Integrating Land System Science and Conservation
 Science for deeper insights into conservation challenges and opportunities

Organized by: Tobias Kuemmerle, Alfredo Romero Munoz, Humboldt-University Berlin;
Tak Iwamura, Oregon State University

The main driver of the current biodiversity crisis is how we use land. Decisions about land use are made in land systems – social-ecological systems where land use is a key link between people and nature. Land System Science has recently emerged as a scientific field exploring the drivers, geographies, processes, and outcomes of land-use change through the lens of social-ecological research. However, this discipline remains weakly integrated with Conservation Science. In this symposium, we showcase how perspectives from Land System Science can enhance our understanding of conservation challenges and opportunities, and thus our ability guide conservation planning action. Cross-fertilization and a deeper integration of Land System Science and Conservation Science help to explore questions such as: How and where does land use interact with other drivers of biodiversity loss? When and how does land use-change trigger conservation responses, and why do some regions undergo rapid land-use change and receive more conservation attention than others? Which land-use changes open up restoration opportunities? How can a focus on land-use actors help to better target policies, increase conservation effectiveness, and improve conservation planning? The symposium will bring together individuals from the fields of Land System Science and Conservation Science, as well as researchers and practitioners of different cultural backgrounds and career stages to explore these questions, and to foster collaboration across disciplinary boundaries.

Key references
Butsic, V., Kuemmerle, T., Pallud, L., Helmstedt, K.J., Macchi, L., & Potts, M.D. (2020). Aligning biodiversity conservation and agricultural production in heterogeneous landscapes. Ecological Applications, 30, e02057. 

Cumming, G.S., & Allen, C.R. (2017). Protected areas as social-ecological systems: perspectives from resilience and social-ecological systems theory. Ecological Applications, 27, 1709-1717. 

Fischer, J., Riechers, M., Loos, J., Martin-Lopez, B., & Temperton, V.M. (2021). Making the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration a Social-Ecological Endeavour. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 36, 20-28.

Iwamura, T., Polain de Waroux, Y., & Mascia, M.B. (2018). Considering people in systematic conservation planning: insights from land system science. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16, 388-396.

Kuemmerle, T., Kastner, T., Meyfroidt, P., & Qin, S. (2019). Conservation Telecouplings. In Friis, C. & Nielsen, J.Ø. (Eds.), Telecoupling: Exploring Land-Use Change in a Globalised World (pp. 281-302). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Santos, J.L., Moreira, F., Ribeiro, P.F., Canadas, M.J., Novais, A., & Lomba, A. (2020). A farming systems approach to linking agricultural policies with biodiversity and ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 19, 168-175.


Presentations
Conservation frontiers – Understanding relationships between expanding land use and expanding conservation efforts
- Ana Buchadas (Humboldt-universität Zu Berlin, Germany)

Evaluating policy outcomes in complex land-use systems
- Nils Droste (Lund University, Sweden)

Putting land-use actors in focus for improved conservation planning and effectiveness
- Takuya Iwamura (Oregon State University, United States)

The impacts of agricultural land use and production on vertebrate biodiversity differ greatly across products, space and biodiversity indicator
- Thomas Kastner (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Germany)

Land systems for mapping and understanding interactions among threats to biodiversity
- Tobias Kuemmerle (Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany)

Fostering protected area effectiveness through a social-ecological perspective
- Jacqueline Loos (Leuphana University, Germany)

Effects of land-tenure regimes on deforestation in Brazil
- Andrea Pacheco (German Centre For Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany)

Factors influencing the allocation of international conservation efforts
- Siyu Qin (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)