SLM-32306 Sustainable Land Management Policies


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work26
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. CA Kessler
Lecturer(s)dr. SISE Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen
dr. ir. CA Kessler
dr. ir. JHM Peerlings
dr. JEM Schild
Examiner(s)dr. ir. CA Kessler
dr. ir. JHM Peerlings
dr. SISE Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen

Language of instruction:



Sustainable land management (SLM) deals with the preservation of the productive capabilities of the land for future generations. Farmers worldwide play a central role in SLM: they take the final decision about what to do with their land. In this course the red thread is the influence of policies on why farmers take decisions in favour or not of SLM. Adequate and effectively implemented policies might create an enabling environment for triggering investments in SLM; but inadequate policies or the lack of clear rules, regulations and collaborative governance often result in the pursuit of short-term (economic) benefits accompanied by increased land degradation. How policies and policy-making at different levels influence SLM and the decisions taken by different stakeholders is in this course analysed in three diverse cases: 1) The effect of EU policies on agriculture and the environment; 2) Multilevel governance of agrochemicals; 3) Land Degradation Neutrality and the role of the UNCCD. The final purpose of this course is that students – in their future working field – are more aware of the influence of policy-making on land management, and that they are better prepared to assess the scope and possibilities of policies. The course is therefore especially meant for MIL and MID students with a possible future international career, but is also useful for all other students interested in aspects of sustainable (rural) development in an international setting.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- explain the factors that play a role in policy-making, and that influence how land related policies are formulated under different settings and institutional arrangements;

- assess the impact of land policies on farmers' decision-making and sustainable land management, considering collaboration and tensions between different institutional scales;

- analyse in case studies how land policies and governance limit or enhance sustainable land management, and judge their efficacy based on clear criteria;

- judge the limitations and preconditions for effective and adequate land policies under different conditions, and retrieve concise conclusions from this judgment;

- formulate adequate questionnaires for retrieving information from key-expert interviews, either face-to-face or by means of skype/video conferences;

- write and present an individual (policy-)paper in a concise and convincing manner, with clear and policy-sensitive recommendations based on theoretical and practical insights.


- weekly lectures with theoretical and background information about the cases;

- group work to make an in-depth analysis of the weekly case;

- interviewing (face-to-face or by video-conference) of key experts;

- write short policy-papers for policy-makers in the different case-study countries;

- give oral presentations and attend group sessions for giving and receiving feedback.


Based on demonstrated efforts, and the quality of policy-papers and presentations.


Will be provided at the start of each block.

Keuze voor: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScA: Spec. A - Sustainable Land Management5MO
MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScD: Spec. D - Flexible Configurations for Innovative Minds5MO