Socioecological transition in the Cauca river valley, Colombia (1943–2010): towards an energy–landscape integrated analysis
Globally, agroecosytems are facing signficant challenges due to socio-ecological trends in which they are pressured to intensify in order to meat growing economic demands while also attempting to avoid the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services typically associated with agricultural intensification. This study uses the Cauca river valley in Colombia as a case-study in order to investigate the land use change and the ways human disturbance in agroecosystems are associated with landscape processes.
Goals & Methods
The goal of this study is to explore and develop understanding of the relationship between anthropogenic changes and land-matrix ecological functions and to identify local socioeconomic drivers of land-use change. To do so, the authors examined land-use change between 1943 and 2010 drawing on a range of data sets, including national censuses, historical information, documentary sources, and private archives. They then used an energy–landscape integrated analysis to understand the role that farms in the Cauca river valley played in managing biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The analysis showed that traditional organic mixed-farming decreased as industrial sugarcane production intensified. The study also further supported the intermediate disturbance-complexity hypothesis. The authors suggest that based on this study land-sharing, which includes farming landscapes that support biodiversity and ecological functionality, instead of land-sparing, a strategy that excludes lands from production, is the ideal strategy for initiatives. The articles concludes, stressing that proper managment of traditional knowledge and practices can lead to sustainable rural development.
Socioecological transition in the Cauca river valley, Colombia (1943–2010): towards an energy–landscape integrated analysis. Regional Environmental Change. 2017;18:1073–1087. doi:10.1007/s10113-017-1128-2..
- Barcelona Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
- Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Pontifical Javeriana University, Cali, Colombia
- Intercultural Studies Institute, Pontifical Javeriana University, Cali, Colombia
- Institute of Social Ecology, Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies, Alpen-Adria Universita¨t Klagenfurt, Vienna, Austria