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Scientific paper


Towards a re-evaluation of the land sparing vs. land sharing debate from the perspective of peasant farming systems

A. Cristina de la Vega-Leinert

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Abstract: Worldwide agricultural land is a scarce and degraded resource, while the commoditisation of natural resources spatially decouples the environmental and societal impacts of production, trade and consumption. Sustainability, increasingly an explicit political and social desirable norm, seeks to reverse Nature'S degradation, while fostering human well-being in a fairer society. An often unchallenged premise is that synergies between environmental, economic and social spheres exist and can be exploited to harness global change. However, social groups and national and international actors compete for land and resources and their goals are often mutually exclusive. The implementation of the sustainability ideal thus implies prioritisation and choice, winners and losers over different spatial and temporal scales. The land sparing vs. land sharing framework, which stems from the ecological modelling community, has provoked a vivid debate on which LU strategies are most appropriate to best face global change. This presentation proposes a critical re-evaluation of this debate, through an analysis of its implications for peasant farming systems.
Keywords: peasant farming, sustainability, land use, livelihoods, global change

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