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Abstract

The concept of sustainability and the feasibility options have been discussed in specialized literature sources for about three decades only. Sustainable development has several definitions; it is defined both in narrow and wider sense. The definition of sustainability is regarded inevitable because the sustainability of agriculture can be interpreted only within this fixed conceptual framework. Our study primarily deals with issues of sustainability in farming practices being specific to countries and regions of the European Union. In frames of the current research we provide the analysis of the ability to produce value added within agricultural sector, the intensity of farming, the non-renewable external input use, farm structure as well as the European-level relations being directed towards the preservation of land productivity.

Abstract

The main aim of this study is the development of methods for the assessment of the ecosystem services (ESS) of soils within the RECARE project and the participatory identification of measures to combat soil threats caused by floods in the Myjava River basin. The Myjava Hills highlands are known for their rapid runoff response and related muddy floods, which are determined by both the natural and socio-economic conditions. Within the frame of the mentioned project, the ESS framework with detailed relationships between the ecology, societal response, driving forces and also human well-being was identified. Next, to assess the SLM practices in the pilot basin, the stakeholders, who showed an interest in solving the flood protection problems in their areas, took an active part in the process of evaluating, scoring and selecting the best sustainable land management practices (SLM) for the flood protection of soil. From the results which were proposed, the technology of vegetative strips was top rated within the total results among all the SLM measures in all the categories, followed by water-retaining ditches and small wooden dams. Building a polder least meets the proposed SLM criteria.

1 Introduction Sustainable land use is gaining importance because the consumption of soil and land is progressing without noticeable restrictions. As soil is a major crosscutting issue, it is challenging to manage this finite resource. The limited area has to fulfill a high variety of needs, further complicating a fair allocation. Sustainable land management implies the qualitative and quantitative preservation and restoration of both soil and land to assure the delivery of its services (i.a., European Environment Agency, 2015). Owing to increasing societal needs

Abstract

This contribution discusses regional development drawing on the EU member state Austria as an example. The crosscutting theme is illustrated from initial positioning through to relevant fields of action. In doing so, the way forward is seen as a process and those who accompany it are seen as the ones responsible for its implementation. Responsibilities are identified along theses. These are formed in the context of demographic change, mobility, energy, regional public services, residential development, cooperation and governance processes. Fields of action are discussed in accordance with the developed theses.

Abstract

The identification of drought-sensitive areas (DSAs) in floodplain Fluvisols of high textural pedodiversity is crucial for sustainable land management purposes. During extended drought periods moisture replenishment is only available by capillary rise from the groundwater. However, moisture flux is often hindered by capillary barriers in the interface between layers of contrasting textures. The results of HYDRUS-1D simulations run on multilayered soil profiles were integrated into textural maps to determine the spatial distribution of water dynamics on the floodplain of the Drava River (SW Hungary). Model runs and field data revealed limited moisture replenishment by capillary rise when both contrasting textural interfaces and sandy layers are present in the profile. By implementing these textural and hydraulic relations, a drought vulnerability map (DSA map) of the operational area of the Old Drava Programme (ODP) was developed. According to the spatial distribution of soils of reduced capillary rise, 52% of the ODP area is likely threatened by droughts. Our model results are adaptable for optimisation of land- and water-management practices along the floodplains of low-energy and medium-sized rivers under humid continental and maritime climates.

Abstract

The increased cultivation of energy crops has a variety of economic, social and environmental effects, which can be assessed using the concept of ecosystem services (ES). Among the various instruments for regulating energy crop cultivation, reducing the impacts on ecosystems and landscapes, and moving sustainable land management forward, the ES concept is a useful tool since it includes economic, ecological and social aspects. The methodological approach is exemplified by a case study in the district of Gorlitz, Germany. It started with an indicator-based analysis of the present state of landscape functions or services, focusing on the “supply” part of ES assessments. The results were interpreted in light of an ecological risk assessment concerning intensified agriculture in general and the increased cultivation of energy crops in particular: on the one hand for the present situation, and on the other, for three different future scenarios. It was possible to project the results onto reference units (biophysical units), and to reveal spatial differences in carrying capacity or sensibility as a result of increased energy crop cultivation. The demand side of ESs was assessed on the basis of semi-structured interviews and standardized questionnaires.

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