Regional Technical Platform on Green Agriculture

After a century of land consolidation in Europe – taking stock and looking forward > 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Gasbarri, Valentina (REU) Gasbarri, 28/03/2024
Total Contributions: 6

3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?

Based on the experiences and lessons learned so far with land consolidation in Europe, but also the emerging challenges in agriculture and beyond, how should land consolidation instruments develop in the future? 
Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Marije Louwsma
10/04/2024 01:33:01

That is a difficult question as it depends on country contexts. From a sustainability point of view, I think we first need a strategy for agriculture. What type of agriculture do we want, is still sustainable, i.e. not depleting natural resources or leading to pollution, while still being able to provide sufficient products to ensure food security. The envisioned strategy for agriculture demands the spatial conditions for farms. This in turn determines the need for LC and the type of LC (what should it achieve). 

Overall a general - worldwide - point of attention is sustainability in relation to climate change. Agriculture is severely affected by climate change - nowadays in almost all regions -, while (industrialised) agriculture also contributes to pollution and emissions causing climate change. Translating this to the question how LC instruments should develop, I suggest it should always be multipurpose as agriculture needs to go along with other land uses (and competition for land). Furthermore, LC instruments should go hand in hand with a clear vision and strategy for the agricultural sector. 

Studies have been done already how sustainable agriculture practice could look like (e.g. by Wageningen University), while still providing nutricious products for the people. Some ideas; producing locally, keeping distribution of products to a minimum; alteration of crops within parcels (avoiding monocultures); reduce use of pesticides; more plant-based diet, less meat production; 

Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Jaroslaw Janus
22/04/2024 09:20:09

I agree with the statement that the evolution of LC instruments should be aimed at their high universality and at the same time fit into an appropriately constructed long-term strategy for agriculture, which, however, must take into account the extremely large diversity of agricultural areas in the world, in Europe, and even within individual countries.

As previously mentioned, climate change is currently a major challenge in agriculture. Modern LC instruments should ensure soil protection, manage water shortages and excesses, prevent abandonment of land cultivation, and effectively transform rural areas with aging and rapidly decreasing populations that are often less interested in land cultivation. The modern multipurpose LC concept actually ensures the implementation of most of these goals (although many countries have not implemented this concept correctly or at all). Therefore, what can be improved apart from the need to constantly improve laws and institutional solutions? One of the directions of development may be an increase in the speed and accuracy of decision-making on the implementation of LC instruments in the areas that need it most.

The needs in the field of modern land consolidation (the cost of which is high) are usually much greater than both the financial and organizational possibilities in each country–it is worth making them reach these areas. those most in need of these activities (with full acceptance of landowners for these activities). Long-term, detailed monitoring of selected parameters of agricultural space (based on satellite and aerial remote sensing data, cadastral databases, soil databases, demographic data, and many other data sources) may provide indications of the location of problem areas and the types of problems that have already been identified (for example, the initial stages of land abandonment) or are likely to occur in the near future.

In terms of the desired direction of LC instrument development, I also see all activities (including those using extremely rapid technological development in the field of data acquisition, processing, and sharing) that can effectively shorten the entire process related to the planning and implementation of LC projects while further increasing the scope of landowners' participation in this process.

Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Jan Spijkerboer
04/05/2024 08:52:29

The landmanagement instrument like landconsolidation on a voluntary or mandatory way is the result of an overall plan for a region. A plan not only for agricultural purposes like less fragmentation, shorter distances between farm house and parcels, better watermanagement but also to maintain the landscape, the nature resources and to be ready for the future on climate change. More integreted plans. Main issue is how to cooperate with the owners and tenants of the land. Not only voluntary or bottom up but also more directive top down in cooperation with the owners/users. Because of the lost of the biodivesity in several countries it is necessary to enlarge the natural resources. With the experiences of landconsolidation in different countries we also have to changes the laws if they are not suitable for the sustainability of the regions. 

Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
ela ertunc
07/05/2024 08:09:19

It seems to me that the development of land consolidation institutions in the future should provide solutions to new problems that are beginning to affect and will affect agricultural areas in the future due to climate change, demographic changes, and the need to protect the environment and biodiversity. The main problem seems to be ensuring, through the implementation of land consolidation, the appropriate management of both the lack of water and its excess, also resulting from increasingly frequent extreme phenomena. A major challenge for the future is to shorten the duration of projects and reduce their costs, which can be achieved by using modern technology and automation of many activities in the field of feasibility studies, geodetic measurements, and the process of designing a new plot layout, as well as by improving social participation through the use of modern remote forms. Communication–in the field of consultations with landowners, collecting wishes, presenting the concept of a new plot layout, and other activities important in the process of implementing the land consolidation project.

Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Erik Blaabjerg
08/05/2024 06:12:30

In Denmark we experience increasing demands for different kind of land use in the rural areas. This creates new challenges and new opportunities for the use of land consolidation and often call for a multi-purpose land consolidation. I believe it is important to be able to calibrate the set up for land consolidation in order to achieve the given objectives. One area where these changes in the land use, and the multi-purpose approach, is affecting the existing land consolidation procedures is the land valuation. I would find it interesting to discuss if our existing land valuation procedures are fit to deal with a future with a more complex land use and with more objectives to pursue in the land consolidations.     

Re: 3. How should land consolidation instruments develop in the future?
Morten Hartvigsen
02/06/2024 07:56:12

The potential for land consolidation in Europe and beyond is bigger than ever after a century of implementation. However, countries implementing national land consolidation programmes will need to continue to develop their instruments to ensure that they are still fit for purpose and to sustain the continued political support that should never be taken for granted as we can see in some countries. When land consolidation is being discontinued in countries like Sweden or Lithuania, then it is not because there is no need but because the implementing agencies have not in time managed to develop and make it relevant. Land consolidation instruments will always have a core of agricultural development where productivity and competitiveness of farms is increased through reduction of land fragmentation and facilitation of enlargement of farms. This is in particular important when we want to support the development of small farms into commercial family farms. As we all know, the complex problems in rural areas in many countries calls for an integrated approach. Land consolidation can, in particular when applied in a multi-purpose approach, facilitate a sustainable local development through its contrinution to public initiated projects related to nature, environment and climate change affecting private owned agricultural land and ensure that the landowners and farmers are compensated in land and not through expropriation with a monetary compensation. The instrument can in different parts of the same project area facilitate both agricultural development and the implementation of the mentioned non-agricultural projects. The future for land consolidation is multi-purpose but fully based on local needs.