Land Details

L'Oasi della Bruschera is a protected wetland of 250 ha on the territory of the municipality of Angera (VA), on the shore of Lago Maggiore. It is one of the last examples of flooded forest in Lombardy and it presents dirt paths bordered by black alders, white willows, ashes, poplars, oaks and cane thickets. Some rare flowers can be found like the marsh violet or white water-lillies. It is sanctuary for nesting and wintering for a lot of aquatic birds. Wild ducks, swamp chickens and kingfishers are numerous. Scops owls woodpeckers, treecreepers, night herons, little egrets can also be found. The Isolino Partegora is also part of the area and shelters a colony of cormorants. Part of the area is not accessible to the public and serves as biofilter. A residential neighbourhood and a camping site border the protected area. Historical value: this wetland is where Alessandro Volta discovered methane in 1776. Social value: it is a recreational area. Ornithologists and bird enthusiasts can spend hours observing the birds. It is a nice place to have a walk ,disconnect form everyday life and rebind with nature. Endangered species: some rare birds find shelter in the area, but mostly it is used by common species. Politics and stakeholder participation: since 1998, the area is managed by the municipality with the collaboration of the Province of Varese.

My father’s farmland is located in Ambo, a city located 105 km from Addis Ababa. The land area is 5 hectare and it’s particularly located in a small community of Gatro. It was formerly owned by my grandfather who struggled with the previous military regime to keep it under the family name. It currently has two old houses used for by the guards of the land surrounded by diversity of plants. During our Derg Military Regime, many ambitious revolutionary youngsters have hid from the 5 day assessment and killing of members of EPRP, a party for Democracy. It is the place where my grandfather was killed fighting for revolution along with my uncle. It is the place where, Meskel, a holiday celebrated by Ethiopians, takes place in the Gatro community. Now, It is a learning place for locals about the use and types of trees that are unknown to them and also serves as a resting place for tourists who come to see Saint Trinity church. Two houses are at the center of the land. It is surrounded by 20 Eucalyptus trees, 150 pine trees, and 38 different types of indigenous trees among other plants. It is also the home of 6 cows and 24 chickens.The land is very fertile but faced with lack of water line and constant electricity. In the near future, we are planning to start integration farm that supports the rural community


Located in the South-West of Germany, with the snow-covered Alps in the background, the lake Chiemsee is one of the most attractive touristic places in the region of Upper Bavaria. It is also called the Bavarian Sea, due to its size of around 80 square kilometers, making it the third largest freshwater lake of Germany. It was formed in the end of the past ice age through glaciers. Three islands are part of the Chiemsee, the Herreninsel (Island of Men), the Krautinsel (Island of Herbs) and the Fraueninsel (Island of Women). The car-free Fraueninsel has always been a major recreational attraction. To go there is an adventure of itself: An old fashioned steam train brings visitors from the train station to the harbor and from there you take a small boat for the thirty minutes trip to the Island. Although it is small (15,5 ha), it is rather densely inhabited (300 inhabitants). Historic and social value: The heart of the island is a convent, founded around 800 a.d. by Tassilo III, the Duke of Bavaria. It is still in use as active convent by the female Order of Saint Benedict with presently ca. 30 sisters. However, the Order broadened its range of activities: The sisters produce famous locally made marzipan, spirit, candles and herbal products from their convent's garden; Parts of the convent are being used as classrooms for children with special needs; And interested visitors can stay a few nights with the sisters for recreation and contemplation. Touristic value: Besides the convent, the Fraueninsel is dominated by fishery and small handcraft workshops, e.g. pottery. Visitors can indulge in fresh smoked fish, wandering along the coastline, watching their own pots or vases being produced and ending up at the idyllic restaurant under the old linden tree with a wonderful view over the lake Chiemsee.

