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Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris 18-19 April 2008 Reducing land degradation.

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Presentation on theme: "Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris 18-19 April 2008 Reducing land degradation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Reducing land degradation and the alienation of productive land for urban purposes Earth Surface PROcesses, Material use and Urban Development- the ERSPROMUD project for the International Union of Geological Sciences (IGS) and the Scientific Committee for Problems in the Environment (SCOPE)‏ Land as a finite resource pressurised by growth (for cities, for food, for fuels)‏ Coping strategies (urban design, land remediation, resource management)‏

2 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Urban metabolism: material flows and loops

3 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Multiple demand for land due to urbanisation and industrialisation Urban per capita living space 9.6 m²Urban per capita living space 44m² 500,000 ha derelict land from coal mining which is increasing by 35,000 ha per annum 67,600 ha derelict land from former mine workings is not yet reclaimed (0.52% of all land in England Urban growth averages 4.32 m³ per capita per annum Urban growth averages 1.17 m³ per capita per annum 475,500 ha green land is being built on each year 6,700 ha green land is built on each year 3.7% of land is urbanised (this is the same as England in 1830)‏ 10.4% of land is urbanised (this will rise to 11.9% by 2016 China Land area 9,596,961 km² Population 1, million England Land area 129,652 km² Population 50.7 million

4 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Mineral extraction induced geomorphic change Limestone extraction in NW England in 100 years creates the same geomorphic change as natural processes in 10,000 years Land previously used for mineral workings is permanently degraded Artisanal and informal mining impact on agricultural land Chemical time-bombs pollute land and water

5 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Land transformed by urban expansion: new wetlands near Swindon, England

6 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Land transformed. Limestone extraction in the Peak District

7 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Limestone extraction- Tunstead Quarry, Derbyshire, England (Pit 3km²; Production 10 Mt p.a.; Reserves 260 Mt)‏

8 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 The historical legacy of mineral extraction. Land degraded by sate mining in Wales

9 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Hidden land use: overburden and mine waste Total global material movements (89% of global) (2002)‏ 3.712,138950, Gold ores- Au content 5.453, Iron ores- Fe content 7.284, Copper ores- Cu content , ,431Building stone & aggregates , Coal, Brown and lignite , ,787Coal, Hard % world total material moved Total material moved Mt Multiplier% world mineral production Mineral production Mt Commodity

10 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Contaminated land stocks. Derelict and disused land in Great Manchester 2001 Greater Manchester = 1290 km². Derelict and disused land, including land still used for waste disposal in Greater Manchester, = 72 km²

11 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Remediating contaminated land

12 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Land degraded by artisanal mining: rural brick production near Chenai, India

13 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Efficient land-use is a key factor in meeting global demands for both food and fuel. Biodiesel (rape seed, palm oil) has a high land use demand because of its limited energy efficiency. Ethanol (corn and sugar cane) has a fairly high land use demand because of its limited energy efficiency Marginal land can be used for short rotation coppice (willow/poplar and wattle/eucalyptus) for biomass and jatropha for biodiesel In many developing countries, efforts to increase land productivity will be crucial if biofuels are to avoid competing with the use of land for food staples.

14 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Land for food production Global agriculturally productive land Wheat price increased from Euro 90 per Ton in 2006 to Euro 235 per ton in 2008 Cultivated land in China decreased by 331,000 ha in (est.)‏ (est.)‏ Ha per capitaPopulation (billion)‏ Year

15 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 UN Special Rapporteur, Jean Ziegler, submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 61/ August 2007 Gravely concerned that biofuels will bring hunger in their wake. The rush to convert food, e.g. such as maize, wheat, sugar and palm oil, into fuels is a recipe for disaster. Serious risks of creating a battle between food and fuel that will leave the poor in developing countries at the mercy of rapidly rising prices for food, land and water. Instead of using food crops, biofuels should be made from non-food plants and agricultural wastes, reducing competition for food, land and water.

16 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 The bio-fuel debate Opportunities: Decrease in fossil fuel use Productive use of marginal land and agricultural residues Threats Competition for land for food when global food production fell from 2.6 billion tons in 1994 to under 2 billion tons in 2006 UK renewable fuel obligation of 5% will require 20% of UK arable land and ethanol will replace 30% of the US corn crop by 2010 Conclusion Sensible use of land only in areas with food surpluses, and without impacting the environment

17 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 High and low density urban expansion on to agricultural land: Beijing, China

18 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Estimating the pattern of demolition High Density Residential Average of life span: 84 years Middle / Low Density Residential Average of life span: 101 years Factory Average of life span: 67 years All Buildings Average of life span: 81 years

19 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Construction materials from industrial waste Colliery spoil and coal ash Pulverised fuel ash and incinerator bottom ash Oil shale waste China clay waste Slate waste Glass Paper sludge Tyres Foundry sand Dredged silts

20 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Recycling: demolition waste to graded aggregates

21 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Conclusions: challenges Equitable land and resource use to provide the entire population with adequate shelter, fuel, food and water Global food demand, projected to rise by 50% by 2030, will increase prices- and encourage risky cultivation of marginal land Full-filing the material aspirations of the entire population Technological fixes will not be able to help many in the developing world for a long time

22 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Conclusions: actions Control urban sprawl Encourage ‘local’ food production and urban agriculture- maintain the urban nitrogen cycle and use waste to provide energy and enhance soils Reduce meat consumption to sustain land for food Remediate contaminated and degraded land Recycle: “there is no such thing as waste- there are only experienced resources”

23 Nigel Lawson, University of Manchester Economic De-growth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, Paris April 2008 Final thoughts The most accepted politico/economic model depends on growth in consumption. Consumption requires resources Growth in population and resource use puts land under stress Thank you for listening and I hope you can provide some answers.


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