Sustainable intensification – solution for all
global challenges? Yes, No or both?
SLU – Focali – SIANI meeting for young researchers
“Multifunctional landscapes for food security,
livelihoods and the environment”
Gothenburg 7-8 June 2016
Professor, Tropical forest ecology and management – soil science
Director, SLU Global
Personal general reflexions and a case
of synergies and trade-offs
• Be structured and innovatie within your own
dicipline and hypothesis
• But also understand the larger role and
”landscape setting” of your own little quest.
• Formulate and motivate from a broader
Coping with catastrofies, conflicts and wars
or building resilient maturing societies?
• Mitigation and adaptation for climate change
• 70 % incresed food production
• Better income and secure livelihoods
• Increasing democracy
• Water management – increased quantities and quality
• Safeguard biodiversity
• Increased employment
• Growing energy demands – fossil-free
Sustainable intensification of agriculture – cultivation, animal husbandry, forest
Can LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT be useful to frame complex desired development?
• Rural village or community area of intrest
• Water catchment / watershed
• Ecosystem services generation and delivery
• Base for biodiversity land categories mosaic
• Base for production and outcomes diversity
(resilience for economic and climate/weather
• Base for delivery of product volumes for
refinement and value chain
Synergies and trade-offs in intensified
• Intensification and biodiversity?
Rational production, mono cultures, few improved varieties, etc
Or enrichment of degraded soil and vegetation?
• Intensification and ”ecological/organic”?
Mineral fertilisers, pest and weedicides, GMO, etc.
Or ”Integrated fertility management”, biological pest mngmt, etc
maintain subsistence farming and tree cone collection for a multitude
• Intesified agriculture and urbanisation?
Fewer farmers is a prerequisite for more rational agriculture?
But young people and women leaving gives lack of innovators?
Empiric base for ES understanding
From Kuyah S., et al., 2016 “Trees in agricultural landscapes
enhance provision of ecosystem services in Sub-Saharan Africa”
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services &
Management in press
• 350 peer reviewed
articles reffering to 205
Scale etc. of investigating ES
What are the empirics of synergies or trade-offs
between trees, carbon and water management?
(the basis for REDD+ and/or PES for water services)
"It doesn't matter where you are in the world, when you
grow trees on croplands, you use more water...
…reduce the water available for drinking and irrigation, and
harm local aquatic ecosystems.”
Nature News, 22 Dec 2005
”Down with trees”
- Tree planting can exacerbate
The Economist, 25 Jul 2005
This most comprehensive global review on
re/afforestation effects on water was heavily biased
towards sub-tropical and more northern areas.
None of the 504 observations from the 26 sites used occurred
within ten degrees of the Equator.
Only two occurred within twenty.
Neither of the two tropical sites were dry (<1000mm), nor wet
None was on degraded land and all for forest plantations.
Shvidenko et al. 2005
Open / fragmented forest
Other wooded lands
Closed vs. open forest - Africa
Yes, Forest plantations use more water
• Old growth forests are a mix of species and old and
young individuals and gaps, while the new forest
plantations are monocultures of fast growing
• It is not only Eucalypts that use a lot of water – also
indigenous poineer species in secondary forest use
as much water (Fritzsche et al., 2006)
afforestation improves soil water infiltration
Conclusions form meta-analysis; Ilstedt et al., 2007
Afforestation including agroforestry 2 to 5-fold increase in
(relevant compared to rain intensities to result in more water to groundwater)
The current paradigm: ”Trade-off model”
Canopy cover HighLow
Transpiration Surface runoff Soil evaporation Groundwater rechargeInfiltration
Canopy cover HighLow
Optimum tree density model
(Ilstedt et al Nature Scientific Reports 2016)
There are Opportunities Everywhere
The total opportunity area is 2 billion hectares (WRI)
Land restoration and/or sustainable intensification
Our flat model landscape in parkland agroforestry in Burkina
Faso may be easier to understand than other more complex
Mosaic landscape in terms of :
Ecosystems, land-use, stakholders and stakeholder
dependance areas, ownership, tenure, etc.
And coming transformations of landscapes’ effects on
ES is so much more than biogeophysical empirics…
Relevant research and systematic
(multidiciplinary) apporaches and their
Need to rely on process understanding but also to
integrate on relevant scales where ”Landscapes” often
relate well with ES, village and farm dependence area etc.
Thank you for your attention!
What is ecosystem services (ES)?
• Provisioning: products like food, wood, genetic resources
• Regulating: trough ecological prcesses regulation of
climate, water, weed, pethogenes etc.
• Supporting: natural processes that support other
ecosystem services (eg. primary production and nutrient
• Cultural and non-material: spiritual, religious, aestetic,
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, MA, 2005.
Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis.
And how does ES relate to landscapes?
• Provisioning ES relating directly to tenure, subsistence
and market in traditionally manageble scales
• Regulating ES involve landscapes, regions and the planet.
Local impacts can have severe effects for stakeholders far
• Supporting ES again mainly have more local effects and
are possible to quantify on the local (plot, field etc.) scale
• Cultural ES may come in all scales and are notoriously
difficult to value as they are very subjective.
Are ES providers universally good to
preserve and maintain to make
For example: ”More trees in the landscape provide:”
Increased biodiversity (plants and animals)
More carbon to mitigate climate change
Restored and/or more productive soil
More avaliable water in soils (climate adaptation, drought resistance
Additional income to farmers
Resilience to farmers (additional income and reserve food)
More stable local climate and more rain??
Are there universal laws as to how these co-benefits or synergies work?
Or indeed, does relations vary across different landscapes involving trade-offs?