The rapidly growing world population is placing increasing pressures on agricultural and forestry production systems. However, conventional intensification of production systems to increase the yield of food and biomass has led to many negative environmental and social consequences such as soil degradation, eutrophication, decline in fresh water resources, loss of biodiversity, land-use conflicts, and 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 importance. It is assumed that these systems 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 systems of local populations. This summer school will introduce participants to important ILUS (e.g., agroforestry systems) by analysing their ecological, social and economic dimensions, management options and the historical context from which they developed.
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