dialogue for Land and Security” in Switzerland.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Provides information about the science, policy, and social issues behind land degradation and restoration in a form accessible to all, including those who are not specialists in the topics, allowing full access to the issues at hand
  • Includes practical on-the-ground examples garnered from diverse areas, such as the Sahel, Southeast Asia, and the U.S.A.
  • Provides practical tools for designing and implementing restoration/re-‐ greening processes.

To order the book, go to http://store.elsevier.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780128012314


About the Authors

Ilan Chabay

Ilan Chabay is Senior Fellow at Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam Germany, where he co-leads Sustainable Modes of Arctic Resource-driven Transformations and global interdependencies (SMART) project and collaborates on governance of emerging technologies and soil & land restoration. He is honorary member of Swiss Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities, served on Scientific Committee of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and Science & Technical Committee of UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. He was Hasselblad Professor in sociology and applied IT departments at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University 2006-2011, consulting professor of chemistry at Stanford University 1984-1988. In Silicon Valley he founded and directed The New Curiosity Shop from 1983-2001, which designed and produced hands-on science exhibitions for over 200 science centers worldwide. His Ph.D. is in chemical physics from University of Chicago.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany

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Martin Frick

Martin Frick is the Representative of Germany to the International Organisations based in Germany, including the Secretariats of the UN convention to combat climate change, UNFCCC, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, UNCCD. He was E3G’s Programme Leader for Climate Diplomacy from November 2010 to June 2012. Martin has been a German diplomat since 1996. He served as the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the United Nations General Assembly from 2005 to 2007. Prior to his work in New York, Martin served as Consul and as Deputy Ambassador in Albania from 1999-2002. From 2002-2005 he was the Cabinet Affairs Advisor to German Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. Between 2007-2010 he was Deputy CEO/Director of the Global Humanitarian Forum, a Geneva based foundation set up by former UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan. From the early days of this foundation Martin formed the content and strategic orientation of the Forum’s work.

Affiliations and Expertise

Representative of Germany to UN Organisations based in Germany

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Jennifer Helgeson

Jennifer Helgeson is a Research Economist in the Applied Economics Office of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is a steering committee member for Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace (ILLP). She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Geographers and was awarded a Fulbright Grant to do fieldwork in Norway. Jennifer was a Climate Change Adaptation Specialist for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She has done environmental economics-related work for Friends of the Earth Middle East and Grameen Foundation, Uganda. Jennifer did her PhD studies at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE. She previously studied Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford and Economics at Brandeis University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Applied Economics Office of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


Acknowledgements

This book is the product of tireless work and dedication by many people. It has been a rare and wonderful opportunity to work with a remarkable group of authors, spread around the globe and from such diverse disciplines, all working on aspects of land restoration. It was made possible through an extensive network of relationships mainly built at the yearly “Caux Dialogue for Land and Security” in Switzerland. The authors would like to thank all those who, as volunteers, commit to organize this important conference and maintain the network.

The authors in this volume represent a range of viewpoints on the topic of land restoration and its
relationship with security in different dimensions. The expertise represented in this book spans a variety of professional positions and experience—practitioners, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), university professors, and policy specialists. These authors’ inputs complement one another in formulating a representative and holistic view of land restoration. We thank them for their time, collaboration, and contributions.

We would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of some volunteer text editors who went through select chapters and worked with some of the authors during the drafting process. Many heartfelt thanks to Meera Shah, Natassia Ciuriak, Scott Darby, Irina Fedorenko, Jane Feeney, Guy Lomax, Barb Smeltzer, Rachel Waggott, and Wessel van der Meulen. And our thanks also to Dr. Lori Adams Chabay for inspiring the inclusion of notes for educators and others on the uses of this text.


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Land Restoration: Unlocking a Large Key in the Fight Against Climate Change and Human Security

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A big part of the solution – and the problem presently — is literally under our feet. There are many reasons to secure our land resources and the land itself.

Land security is an issue of human security. Today, 33% of land is moderately to highly degraded due to the erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification and chemical pollution of soils. About 1/6th of the world’s population depend on degrading land. Indeed, though most people are much less aware of it than of other critical crises (e.g. the climate crisis), we do have a soil crisis.

