To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Food and agriculture are critical to sustainable and prosperous societies and they need to be a core part of addressing climate change. This reflects both the large contribution that food and agriculture make to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the large-scale vulnerability of these sectors to climate changes, especially in developing countries. High levels of previous exposure to climate variability have provided some adaptive capacity but this is far from complete, with a growing climate adaptation gap often arising. The projected broadly negative climate changes will interact strongly with other expectations, such as: doubling of food production, provision of emissions reduction options and maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, among others. This chapter identifies the key GHG emissions from agriculture and food systems and how they can be reduced in tandem with ongoing adaptation to climate change: the fundamentals of successful low-emissions, adaptive and prosperous agriculture systems. To date, food and agriculture has received far less policy support and research and development focus than other, often smaller and less vulnerable, sectors. Addressing the interactions between climate change and food and agricultural systems is a challenge we can’t afford to fail and an opportunity we can’t afford not to grasp.
In recent years, Earth system scientists have acknowledged humanity’s Earth- and life-altering powers by calling our epoch the Anthropocene. This chapter explores the logic at work in this designation and argues that its roots go further back than the origins of industrialism and war capitalism in modernity (the Capitalocene). The essential and enduring issue is whether people can learn to live charitably within a world of limits. The origins of agriculture and the formation of city-states indicate what can be called a “thin Anthropocene” at work in the earliest civilizations evident around the globe. Examining this history, and the logic at work within it, enables us to see how people have thought about Earth and humanity’s place within it.
The chapter traces the rise from the distant pre-contact past of the modified lake environment through the Post-Classic Period when the Native American peoples founded their altepetl, or city-states, until their conquest first by the Aztec Triple Alliance and then by Spaniards. The chapter covers the Spanish--Mexica War and demonstrates that it had vital a hydraulic dimension. While the siege of Tenochtitlan has long been understood as a naval battle, the analysis presented here follows the precedent of the New Conquest History in underscoring the contributions of Nahuas to the outcome of the conflict, particularly when it came to specialist knowledge of the Basin of Mexico’s hydrology and strategic efforts to defeat the enemies by turning the engineering works against them. The chapter concludes by tracing continuities into the mid-sixteenth century, especially with the survival of the altepetl and its foundation for colonial-era jurisdictions, including that of the cabildo, or town council, which Nahuas readily adopted and made their own. In so doing, they preserved control over the water management system even as they adapted to new colonial realities.
Now notorious for its aridity and air pollution, Mexico City was once part of a flourishing lake environment. In nearby Xochimilco, Native Americans modified the lakes to fashion a distinctive and remarkably abundant aquatic society, one that provided a degree of ecological autonomy for local residents, enabling them to protect their communities' integrity, maintain their way of life, and preserve many aspects of their cultural heritage. While the area's ecology allowed for a wide array of socioeconomic and cultural continuities during colonial rule, demographic change came to affect the ecological basis of the lakes; pastoralism and new ways of using and modifying the lakes began to make a mark on the watery landscape and on the surrounding communities. In this fascinating study, Conway explores Xochimilco using native-language documents, which serve as a hallmark of this continuity and a means to trace patterns of change.
This chapter discusses both the role of irrigation in river basin development and closure and how its share in total water use can be reduced. It first briefly outlines the importance of unchecked irrigation development in the growing share of water consumption and the closure process of the basins examined in this volume. This understanding of how irrigation came to play a peculiar role in river basin development is important for discussing how its share can be reduced. The chapter recalls the diversity of policy options available to respond to imbalances between supply and demand and that supply augmentation is generally favored. Finally, the chapter focuses on the issue of "water savings," documenting various responses by the irrigated sector to shortages and exploring how policies to modernize irrigation technologies may inadvertently contribute to enhancing evapotranspiration and therefore undermine purported conservation objectives.
The processes launched at the start of Roman rule continued to support the development of cities and their elites. The 150 years from Hadrian to Diocletian saw enough violence to do severe damage to some of those cities, particularly Alexandria, and occasional revolts disturbed the peace, including one in the Delta at the time of the great plague (smallpox) under Antoninus Pius, which led to the depopulation of many villages. A loss of workers to the plague may have intensified the concentration of landholding in the hands of the wealthy, who could invest in both machinery and capital-intensive crops such as wine. This period also saw the decline of the temples and the beginning of Christianity as a visible (and occasionally persecuted) movement, with the emergence of bishops of Alexandria and the countryside. The Egyptian language acquired a new means of expression in the Coptic alphabet, largely derived from Greek.
