Focus Issue on Archetypes of Sustainable Land Use and Governance now available

Related GLP Member: Christoph Oberlack, Luigi Piemontese, Diana Sietz, Tomas Vaclavik, Manuel Pacheco-Romero, Graziano Ceddia, Matthias Baumann, Michael Beckmann

Land use systems are pivotal for fostering necessary sustainability transformations at local to global scales. However, knowledge about effective strategies to foster sustainability transformations of land use systems currently remain dispersed among highly contextualized case studies. This Focus Issue consolidates archetypes of sustainable land use and governance in order to provide a state-of-the-art knowledge resource to transform land use systems towards sustainability across world regions.

Archetypes of (un)sustainable land use and governance depict patterns of factors and processes that commonly shape the (un)sustainability of land use systems across cases and contexts. The archetypes approach is a methodological approach to generalize knowledge from cases and case studies in context-sensitive ways (Magliocca et al. 2018, Oberlack et al. 2019) and to build middle-range theories of land use systems (Meyfroidt et al. 2018). Archetype analysis can draw on a portfolio of methods (Sietz et al. 2019) and design criteria (Eisenack et al. 2019). Insights into archetypes can transfer knowledge about solutions for sustainable development across contexts (Eisenack 2012, Vaclavik et al. 2016, Sietz et al. 2017, Rocha et al. 2020).

The Focus Issue presents a collection of recent advances in archetype analyses within land system science. We believe that the contributions to this Issue achieve the following objectives:

  1. Enhance our understanding of recurrent patterns of land-use (change) processes (e.g. as deforestation or farming systems);
  2. Promote methodological innovations in archetype analysis (e.g. validation, multi-scale and nexus archetypes, and indicator selection; and
  3. Provide insights into governance strategies for more sustainable land use systems.