Each year, an area thrice the size of Switzerland is lost for agriculture, exacerbating existing situations in climate change, water management, availability of food, and ultimately human security.

As Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) noted in her foreword to our book, Land Restoration:Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future, “Land and soil is the second-largest carbon sink, after the oceans. Getting carbon back in the soil could buy the 30 years that we may need to move to a low-carbon economy. It could also get vulnerable populations, who are already experiencing climate change impacts and resource scarcity, time to adapt.”

The relationship between land restoration, climate change abatement, and human security is beginning to be recognized in the mainstream. When I first became a steering committee member for Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace (ILLP) about five years ago, the discussion of the central need for land restoration as a vital way to fight against climate change was largely contained within niche parts of the research community, a hand-full of on-the-ground practitioners and local changemakers, as well as the UNCCD, led by Luc Gnacadja (Executive Director at that time).

The theme for this year’s Caux Dialogue on Land and Security is the “Business of Land Restoration and Trust.” The case for tackling land degradation and conflict is clear. Land degradation costs businesses around $40 billion a year, and is a real risk to the future of the food, fiber, forestry, and bioenergy industries. When these industries are threatened and harvest yields on agricultural lands are reduced through land degradation, people are forced to move to find work and food sources. When there is weak governance and socio-economic inequalities already present, conflict often naturally ensues (e.g., due to land rights).

There are several relatively low-cost means of restoring land, but they take time and trust. One example, is Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). FMNR is a system of tree and shrub regrowth and management. This regrowth can be integrated into crops and grazing pastures and has been shown to double crop yields. FMNR also helps restore soil structure and fertility, inhibit erosion, and rehabilitate the water table, among other positives.

Much of my research today is centered on accounting for co-benefits in resilience planning and associated investments. In the ten plus years I have worked in the space of environmental and developmental economics, it has become clear – for better or worse – that the business case tends to be what decides whether an environmental improvement will be adopted. Highlighting the fact that minimal investments aimed directly at land restoration almost always have indirect co-benefits such as increased livelihood stability and reduced regional conflict. Not to mention that I recently learned that the world’s soils contain almost one-third of living organisms (per the European Union’s Joint Research Center). Considering that we only have identified about 1 % of these organisms, it’s worth keeping the soil around and learning more.

I wager that in land restoration and management overall, technical questions are not the greatest obstacles, though the science is complex and, of course, continues to unfold. The real challenge continues to be getting communities to work together and to share and support effective goals around land issues. Starting with users of the land and go up– addressing stakeholders at multiple levels—is crucial. We need to strive to overcome silo thinking, whether by experts, policy makers, or practitioners, in order to continue to restore degraded lands effectively.

At a time when the USA is considering reducing key national climate measures (such as the Clean Air Act) and is threatening to exit the Paris Agreement on the International Stage, I am heartened thinking about the many local, regional, and international efforts I see related to land restoration. It is possible: investment (economic, social, and emotional) in landscapes, improved land governance, and trust building are coming together over and over to help restore land and with it, create a cleaner and more peaceful world.

Happy Earth Day! Please remember that there is no Planet B.

Jennifer F. Helgeson, PhD

 

About the editor:

Dr. Jennifer F. Helgeson is an environmental economist leading work on the economics of community resilience planning. Views shared in this post are her own and do not reflect the opinion of the organization by which she is employed. In the past, Jennifer was a researcher at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Norway and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France. Following the completion of her B.A. Degree in Economics at Brandeis University, Dr. Helgeson had a Fulbright grant to research environmental economic issues in Norway. She earned her M.Sc. Degree in Environmental Change and Management with a focus on Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Helgeson holds a PhD in Environmental & Developmental Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) under a Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research scholarship and was also supported by NSF funding.

Jennifer is primarily interested in economic analyses that consider behavioral aspects and approaches to dealing with environmental issues. She has authored a number of academic articles and chapters. She co-edited the Elsevier published book “Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future.”


This blog first appeared on ELSEVIER SciTech Connect.

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