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Title: Reconciling conservation, agriculture and household welfare : testing the suitability of the land sparing and sharing model in Western Uganda
Author: Jeary, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 9178
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Increasing demand for food, fuel and timber, industrial and urban development, and for the protection of biodiversity and natural habitats are driving competition for land. In the face of rapid population growth and climate change there is urgent need to find ways of balancing the multiple requirements that people place on landscapes. The land sparing and sharing model is a simple and powerful way of framing the trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation but one that has been subject to much criticism, not least for its failure to consider local level impacts on food security and livelihoods. In the Budongo Forest Reserve of Uganda and surrounding landscape, which provides critical habitat to biodiversity and threatened species, small-scale food production is at the heart of household food security and livelihoods, and commercial sugarcane production has contributed to widespread deforestation. Where deforestation and land use change threaten the natural resources on which the majority of the population depend, adopting a sparing or sharing approach is likely to have significant consequences for household welfare, farming and access to food, and yet the framework does little to prescribe the appropriate approach for a given landscape context. This thesis investigates the suitability of the land sparing and sharing model for reconciling trade-offs between biodiversity conservation, food production and measures of household welfare, using the Budongo Forest landscape as a case study. Using statistical models constructed to simulate the two approaches based on household and community-level data, it shows that household factors found to be linked to poverty and food insecurity, including the diversity and type of cropping system, size of and rights to land, agricultural production and income, and use of inputs, will likely be directly affected under a sparing or sharing strategy. The magnitude and direction of effect is, however, highly dependent upon the conceptualisation and translation of scenarios of sparing and sharing, model assumptions and relationships. As such, this thesis calls into question their ability to guide policy decision making. The Budongo Forest landscape does not easily fit within the land sparing and sharing framework (even when "re-framed") and current quantitative methods to assess land use strategies can be co-opted or unknowingly biased. As a result, I conclude that alternative land use decision making tools, particularly those that consider power structures, smallholder concerns, landscape context and future threats, are more appropriate for seeking optimal and sustainable land management.
Supervisor: Chris, Sandbrook Sponsor: CHESS ; ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Land sparing ; Land sharing ; agriculture ; poverty ; food security ; Uganda ; conservation ; land use