Since 2000, many African countries have adopted land tenure reforms that aim at comprehensive land registration (or certification) and titling. Much work in political science and in the advocacy literature identifies recipients of land certificates or titles as ‘programme beneficiaries’, and political scientists have modelled titling programmes as a form of distributive politics. In practice, however, rural land registration programmes are often divisive and difficult to implement. This paper tackles the apparent puzzle of friction around rural land certification. We study Côte d'Ivoire's rocky history of land certification from 2004 to 2017 to identify political economy variables that may give rise to heterogeneous and even conflicting preferences around certification. Regional inequalities, social inequalities, and regional variation in pre-existing land tenure institutions are factors that help account for friction or even resistance around land titling, and thus the difficult politics that may arise around land tenure reform. Land certification is not a public good or a private good for everyone.
Dung beetles provide important ecosystem functions in semiarid environments, improving the physiochemical characteristics of the soil through tunnelling and burying nutrient-rich dung. In sub-Saharan Africa, diverse indigenous mammal communities support highly abundant dung beetle populations in savannah ecosystems. However, the conversion of landscapes to livestock agriculture may result in changes in the abundance and diversity of wild mammal species. This is likely to have significant impacts on dung beetle communities, particularly because domestic livestock dung may be contaminated with toxic residues of veterinary parasiticides. The environmental impact is likely to be affected by the degree of niche overlap between the beetle communities that colonize cattle dung and those that colonize the dung of wild mammals. We compared dung beetle communities between a pristine national park habitat dominated by large wild herbivores, and a pastoral farming community dominated by domestic livestock. Diurnal dung beetles were attracted to cattle dung in greater abundance and diversity compared to elephant, zebra or giraffe dung. Nocturnal/crepuscular dung beetles were attracted to non-ruminant dung (elephant and zebra) in higher abundance compared to ruminant dung (cattle and giraffe). Although there were no clear trophic specializations, three diurnal species showed an association with cattle dung, whereas eight nocturnal/crepuscular species showed an association with non-ruminant (elephant and zebra) dung. Diurnal species may be at greater risk from the toxic effects of residues of veterinary parasiticides in domestic livestock dung. Although many species showed trophic associations with wild herbivore dung, these beetles can utilize a wide range of dung and will readily colonize cattle dung in the absence of other options. As more land is converted to livestock agriculture, the contamination of dung with toxic residues from veterinary parasiticides could therefore negatively impact the majority of dung beetle species.
Chapter 9 provides an environmental history of the Copperbelt and the polluting effects of mining. It explains how mine companies’ control of land and official assumptions about urban society rendered the region’s widespread agricultural activities as illegitimate and ‘out of place’. It explains why many Copperbelt residents, particularly women, farmed, both as an everyday economic activity and, increasingly over time, as a response to hardship and economic crisis. It explores how pollution, particularly the poisoning of air and water with sulphur dioxide emissions, was ubiquitous yet ‘invisible’ in the minds of policy-makers, companies and – to a considerable extent – Copperbelt residents themselves. The chapter then explains how environmental impact assessment by companies, states and international and local NGOs raised local awareness of pollution, making it a central subject of community mobilisation in the early twentieth century, even as newly privatised mining companies ‘offshored’ responsibility for the legacy of historical pollution to poorly resourced states.
Social-ecological transitions are fundamentally about places – especially how place meanings and attachments act as lenses for interpreting change. Our chapter focuses on energy transitions in rural agricultural landscapes in New York. Agricultural place meanings underpin attachment for many residents, but are challenged by proposals for large-scale renewable energy development. This chapter explores how people interpret these proposed facilities using the perspective of social representations of place. multiple interpretations of proposed facilities are promoted by different groups based on their position towards the development: developers and energy advocates strategically portray solar installations as ‘farms’, replete with images they believe support agricultural meanings; those who resist these developments emphasise the large-scale industrialisation of the landscape and the loss of services such as open space and amenity value. These narratives of place contribute to understanding perspectives on energy transitions and broader rural change.
