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

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Resilient landscapes sustaining people and nature in rural areas l.jpg

Resilient Landscapes:Sustaining people and nature in rural areas

Lecture 19


Rural decline is a wicked problem a knot of ecological and socio economic factors l.jpg

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).


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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


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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


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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?


Outline l.jpg

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


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The Adaptive Cycle - A Map of System Dynamics

Source: Holling, 1992


What promotes resilience l.jpg

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?


What promotes resilience9 l.jpg

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?


What promotes resilience10 l.jpg

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?


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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?


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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Cereal Production inDeveloping Countries (1961-1986)

Calories

per

Person

per

Day

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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Declining World Food Price Index

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

300

200

100

50

Food

Price

Index

Year


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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


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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


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Global Pollution caused by Agriculture

Global

Disturbances

Will

Increase

asAgriculture

Modifies

the

Climate.

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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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


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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.


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Soil Losses from ErosionJava

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

Tons

Of

Top

Soil

Per

Hectare


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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).


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Arable Land in Developing CountriesThe Potential Appears Large

Area

In

Millions

Of

Hectares

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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Constraints on Potential Cropland in Developing Nations

Percent

Of

Land

Affected

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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Rising Trend of Fertilizer Use in Developing Countries

Million

Tons

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


Slide37 l.jpg

Global

Fertilizer

Use

Trends

Since

1960

Source: G. Conway 1997

The Doubly Green Revolution


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Hunger in the Developing World

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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Access to Services inDeveloping Countries

Percentage

Of

Population

With

Access

Service

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


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Poverty and Land Holdingin Bangladesh

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


Resilience regulation of renewal l.jpg

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


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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%


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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)


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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.


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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


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World Population Increase

Source: G. Conway 1997 The Doubly Green Revolution


Outline47 l.jpg

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


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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.


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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


Challenges to polish agriculture official view of eu and polish ministry of agriculture l.jpg

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


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Sizes of Polish Farms(2 048 000 farms in June 1995)

* - Numbers of farms (000s)

690

545

429 *

220

164

UAA = Useable Agricultural Area


Challenges to polish agriculture perspective of the eu l.jpg

Challengesto Polish Agriculture:Perspective of the EU

  • Trade Skills and Institutions are very poorly developed –> Poland can’t withstand EU market competition

    • fragmented production structure

    • poor vocational qualifications

    • lack of marketing skills

    • absence of strong, organized producer groups

    • most producers can’t ensure steady product flows of sufficient size

    • no homogenous quality standards


Percent of workforce in agriculture in 1995 l.jpg

Percent of Workforce in Agriculture (in 1995)

Source: Ribbe, L. 1998 “Land of the Storks -Agriculture in Poland”

Report to Rockefeller Brothers Fund. EuroNatur. Bonn, Germany.


Socio economic challenges to rural life in poland l.jpg

Socio-Economic Challengesto Rural Life in Poland

  • Financial

    • Lack of money to finance innovations

    • No excess resources with which to take new initiatives

    • Many farms operate at a subsistence level (15 %)

    • Only 48% produce mainly for the market

  • Market Innovation

    • Local (even national) economies not strong enough to drive niche markets that ecological products might require to sustain the risk of going ‘organic.’


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Socio-Economic Challengesto Rural Life in Poland

  • Little access to health-care, banks, shops, cultural institutions

  • High unemployment (both recorded and hidden)

  • Low incomes – no financial independence or capacity to adapt

  • Endangered cultural heritage

  • Disappearance of the framework of schools, shops and institutions that should nurture and be nurtured by farmers.


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Socio-Economic Challengesto Rural Life in Poland

  • Poor infrastructure discourages rural life and resettlement

    • Transportation – hard to get goods to market

    • Fuel(gas) and electricity

    • Frequent power failures

    • Poor communication (telephone and post)

    • Little sanitation or water availability

    • Water supply – 1.5 million local wells, 65 % give poor quality water

  • No prospect of building a better life

    • Hard work for 365 days with no vacation

    • Farms too small to make profit, no chance to build capital and get ahead


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Opportunities for Polish Agriculture

  • Good potential for broad-based organic production

    • Extensive experience in self-reliance to produce food with few or no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.

    • Many producers could qualify as organic.

  • EU accession can support programs of rural development (SAPARD).


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Food Securityof Polish Agriculture

  • Despite small size, farms have maintained very stable output

    • Ex. Per capita consumption 1986 – 1994 almost unchanged in potatoes, vegetables, cereals. Only milk declined 29 % (source: L. Ribbe 1998 Land of the Storks)

  • Modest yields mean no dependence on high feed concentrates, pesticides and anti-bacterial chemicals.

    • 1000 Kg Milk/cow each year – Poland 3.1, Germany 5, Denmark 6

    • People each hectare must feed – Germany 5, Netherlands 7, Poland 2.


