7: Integration & Synthesis

This work package integrates the results of work packages 1-6, whose common goal is to study the effects of climate variability and change, socio-economic factors and change processes, resource management and targeted management interventions on the different ecosystem services of the three main land use types (farmland, pasture and plantations) in the Limpopo region.

In addition, the knowledge, preferences, land-use and development goals of the various local decision-makers (stakeholders) in assessing the sustainability of today's land-use systems, their resilience to shocks, and far-reaching land-use policy decisions (bioeconomy, tourism, climate policy) should be considered. An interdisciplinary and integrative approach is indispensable in the design of realistic future scenarios for sustainable land use in the Limpopo region, based on results from fieldwork (work packages 1-4) and regional modeling/ scaling (work packages 4-6). A synthesis of these research results will be developed between SALLnet scientists and local stakeholders through various interactions (one-to-one interviews, interactive stakeholder workshops), and in various forms, for the "scientific community", such as scientific articles. Information for practitioners will also be developed, such as brochures, policy briefs, video, conference papers, databases, and geographic information systems, which will be disseminated through accessible stakeholder networks.

A further sub-goal is to train local scientists and stakeholders in the application of the operational information system developed (use of system functions and the aggregated data/ model results) to support knowledge-based strategic and practical land use decisions. To this end, it is necessary to establish a conceptual and operational framework that allows the results of the individual sub-projects to be combined in a Land Use Information System (LUIS) to facilitate dialogue with local stakeholders, and to evaluate the results through a system of selected sustainability indicators in close interaction with stakeholders. The multi-functionality of a LUIS should make it possible to evaluate and visualise the results of the various risk analyses and to compare the results for the three basic scenarios of the overall project on land use management (Business-as-Usual, Diversification-oriented and Efficiency-oriented). A LUIS will also allow for the assessment of ecosystem services in terms of synergies and trade-offs and deriving conclusions on necessary management interventions for arable land, pastures and orchards. From the field to the regional level, it examines the extent to which important ecosystem functions and services (such as carbon storage or productivity) and existing risks are influenced/ changed by climate change and socio-economic change. With the aim of maintaining or improving ecosystem services, adaptation measures (based on field research and modelling results) will be identified and discussed with local stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to find solutions that are not only based on feasible technical innovations, but are also economically viable and socially acceptable.