Beyond ‘land sparing versus land sharing’: environmental heterogeneity, globalization and the balance between agricultural production and nature conservation


By addressing the trade-offs between food production and biodiversity conservation at landscape and ecoregion scales, the land sparing/sharing debate has made a significant contribution to land use science. However, as global population and food consumption grow, and urbanization and transnational trade intensify, land use trade-offs need to be analyzed at broader scales. These analyses should specifically consider the role of environmental heterogeneity on biodiversity distribution and agricultural suitability, the costs and benefits transferred far away from the focal land use, institutional and economic factors influencing stability and resilience, technology-related factors as mediators of agriculture suitability, and bundles of different environmental services. In addition, land use strategies to balance agriculture and biodiversity conservation must consider local socioeconomic constraints and trade-offs.

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5(5) 477-483
Tobias Kuemmerle
Tobias Kuemmerle
Professor & Head of the Conservation Biogeography Lab