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MAY 2023 - Siyan's paper on identifying spatial fallow priority areas is out

Siyan just published her work on fallow priority areas in China in Nature's Communications Earth & Environment

Fallowing means to leave agricultural land without a crop to regenerate the soils. In China, fallow pilot policies exist, but fallow priority areas have yet to be identified based on eco-environmental stressors and spatial cost-benefit analyses. Here we use a multi-criteria optimization algorithm to determine fallow priority areas based on soil pollution, groundwater overexploitation, land quality, and ecological protection redlines delineation data and with high-cost effectiveness. By considering five spatial scenarios on three objective functions, we find most notably that fallowing the top 20% of priority areas, the benefit of pollution control and environmental protection can be achieved by up to 98.7% and 64.7%, respectively. Our results show that effective fallow prioritization on cultivated land may reduce implementation costs by up to 509.3 billion USD, corresponding to 13.6% of China’s budget in 2021. Thus, effective fallow prioritization will promote sustainable land use by pursuing goals between benefits and cost synergistically and allow budget allocation to other sustainable agricultural targets based on agricultural diversification.

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