At the beginning of the month, UNU-FLORES held a workshop to discuss multifunctional land use in dryland areas of China with experts from the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) and Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). The workshop discussed and evaluated the current land-use practices in the Loess Plateau Region. An important outcome of the workshop was the identification of knowledge gaps and research needs for the establishment of multifunctional land-use systems in dry areas such as the Loess Plateau. The advancing in development of multifunctional land use will help to foster a framework that stresses and strengthens integration of environmental issues in supporting decision making and policy formulation at all levels.
The workshop evolved from the research activities of the Soil and Land-Use Management Unit of UNU-FLORES. Dr. Kai Schwärzel is leading a DFG-funded project entitled ‘Water yield response to changes in land-use and climate in a semi-humid/-arid transition region (Jinghe basin, Northwest China)’. The project team investigates how vegetation management in the Loess Plateau Region may help to increase the water yield. Initial results published in a recent article demonstrated that afforestation measures to combat soil erosion in the region have had a negative effect on water scarcity.
The workshop was held at the Beijing based Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), from 5 to 6 August. The workshop was attended by scientists from the Yangling based Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (CAS), the Beijing based Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection (CAF), and the above mentioned Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resource Research (CAS).