Third Summer School “Integrated Land Use Systems” (ILUS) in Freiburg, Germany


by Steffen Entenmann – Freiburg University


The rapidly growing world population and changes in food consumption are placing increasing pressure on agricultural and forestry production systems. However, the classic intensification approach to increase yield of food and biomass by genetic homogenization, mechanization and application of pesticides and fertilizer, has led in many places to negative environmental and social consequences such as soil degradation, eutrophication, decline in fresh water resources, loss of biodiversity, land-use conflicts, as well as a loss of employment.

Against this background, Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS), which combine different types of land uses and integrate several management goals in the same patch or landscape mosaic, are gaining more and more attention. It is assumed that ILUS provide a higher level of ecosystem goods and services, are less vulnerable to the risks of global change and markets, and are better suited to the livelihood strategies of local populations.

The Summer School will introduce participants to important ILUS (e.g., agroforestry systems), the socio-economic context in which they developed, and to critical analysis of their ecological, social and economic performance.

The Summer School will be organized by the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources of the University of Freiburg and will take place from 12th – 30th of June 2017. Scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are available to support travel and living expenses for up to 15 participants. For more information:

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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