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J Environ Manage. 2013 Sep;127 Suppl:S56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.021. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Regional impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries using the FoPIA approach: findings from five case studies.

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  • 1Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg, Germany.


The impact of land use changes on sustainable development is of increasing interest in many regions of the world. This study aimed to test the transferability of the Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment (FoPIA), which was originally developed in the European context, to developing countries, in which lack of data often prevents the use of data-driven impact assessment methods. The core aspect of FoPIA is the stakeholder-based assessment of alternative land use scenarios. Scenario impacts on regional sustainability are assessed by using a set of nine regional land use functions (LUFs), which equally cover the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The cases analysed in this study include (1) the alternative spatial planning policies around the Merapi volcano and surrounding areas of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia; (2) the large-scale afforestation of agricultural areas to reduce soil erosion in Guyuan, China; (3) the expansion of soil and water conservation measures in the Oum Zessar watershed, Tunisia; (4) the agricultural intensification and the potential for organic agriculture in Bijapur, India; and (5) the land degradation and land conflicts resulting from land division and privatisation in Narok, Kenya. All five regions are characterised by population growth, partially combined with considerable economic development, environmental degradation problems and social conflicts. Implications of the regional scenario impacts as well as methodological aspects are discussed. Overall, FoPIA proved to be a useful tool for diagnosing regional human-environment interactions and for supporting the communication and social learning process among different stakeholder groups.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


(Ex-ante) impact assessment; Developing countries; Indicators; Land use change; Scenario study; Stakeholder participation; Sustainable development

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