Desertification is one of the most pressing issues facing the world's drylands. However, the term "desertification" is only vaguely defined, leading to complications in monitoring and management at all scales.
New research on land tenure in China's agrarian provinces highlights the importance of evaluating property rights in context, dismissing the typical attributes used to compare insecure or communal versus secure or private systems. The study suggests that understanding the social credibility of land ownership structures is central to appreciating how well specific structures function in a given location.
Conservation easements aimed at protecting privately owned land from development are self-limiting in the face of climate change. The time has come for land conservation organizations to reframe strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also a changing climate.
Increasing carbon storage in soils through biochar and producing bioenergy from perennial plants can be a powerful means to mitigate climate change. Understanding soil microbial processes is crucial to achieve improved soil fertility, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.