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Farmers’ Value Assessment of Sociocultural and Ecological Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

Habtamu Temesgen () and Wei Wu ()
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Habtamu Temesgen: College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Wei Wu: College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 3, 1-18

Abstract: Biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services (ESs) are commonly used to define areas for land use and management planning. To date, there has been limited research conducted in Ethiopia regarding farmers’ evaluations of ESs. This article addresses farmers’ evaluations and perceptions of 16 ESs that are provided by five major land uses within two catchments, using a combined method of data generation and synthesis. Most farmers perceived the majority of land use/land cover (LUC) types as multifunctional; however, they showed distinctly diverse opinions of the benefits and services that the land uses provide. The farmers also distinguished pristine ESs as different importantance depending on their location in up- or downstream regions. Accordingly, shade and shelter values in the upstream region and fodder sources in the downstream regions were among the services perceived as the most important, followed by erosion control. Conversely, water treatment and tenure security were attributed poor value. Farmers’ also identified various threats to the studied ESs that were believed to be the consequences of overpopulation coupled with climate change. Routine anthropogenic activities, woodlots extraction, agribusiness investment, and drought and rainfall variability appeared to be the main drivers of these threats. The farmers’ perceptions recorded in this study generally parallel empirical research, wherein anthropogenic and environmental challenges affect the ecosystems. This general consensus represents an important basis for the establishment of collaborative land management activities.

Keywords: agricultural landscape; land use/land cover types; ecological value assessment; farmers’ sociocultural perception; agroforestry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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