Sustainable Land Management Science Area at CEH

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CEH's new Science Strategy identifies three interdependent, major societal and environmental challenges: Securing the Value of Nature, Building Resilience to Environmental Hazards, and Managing Environmental Change. We're delivering our strategy by Science Areas and underpinning activities, and over the next few weeks we are profiling these on our blog. 

This post focuses on our Sustainable Land Management science area, which is led by Dr Richard Pywell. The research we undertake in this area is delivered in the context of ensuring adequate provision of food, fuel and water while conserving biodiversity and vital ecosystem functions.

Population increase, climate change, pollution and other environmental stresses are expected to have highly detrimental impacts on ecosystems and natural resources vital for human wellbeing and livelihoods. Therefore novel land management approaches to optimise natural resources are needed. 

CEH's sustainable land management science area aims to understand the threats to semi-natural and highly managed ecosystems, and their component resources. From this understanding, we will develop robust strategies to conserve vital resources and increase their resilience to environmental change. We will also develop practical approaches that can be applied at the field, farm and landscape scale to restore and enhance the ecosystem functions and services crucial for human wellbeing and livelihoods.

Our research activity involves experiments, long-term monitoring, the development of practical land management and restoration techniques, engagement with practitioners and industry and the support of policy development. 

Our science helps to protect, restore and enhance ecosystem functions that support food production, such as pollination and pest control. 

We also engage with practitioners and the farming industry to develop new, innovative eco-intensive farming systems that are practical and commercially viable.

Future objectives include constructing spatial decision-support tools to balance demands on limited land; developing and testing management and restoration strategies; mapping potential deficits and vulnerabilities of pollination and pest control services to environmental stress; and supporting future land management policies that meet the challenges of sustainable intensification and multi-functional land use.

For more details of these and other objectives in our Sustainable Land Management Science Area, see our Science Area Summary [PDF]. 

Additional information

CEH Science Strategy 2014-2019

CEH Science Areas 

Staff page of Dr Richard Pywell, Science Area Lead for Sustainable Land Management

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