Recognition of co-operatives as a legitimate business model and form of economic participation was significantly challenged by the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1980s with its emphasis on individuals and markets. This fueled an externally and internally driven push to demutualize co-operatives and convert them into Investor Owned Businesses (IOB). While the international trend to demutualize emerged from the end of the Second World War, evidence indicates it accelerated from the late 1980s until the onset of the Global Financial Crisis. Drawing on an ongoing project of historical data collection and visual analysis of Australian co-operatives, this paper explores the Australian experience with demutualization, particularly with regard to agriculture. In line with the international experience, there has been a surge in Australian demutualization since the 1980s. However, while demutualization continues to be a feature of the Australian landscape post-GFC as co-operatives tackle with the changed political and economic environment, the paper also challenges the view that demutualization is inevitable for agricultural co-operatives. Co-operative managers can make strategic choices to avoid demutualization and retain member control. Further, co-operative culture and the persistence of co-operative clusters in particular regions can blunt the push to demutualize.
Using a production function approach, we estimate that the economic value of biotic pollination to Georgia’s agriculture increased from $425 million in 2009 to $488 million in 2017 in real terms. We perform spatial analysis to reveal county-level spatial patterns and temporal trends in that value. Using a unique set of pollinator survey data, we also compare the locations of biotic pollinators to the areas they bring the most economic value to, which provides insights on the variation in the dependency of the crop mix to pollination services.
As agricultural areas expand, interactions between wild animals and farmland are increasing. Understanding the nature of such interactions is vital to inform the management of human–wildlife coexistence. We investigated patterns of space use of two Critically Endangered Galapagos tortoise species, Chelonoidis porteri and Chelonoidis donfaustoi, on privately owned and agricultural land (hereafter farms) on Santa Cruz Island, where a human–wildlife conflict is emerging. We used GPS data from 45 tortoises tracked for up to 9 years, and data on farm characteristics, to identify factors that influence tortoise movement and habitat use in the agricultural zone. Sixty-nine per cent of tagged tortoises used the agricultural zone, where they remained for a mean of 150 days before returning to the national park. Large male tortoises were more likely to use farms for longer periods than female and smaller individuals. Tortoises were philopatric (mean overlap of farmland visits = 88.7 ± SE 2.9%), on average visiting four farms and occupying a mean seasonal range of 2.9 ± SE 0.3 ha. We discuss the characteristics of farm use by tortoises, and its implications for tortoise conservation and coexistence with people.
This preliminary mixed methods study utilized an online survey and phone interviews to examine the benefits, challenges and user experience of farmers utilizing hydroponic shipping container farms (HSCFs). Due to the novelty of this crop production method, and thus the relatively small number of commercial farmers adopting this technology, 12 commercial HSCF businesses, of 46 identified online and via social media, participated in this study. Because population size was small, and 11 of the 12 farms had been in business a very short amount of time (two years or less), the following results are preliminary. The results showed that HSCFs gave farmers the ability to produce locally, sustainably and in new areas. Seventy-five percent of the farmers (n = 9) strongly agreed or agreed that the HSCF helped their farm become more productive, did everything they expected it to do and was efficient. Most participants were satistifed (n = 8; 66.7%) with their HSCFs; one was very satisfied (8.3%), while others were neutral (n = 1; 8.3%) and dissatisfied (n = 2; 16.7%). Participant expectations were most met regarding incorporation of technology, reduced resource use and efficiency; however, 50.0% of the farmers (n = 6) disagreed or strongly disagreed that the HSCF was profitable. Some farmers reported that HSCFs are efficient in production, although their units were not as productive and profitable, nor as user friendly as they expected. Regarding HSCF challenges, power usage and startup costs were ranked most highly, while finding labor was the least challenging. Following phone interviews with three profitable farmers, it was revealed that their success was due to growing local food that was in demand by their community. While this study identified several challenges of HSCFs, this technology may have benefits, for example in areas with limited arable land and water resources, and may offer some farmers a way to be profitable, especially by tapping the growing consumer demand for local produce.
