Landowners' pursuit of different land-use strategies may confound policymakers


A burgeoning human population has put increasing pressure on the world's land, so smart land-use strategies that prevent hunger, support economies and preserve ecological diversity are now more critical than ever. While exploring the interactions between natural and human systems within the forested regions of the American Midwest and the Brazilian Amazon, researchers at Indiana University Bloomington discovered differences in land-use strategies that lead to a heterogeneous landscape, which may complicate future policymaking decisions.

Peter Deadman of IU's Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change said the implication for policymakers is that it may be very difficult to create a single, uniform policy for an entire region. By looking at satellite imagery and aerial photos of Brazil and the Midwest, the researchers learned how households develop land-use strategies and the factors, including crop prices, conservation plans and state and federal forest protection programs, that influence their decision-making process.

CIPEC co-directors Elinor Ostrom and Emilio Moran and Associate Director Tom Evans participated in the study. The researchers' findings will be presented at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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