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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 265104
  
 
 

 



News
New publication - Forthcoming article
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Haberl, Helmut, Julia K. Steinberger, Christoph Plutzar, Karl-Heinz Erb, Veronika Gaube, Simone Gingrich, Fridolin Krausmann, 2012. Natural and socioeconomic determinants of the embodied human appropriation of net primary production and its relation to other resource use indicators. Accepted by Ecological Indicators.

Abstract

Indicators of resource use such as material and energy flow accounts, emission data and the ecological footprint inform societies about their performance by evaluating resource use efficiency and the effectiveness of sustainability policies. The human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) is an indicator of land-use intensity on each nation’s territory used in research as well as in environmental reports. ‘Embodied HANPP’ (eHANPP) measures the HANPP anywhere on earth resulting from a nation’s domestic biomass consumption. The objectives of this article are (i) to study the relation between eHANPP and other resource use indicators and (ii) to analyze socioeconomic and natural determinants of global eHANPP patterns in the year 2000. We discuss a statistical analysis of >140 countries aiming to better understand these relationships. We found that indicators of material and energy throughput, fossil-energy related CO2 emissions as well as the ecological footprint are highly correlated with each other as well as with GDP, while eHANPP is neither correlated with other resource use indicators nor with GDP, despite a strong correlation between final biomass consumption and GDP. This can be explained by improvements in agricultural efficiency associated with GDP growth. Only about half of the variation in eHANPP can be explained by differences in national land-use systems, suggesting a considerable influence of trade on eHANPP patterns. eHANPP related with biomass trade can largely be explained by differences in natural endowment, in particular the availability of productive area. We conclude that eHANPP can deliver important complimentary information to indicators that primarily monitor socioeconomic metabolism.

http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/socec/inhalt/3932.htm

 
New publication
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Erb, K.-H., How a socio-ecological metabolism approach can help to advance our understanding of changes in land-use intensity, Ecological Economics (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.02.005

 
New publication
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Haberl,H., Sprinz, D., Bonazountas, M., Cocco, P., Desaubies, Y., Henze, M., Hertel, O., Johnson, R.K., Kastrup, U., Laconte, P., Lange, E., Novak, P., Paavola, J., Reenberg, A., van den Hove, S., Vermeire, T.,  Wadhams, P., Searchinger, T., Correcting a fundamental error in greenhouse gas accounting related to bioenergy, accepted by Energy Policy.


Abstract

Many international policies encourage a switch from fossil fuels to bioenergy based on the premise that its use would not result in carbon accumulation in the atmosphere. Frequently cited bioenergy goals would at least double the present global human use of plant material, the production of which already requires the dedication of roughly 75% of vegetated lands and more than 70% of water withdrawals. However, burning biomass for energy provision increases the amount of carbon in the air just like burning coal, oil or gas if harvesting the biomass decreases the amount of carbon stored in plants and soils, or reduces carbon sequestration. Neglecting this fact results in an accounting error that could be corrected by considering that only the use of ‘additional biomass’ – biomass from additional plant growth or biomass that would decompose rapidly if not used for bioenergy – can reduce carbon emissions. Failure to correct this accounting flaw will likely have substantial adverse consequences. The article presents recommendations for correcting greenhouse gas accounts related to bioenergy.

http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/socec/inhalt/3932.htm
 
New publication
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Rounsevell, M.D.A., Pedroli, B., Erb,K-H.,  Gramberger, M., Gravsholt Busck, A., Haberl,H., Kristensen, S., Kuemmerle, T., Lavorel, S., Lindner, M., Lotze-Campen, H.,  Metzger, M.J., Murray-Rust, D., Popp, A.,  Pérez-Soba, M.,  Reenberg, A., Vadineanu, A., Verburg, P.H.,  Wolfslehne, B., Challenges for land system science, Land Use Policy (2012), doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2012.01.007

Abstract

While considerable progress has been made in understanding land use change, land system science continues to face a number of grand challenges. This paper discusses these challenges with a focus on empirical land system studies, land system modelling and the analysis of future visions of land system change. Contemporary landscapes are contingent outcomes of past and present patterns, processes and decisions. Thus, empirical analysis of past and present land-use change has an important role in providing insights into the socio-economic and ecological processes that shape land use transitions. This is especially important with respect to gradual versus rapid land system dynamics and in understanding changes in land use intensity. Combining the strengths of empirical analysis with multi-scale modelling will lead to new insights into the processes driving land system change. New modelling methods that combine complex systems thinking at a local level with macro-level economic analysis of the land system would reconcile the multi-scale dynamics currently encapsulated in bottom-up and top-down modelling approaches. Developments in land use futures analysis could focus on integrating explorative scenarios that reflect possible outcomes with normative visions that identify desired outcomes. Such an approach would benefit from the broad and in-depth involvement of stakeholders in order to link scientific findings to political and societal decision-making culminating in a set of key choices and consequences. Land system models have an important role in supporting future land use policy, but model outputs require scientific interpretation rather than being presented as predictions. The future of land system science is strongly dependent on the research community's capacity to bring together the elements of research discussed in the paper, via empirical data collection and analysis of observed processes, computer simulation across scale levels and futures analysis of alternative, normative visions through stakeholder engagement.

 
ialeUK 2012 conference - first call for abstracts
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The call for abstracts from the 2012 ialeUK conference in Edinburgh in September is now open. Deadline for submission is 9th of April 2012. More information here

 
VOLANTE Scenario workshop
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SW_nov6  

The VOLANTE Scenario Workshop (full title   “High-level Expert Workshop on Land Use Foresight”) organised by the VOLANTE Work Package 10 was successfully held in Mechelen (Belgium) on 17-18 November, 2011. The consultative workshop was organised, designed and facilitated by Prospex, in coordination with and with the support of Marc Metzger (UEDIN),  Ariane Walz and Hermann Lotze-Campen (PIK), and Marcus Lindner (EFI).

          

Participants worked both in groups and in plenary sessions, and had the chance to present the state of the art of their organisation’s foresight.The facilitated consultative exercise resulted in very insightful reflections and offered several new and interesting input for VOLANTE’s scenarios. The discussions mainly centered around future uncertainties in the demand of land (including consumption patterns and changes in diets), in the governance structure & geo-political scenarios as well as in the environmental resilience to future (climate) pressures.

The VOLANTE partners will collect these insights and work towards a reviewed scenario structure to be combined with the modelling activity. All workshop participants demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for VOLANTE aims and objectives, and willingness to be informed and further involved  in the project next steps.
 
Metastudy of existing empirical data available to VOLANTE
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Deliverable D1.1. is now available. This report presents the results of a metastudy of existing empirical data available to VOLANTE. It is based on an overview of key characteristics of the seven areas proposed as VOLANTE case areas. The information has been supplied by the VOLANTE partners and consists of: 1) a table summarizing key characteristics, 2) a thematic presentation of the case areas, and 3) The original descriptions including references to key papers describing previous research in the case areas.

D1.1 Metastudy of existing empirical data available to VOLANTE

 
New publication
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A global assessment of how wood product trade helps shape forest change, by relating forest stock change to net trade of wood products for the period 1997–2007 and by localizing the origin of wood consumed in a given nation.

Kastner, T., Erb, K-H., Nonhebel, S. (2011) International wood trade and forest change: A global analysis. Global Environmental Change. 21:947-956.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095937801100080X

http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/socec/downloads/Kastner-et-al._2011_International-wood-trade-and-forest-change_GEC.pdf

 
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