SDSN Germany Project: At the Science Policy Interface: Land Use Synergies and Conflicts within the Framework of the 2030 Agenda (LANUSYNCON)

LANUYSNCON answers urgent questions about the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, which requires the conceptual and practical involvement of different perspectives, actors and research fields. The focus of the project is to examine the complex trade-offs between different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of land use. Based on case studies in Kenya and Tanzania, where pressure on land is increasing, the project aims to provide results that will help to understand and consider impacts of policy decisions beyond the respective policy sector in order to promote coherent land use policies.

Project Lead:

Jun-Prof. Lisa Biber-Freudenberger

Project description

The limited availability of natural resources, population growth and increasing consumption are presenting society with enormous challenges such as climate change, hunger, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. The demand for food, raw materials, energy, and housing has exceeded the availability of bio-productive area. This causes land use conflicts, loss of biodiversity, and land degradation. In addition, insufficient coordination between land use decisions of different political sectors often leads to conflicts of land’s ownership, access and use. This is especially the case in sub-Saharan Africa, where the pressure on land is increasing.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) were adopted to overcome these challenges but synergies and conflicts between SDGs remain mostly unexplored. In this context, LANUSYNCON will not only examine the complex interactions between different SDGs but also translate knowledge from science into relevant policy options for policymakers. Furthermore, LANUSYNCON will assess the role of Science Policy Interfaces (SPIs) in land use policies and the capacity of SPIs to consider synergies and conflicts in their work. The goal is to identify factors and obstacles to coherent land use and to contribute to a better consideration of synergies and conflicts in political decisions.

Finally, this project involves and builds on the expertise of a number of international and local partners.