This article uses demographic data from nineteenth-century Angola to evaluate, within a West Central African setting, the widely accepted theory that sub-Saharan Africa's integration within the Atlantic world through slave and commodity trading caused significant transformations in slavery in the subcontinent. It specifically questions, first, whether slaveholding became more dominant in Angola during the last phase of the transatlantic slave trade; second, whether Angolan slave populations were predominantly female; and third, whether slavery in Angola expanded further during the cash crop revolution that accompanied the nineteenth-century suppression of the Atlantic slave trade. Besides making a significant contribution to understanding the demographic context of slavery in the era of abolition, the article aims to display ways in which historians can use the population surveys the Portuguese Empire carried out in Africa from the late eighteenth century.
In 1700 about 250,000 European colonists and enslaved Africans lived in North America, primarily along a thin strip of land bordering the Atlantic Ocean. By 1870 these scattered colonial settlements had been consolidated into two continental nations – the United States and Canada – with a combined population of more than 40 million. Although agriculture remained the leading employer in North America in 1870, the rapid growth of industry was transforming these nations into increasingly urban and industrial societies and contributing to the accelerating growth of living standards. This chapter locates the sources of this remarkable growth in the interactions of abundant natural resources, a responsive economic and political system, and sustained technological progress. Yet the story of these years is not solely one of economic success. From the perspective of the aboriginal peoples of North America, European settlement and expansion had tragic consequences. So, too, the experience of enslaved Africans and their descendants was one of remarkable hardships. Slavery proved a source of continuing political tensions that resulted in a destructive and costly civil war and left a legacy of racial segregation and tensions that are still palpable today.
Geography and institutions both shaped Australia’s economic history. After 60,000 years continuous civilization, about 1 million people lived in all parts of the continent in 1700. Aridity, climatic unpredictability, and infertile soil influenced the development of a hunter-gatherer economy that was characterized by sophisticated technologies for food production, especially land management through fire, and kin-based distribution that ensured more than mere survival. Economic activity was governed by gender and age. There was considerable human and social capital in Aboriginal society. Competition for land arrived with British convicts in 1788 and accelerated with gold discovery in 1851 attracting more people, capital and impetus to self-government. A herding economy based on wool exports, food exports, and a busy coastal urban economy permitted a small European population very high real GDP per head from 1830, possibly the highest in the world. The absence of diseases dangerous to Europeans and low levels of income inequality underpinned their high average living standards. The impact of the European economy on the indigenous people caused a devastating depopulation of about two-thirds from starvation, European diseases, and settler violence, producing a stark contrast between the condition of the original population and the newcomers by 1870.
Economic growth in China prior to 1870 was kept in check by the performance of its agricultural sector, where diminishing returns to labour reduced effective demand, discouraged investment in manufacturing, and kept the urban share of population from growing. Economic recovery from the Wars of Transition (1644–1681) ended in 1740, when the rate of growth of total output – especially of food – fell below the rate of population growth. For the next century and a half, the economy shrank on a per capita basis. The resulting higher cost of capital relative to labour discouraged the adoption of labour-enhancing tools, even as the decline in the average size of farms raised demand for basic goods. Symptomatically, labour remained stuck in farming and a preponderance of manufacturing activity remained attached to the peasant household. For a period, the expansion of the frontiers coupled with labour intensification elsewhere were sufficient to feed the population, support trade, and fund the state. After 1800, however, environmental degradation took its toll and markets disaggregated. A period of rising social insecurity and political instability set in at the moment when China faced rising external threats from industrialized and industrializing nations.
Chapter 8 studies the regulatory control mechanisms to prevent new soil contamination and the legal regime to clean up historically contaminated land under the Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution (SPPCL) (2018) and relevant state plans and regulations including the Action Plan on Soil Pollution Prevention and Control (2016). The chapter starts with discussion of the national survey on soil pollution (2005-13) that has exposed the extent and degree of soil contamination in China. The basic data and preliminary understanding of threat of the soil contamination to human health and environmental safety provide the basis for the regulatory response. The command-and-control approach to the prevention of new soil pollution is examined, covering government’s responsibilities and agencies in charge, standard-setting, survey and monitoring, and key instruments to protect the land from pollution. The legal regime on historically contaminated sites is investigated with separate treatment of agricultural land and development land by risk control and remediation. The chapter concludes with discussion of information disclosure and public supervision.