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Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Creutzig F.,Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change | Creutzig F.,TU Berlin | Creutzig F.,Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies | Corbera E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Integrated assessment models suggest that the large-scale deployment of bioenergy could contribute to ambitious climate change mitigation efforts. However, such a shift would intensify the global competition for land, with possible consequences for 1.5 billion smallholder livelihoods that these models do not consider. Maintaining and enhancing robust livelihoods upon bioenergy deployment is an equally important sustainability goal that warrants greater attention. The social implications of biofuel production are complex, varied and place-specific, difficult to model, operationalize and quantify. However, a rapidly developing body of social science literature is advancing the understanding of these interactions. In this letter we link human geography research on the interaction between biofuel crops and livelihoods in developing countries to integrated assessments on biofuels. We review case-study research focused on first-generation biofuel crops to demonstrate that food, income, land and other assets such as health are key livelihood dimensions that can be impacted by such crops and we highlight how place-specific and global dynamics influence both aggregate and distributional outcomes across these livelihood dimensions. We argue that place-specific production models and land tenure regimes mediate livelihood outcomes, which are also in turn affected by global and regional markets and their resulting equilibrium dynamics. The place-specific perspective suggests that distributional consequences are a crucial complement to aggregate outcomes; this has not been given enough weight in comprehensive assessments to date. By narrowing the gap between place-specific case studies and global models, our discussion offers a route towards integrating livelihood and equity considerations into scenarios of future bioenergy deployment, thus contributing to a key challenge in sustainability sciences. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Sikor T.,University of East Anglia | Auld G.,Carleton University | Bebbington A.J.,Clark University | Benjaminsen T.A.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2013

This article reviews recent research on contemporary transformations of global land governance. It shows how changes in global governance have facilitated and responded to radical revalorizations of land, together driving the intensified competition and struggles over land observed in many other contributions to this special issue. The rules in place to govern land use are shifting from 'territorial' toward 'flow-centered' arrangements, the latter referring to governance that targets particular flows of resources or goods, such as certification of agricultural or wood products. The intensifying competition over land coupled with shifts toward flow-centered governance has generated land uses involving new forms of social exclusion, inequity and ecological simplification. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Opschoor H.,VU University Amsterdam | Opschoor H.,Institute of Social Studies
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology | Year: 2011

The notion of local (city-level) sustainable development (LSD) is explored against the backdrop of urban dynamics and the international discussions on sustainable development. Urban metabolism is a key concept used in the analysis. Overall, sustainable urban development is seen to have an internal dimension and an external dimension, even though urban jurisdictions may be restricted to the former. Sustainable cities (SCs) and policies for LSD are discussed conceptually and in terms of their operational use, with a focus on urban policies in developing and emerging countries. Examples are given of SCs in China. Cities with strategies related especially to climate change are considered separately and analysed in terms of developed-developing, adaptation or mitigation focus. Again, examples of especially 'low-carbon' cities in China are presented. From these elements, this paper extracts some elements of a (social science) research agenda in urban environmental studies. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

O'Laughlin B.,Institute of Social Studies | Bernstein H.,University of London | Cousins B.,University of the Western Cape | Peters P.E.,Harvard University
Journal of Agrarian Change | Year: 2013

This introduction sketches the context and dynamics of agrarian change, rural poverty and land reform since the end of apartheid in 1994, drawing attention to structural continuities and new elements in the countrysides of South Africa, and of the Southern African region in which South Africa must be located. Two key historical and theoretical reference points help focus attention on some central issues: the 'classic' model of dispossession/accumulation in South(ern) Africa, and 'decentralized despotism' as the distinctive mode and legacy of colonial governance. In conclusion, we introduce the papers as contributions to answering some central questions which require further research and debate. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Alonso-Fradejas A.,Institute of Social Studies
Canadian Journal of Development Studies | Year: 2012

Domestic and international capital controlling Guatemala's sugarcane and oil palm industries are deploying a dual investment strategy in the context of global financial, energy, food and environmental crises. They allocate current booming revenues to high-cost, long-term investments and they open and adapt new territories for cultivation. Under a new "extractivist governmentality", corporate land grabs aim to control land and natural resources as well as land-based wealth and the labour that produces it. Land ownership is being (re)concentrated and social relations reshaped: compensation to dispossessed indigenous peasants for their land is insufficient to boost non-farm livelihoods or to regain access to land. This paper describes efforts to institutionalise and legitimise this project, as well as the ongoing resistance to it. © 2012 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID). Source

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