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Polish Agriculture:Trends in Inputs and OutputsSurprisingly good production with little input

Source: Ribbe, L. 1998 “Land of the Storks -Agriculture in Poland”

Report to Rockefeller Brothers Fund. EuroNatur. Bonn, Germany.


Outline60 l.jpg

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


Outline61 l.jpg

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


What promotes resilience62 l.jpg

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?


What promotes resilience63 l.jpg

Control of Disturbance

Capacity to Absorb Disturbance

Landscape morphometry

Re-establish Natural Floodplains for flood protection

Habitat availability

Ability to migrate (connectivity of landscape)

Spatial Heterogeneity

Shelter belts, landscape planning

Processing and Cycling of Resources

Lower demand -> lower nutrient inputs

What Promotes Resilience?


Practices to regulate renewal of rural systems l.jpg

Replenish and Sustain 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

Practices to Regulate Renewal of Rural Systems


Practices to regulate renewal of rural systems65 l.jpg

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

Practices to Regulate Renewal of Rural Systems


Outline66 l.jpg

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


Mandate to counter pose theory and practice l.jpg

Mandate to Counter-pose Theory and Practice

  • Science can’t address problems alone

    • Control, replication and isolation of single causative variables are rarely possible in a multi-variate arena (interface of nature/society) at large scales.

  • Problem causes and solutions are dynamic

    • Basic uncertainty emerging from nature is compounded by society’s attempts to learn and manage. We need adaptive means to understand and implement that flexibly integrate theory and practice as we follow changes in nature and society.


Learning that persistently adapts l.jpg

Learning That Persistently Adapts

  • Truth is not constant - Social and natural systems continue to change

  • Initial responses to crises were not as important as the sustained capability to learn and respond accordingly.


Adaptive learning l.jpg

Adaptive Learning

  • No genuine learning inside the box - your disciplinary shell determines how you learn.

  • Even the best data and models can’t deliver certainty

    • Lake Mendota, Wisconsin.


Aea processes linked in a cycle of integrated learning l.jpg

AEA Processes Linked in a Cycle of Integrated Learning

Policy as

Hypothesis

Management

Actions as

Tests

Assessment

Evaluation


Objectives of policy analysis conventional vs adaptive attitudes l.jpg

Conventional

1. Seek precise predictions

2. Build prediction from detailed understanding

3. Promote scientific consensus

4. Minimize conflict among actors.

Adaptive

1. Uncover range of possibilities

2. Predict from experience with aggregate responses

3. Embrace alternatives

4. Highlight difficult trade-offs

Objectives of Policy AnalysisConventional vs. Adaptive Attitudes


Objectives of policy analysis conventional vs adaptive attitudes72 l.jpg

Conventional

5. Emphasize short-term objectives.

6. Presume certainty in seeking best action.

7. Define best action from set of obvious alternatives

8. Seek productive equilibrium.

Adaptive

5. Promote long-term objectives.

6. Evaluate future feedback and learning.

7. Seek imaginative new options.

8. Expect and profit from change.

Objectives of Policy AnalysisConventional vs. Adaptive Attitudes


Adaptive science and practice in minnesota prairie streams l.jpg

Adaptive Science and Practice in Minnesota Prairie Streams

  • Effective Collaboration

    • Scientists provide theory and supervise fieldwork

    • Farmers manage cattle according to experimental design and help monitor results

    • Local citizens help monitor stream conditions

  • Mutual Benefit

    • Stream conditions improve

      • Erosion reduced, water quality improved

      • Diversity of habitats and species increased

    • Farmers increase income and keep their farm

    • Local citizens learn science, ecology and farming and spread the knowledge informally

    • Advance ecological theory on disturbances


Cycles of erosion and grazing l.jpg

Cycles of Erosion and Grazing

A.

B.

C.


How might aea promote rural resilience l.jpg

How might AEA promote Rural Resilience?

  • Provide a transparent framework with a rigorous scientific foundation and broader collaboration across society to:

    • Develop, execute, assess and modify programs to monitor biodiversity.

    • Create dialogues that can evolve as nature or society change and which address the diversity of threats and benefits to biodiversity, synchronized with parallel research and monitoring programs.


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Caution

  • Nature and society will change, and no single index can capture this dynamic complexity.

  • We need adaptive means to:

    • Modify how we see and measure.

    • Refine our discussion to keep this full complexity in view as it changes.

    • Flexibly link our understandings to our actions such that policy can evolve with changes in the world.


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Summary

  • Resilience is produced by the abundance and diversity of a variety of factors and processes that operate at different scales.

  • Protecting resilience requires addressing the integrity of nature and society as expanding human populations threaten biodiversity.

  • Adaptive Environmental Assessment offers a flexible framework to understand and act in the face of uncertainty.


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