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Conservation of land resources and land tenure systems (co-organized)
Convener: Min Liu  | Co-Conveners: Nico Heerink , Fabio Bartolini , Peter Kuikman , J.-F. Soussana 
 / Mon, 24 Apr, 15:30–17:15
 / Attendance Mon, 24 Apr, 17:30–19:00

The availability and quality of land resources, as the basic resource for food production and provider of many ecological and other services, is a matter of great concern to humanity. Various land conservation policies/projects have been implemented with different degrees of success by (inter-)governmental agencies and NGOs all over the world. In order to ensure an adequate resource base that can support adequate growth rates of food and other agricultural products needed by this world, sustainable use and management of land resources is of vital importance. Land tenure systems have long been recognised to play an important role in shaping incentives for degrading soils and for making investments in soil conservation. Tenure systems differ widely across the globe, ranging from traditional collective ownership systems to private ownership, and from sharecropping or fixed-rent to collective ownership and private user rights relations between landlords and tenants. Incentives for land degradation / conservation depend crucially on tenure security perceptions of the individuals or households making land use and land investment decisions, which may be threatened by unpredictable behaviour of landlords, co-existence of formal and informal tenure systems, expropriations by local governments (for meeting demands for urban expansion, infrastructure construction, or foreign investments), and other forces. But other aspects of land tenure, like rental payment method or mortgaging of land use rights, may affect investment incentives as well. Our session provides a platform for discussing and comparing state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research on land tenure systems, tenure security, land degradation and land conservation investments, sustainable land use and management, evaluation of land conservation policies/projects, and related topics. Although the main focus will be on arable land, we also welcome contributions that focus on grassland, forestland or other land use types. Main research questions that will be addressed include: (1) What are the impacts of different types of land tenure systems, found in different countries and regions across the world, upon tenure (in)security perceptions? (2) What are the main tenure-related and other factors affecting land degradation and investments in land conservation? (3) What are the main causes of recent successes and failures of policies and/or projects aimed at stimulating land conservation?