Research needs for climate change mitigation through land use change

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Resource or Project Abstract

To assure sustainability of the Irish land use sector, it is important that changes in land use and land management are made to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions. However, for these changes in land use and management to be adopted the proposed changes have to be integrated with the other desirable outputs from and activities related to land use. This integrative work is what was started in this project. Methodological and conceptual advances over the past twenty years have helped to identify tools and methods for integration among stakeholder views that support a holistic, cross-sectorial approach for finding sustainable solutions. Generally, these methods start with an analysis of the goals of the different sectors and the context within which mitigation measures are implemented. This project used the conceptual tool of the Sustainability Loop (S-loop) to describe sustainability goals across sectors, the activities, which must change and the system within which the change has to occur. This allows to sketch out a comprehensive understanding of past and current efforts in Ireland to guide the Irish land use sector on a more sustainable path. The conceptual analysis conducted here helped to identify where there are weaknesses in our current understanding and thus research recommendations for further learning were highlighted. Once a good understanding of the current situation is reached, describing scenarios of what the future should or could look like is a powerful tool to stimulate discussion. One tool that can visualize advantages and disadvantages of scenarios is land use optimization. A modelling platform developed in New Zealand (LUMASS) was used in this project to demonstrate its suitability to underpin discussions on future land use scenarios. The usefulness of the tool depends strongly on the consensus of stakeholders that the indicators for the environmental performance of the scenarios are congruent with stakeholder understanding of the system and their goals for sustainability. It is therefore recommended that the use of the optimization tool be embedded in more general understanding of the Irish trajectory towards sustainability as summarized in this project and in conjunction with stakeholder processes that can foster agreement on the assumptions used with the tool. If these steps are undertaken to assure that the tool is used as part of a holistic approach to the evaluation of mitigation options, cognitive barriers to the adoption of mitigation measures can be eliminated and a successful implementation is more likely.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Tamara Hochstrasser
University College Dublin

Dr. Alexander Herzig
Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research New Zealand

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    Hochstrasser-Herzig2018.pdf   (2.12 Mb)
Att 2    GIS_Data_Inventory_28_07_2016.xlsx   (0.02 Mb)
Att 3    Interviews-with-policy-makers-fin.docx   (0.03 Mb)
Att 4    questionnaire-survey-monkey-1.docx   (0.02 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Hochstrasser, T. Herzig, A.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationResearch needs for climate change mitigation through land use change
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier22d35f3c-3ea1-11e9-bb07-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-20

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Hochstrasser, T. Herzig, A.   "Research needs for climate change mitigation through land use change". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-20)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsS-loop approach, LUMASS platform, Land use optimization, Environmental Policy Integration, land management, Agricultural Value chain, cross-sectorial, sustainability, Catchment, Landscape initiative
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceRight to publication of this material in a different format will be retained by the authors.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 4
Project Start Date Friday 30th January 2015 (30-01-2015)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 27th May 2015 (27-05-2015)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 13th April 2018 (13-04-2018)
Published on SAFERMonday 4th March 2019 (04-03-2019)
Date of Last EditWednesday 6th March 2019 at 09:19:01 (06-03-2019)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 09:19:01 (06-03-2019)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Suir catchment for land use optimization, Republic of Ireland for rest of project

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
Final report of project. Project is based on:
O'Reilly, G., O'Brien, P., & McGovern, F. (2012). Addressing climate change challenges in Ireland. CCRP Report (07-CCRP-3.1). Wexford, Ireland.
Supplementary Information
Links To Other Related Resources
The optimization software developed in the LUMASS modelling platform and used in this project is freely available at: (Opens in a new window)

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