He Yin, Kent State University
Cropland abandonment: A nature-based solution to address environmental challenges?
Hundreds of millions of hectares of cropland have been abandoned globally. Debates have been raised around if abandonment is an opportunity or threat to our environment or society, yet reliable monitoring of abandonment does not exist. In this talk, I overview the efforts of three aspects of cropland abandonment visioning in various agricultural systems: 1) new remote sensing approaches to monitor cropland abandonment, 2) causes and drivers of abandonment, and 3) potential opportunities of abandoned cropland for conservation, carbon storage, and food security. I show that long-term remote sensing time series analysis can reliably detect dynamics of cropland abandonment, which supports a better understanding of its causes and consequences. My results suggest that cropland abandonment can be used as an effective tool for conservation, climate change mitigation and food security, yet achieving its potentials needs policy interventions and prioritized land-use strategies.