Land sparing versus land sharing: Moving forward

Joern Fischer, David J. Abson, Van Butsic, M. Jahi Chappell, Johan Ekroos, Jan Hanspach, Tobias Kuemmerle, Henrik G. Smith, Henrik von Wehrden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

241 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


To address the challenges of biodiversity conservation and commodity production, a framework has been proposed that distinguishes between the integration (“land sharing”) and separation (“land sparing”) of conservation and production. Controversy has arisen around this framework partly because many scholars have focused specifically on food production rather than more encompassing notions such as land scarcity or food security. Controversy further surrounds the practical value of partial trade-off analyses, the ways in which biodiversity should be quantified, and a series of scale effects that are not readily accounted for. We see key priorities for the future in (1) addressing these issues when using the existing framework, and (2) developing alternative, holistic ways to conceptualise challenges related to food, biodiversity, and land scarcity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number3
Early online date26 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Agroecological intensification
  • Agroecology
  • Food security
  • Food sovereignty
  • Land scarcity
  • Matrix
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Wildlife-friendly farming

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  • Activities

    • 2 Participation in conference

    International Workshop on New Perspectives on the Land Sparing vs Land Sharing Debate

    Michael Jahi Chappell (Speaker)
    3 Jun 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Food Security, Equity, & Ecological Sustainability: A Multi-indicator, Process-oriented Framework for Food Systems Research

    Michael Jahi Chappell (Organiser)
    8 Oct 20139 Oct 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Cite this

    Fischer, J., Abson, D. J., Butsic, V., Chappell, M. J., Ekroos, J., Hanspach, J., ... von Wehrden, H. (2014). Land sparing versus land sharing: Moving forward. Conservation Letters, 7(3), 149-157.