Work assignment for the ELD – course – first week By Joaquin Etorena, Argentina ________________________________________ The “Saladita” lagoon and surroundings in the Avellaneda -District of Buenos Aires At the southern district of the Buenos Aires urban area, more precisely in the District of Avellaneda (town of Sarandi), we find a highly contaminated, degraded post-industrial area which is almost totally urban (,-58.3189606,14z ): the “Saladita” lagoon and it´s surroundings curiously are host to a tiny rest of the natural riverside-forest called “bosque ribereño” or “selva marginal”. Besides its strong degradation, the area is also one of great social challenges: high poverty-levels and post-industrial unemployment rates coexist with survival strategies of the local people through suburban small-scale agriculture, worker´s cooperatives, cultural centres and other social boundaries which play an important role in the construction of the territorial identity. By contrast, from the riverside of this place, it is possible to see, looking northwards, the high-income housing- enterprises which emerged from the former harbor-areas of the capital city, the City of Buenos Aires, through reconversion and gentrification: Puerto Madero, with it´s luxury seems to send bright signals from a far galaxy which lies, in reality, only a few kilometers north, beyond the petrol processing refineries. It is for me very interesting because this area implies many questions related to economy, economics, and valuation of ecosystems: here, space admits, many lectures from what I would describe as semiotics of territory. It is a contaminated area since it turned from peri-urban agriculture run by European immigrants which supplied the City of Buenos Aires with vegetables until the ’60, into a heavy industrial harbor area with industries such as petrochemicals, textiles, asf. During this era, the territory was also settled by a broad immigration of new working forces from the inner-land as well as from neighbor – countries. From the mid 70 on, until the late 90ties, that is to say, during the periods of Dictatorship and the following neoliberal shock-reforms, the area became de-industrialized, closing its factories by thousands, leaving unemployed Argentineans and immigrants on their selves. Then the marginal slums grew enormously and the territory was fragmented into a kaleidoscope of livelihoods, constructions, chaotic urban transformations, where fragile constructions of the slums are close to social housing – projects, factories and new housing-complexes. This fragmentation and permanent re-invention gave life to non-conventional and non controlled constructions but also to the respective production-schemes: Here, where one of the biggest waste – disposal of Latin-America was once installed in the ´70 in order to absorb the garbage from the nearby capital-city, peri-urban subsistence farming, now pursued not by immigrants from the Italian countryside but by unemployed workers which arrived here from many parts of the country and neighbor-countries, is only one of the visible examples of territorial reconversion. So, from the perspective of social urban planning, it is an area which, only at the first sight, has very low value in terms of present living-quality, which presents a lot of social and also economic problems, and which is, even worse, irregularly and highly populated in some parts. On the other hand, it is an area near to the riverside, near to industries and working-opportunities and which has a huge part non-inhabited due to the persistence of enormous areas of the waste disposal. This means that, especially for private investment, urban and industrial development, once de-contaminated, there is a very high potential for this area, last but not least because of the existence of an enormous riverside and broad non-sealed terrestrial areas. On the ecologic side, one has to bear in mind that decontamination turns more difficult now that the problem is not on soil but on people living and growing their food on it. It is not on restoring a soil contaminated by a former factory but on social understanding on where people now have built their livelihoods: one has to deal with people not with chemicals. People want solutions, but they do not necessarily leave the place where they now have built their lifes although knowing that, on the other side, this place affects their health. ¿How do they value the land and it´s ecosystem services? One interesting example is the sanitation carried out by the public authorities at the nearby Riachuelo-River: not only factories have to adequate their waste-processing, but also people are forced to remove their houses, which affects especially the millions of poor that built their roof at the river margins. On the other side, and by contrast, one can observe that deindustrialization in the ´90, with its huge charge on social livelihoods, led to a recovery of areas in the sense that primary and pioneer vegetation returned, regained spaces and water-courses, but under new conditions: primary-forest can now be found mixed up with rests of the riverside forests, original species of plants and animals return in order to mix up and occupy a territory transformed by economic crises and ecologic decay. Then, wouldn´t it be possible to think of the area in terms of its potential for recreation, even more, if one takes into account that the nearby capital city with its 3 million permanent inhabitants counts only on 2.7 sqm of public “green” areas whereas the WHO recommends 10 sqm per capita? If one looks at the use that people give today to the contaminated lagoons and former moles and docks from the harbor, one can see that people use them for activities such as canoeing, but there also field site visits for schools to the enclaves of natural riverside forests, perhaps the only contact to nature for many of the suburban kids from the area. What would this mean for valuation? Isn´t there also a great potential for public investment in nature? The Saladita Lagoon itself is today an ecologic reserve, worth to be even more supported through public funds. Last but not least, from a historic perspective, as I said at the beginning, I think this area has or could have an important educational value: I will never forget, as an example, the school-visits to the industrial open-air-museum of the German Ruhr when I was a student. This museum consists basically in abandoned factories turned into sites for visitors interested in the history of industrialization and deindustrialization in the “carbon and steel” era of Germany. I learned more about history of economic development through this visit than through a lot of hours of reading. So, which would be the historic value of this highly degraded area in the south of Buenos Aires? This is what I mentioned when I explained why I chose this site for the present work: from the perspective of territorial semiotics, even a highly degraded and devaluated place has something to “say”, something worth to be decodified, and this, I would say, is also part of its ecosystemic value.

My land, that´s where I live in, is located at Brasília, Brazil, inside a protected area called Environmental Protected Area of São Bartolomeu River, and it´s composed of a savanna forest in regrowth for 15 years, after it was harvested for cow growth. Its value is due to wild life habitat (birds, small mammals, insects, ect), to water provision and climate regulation. Theres´a little agroforest activity, with some cultures associated with native trees.

The place of reference are the rangelands in Kgatleng District. The area is used by the community to graze livestock, collect fire wood, wood for building houses, fruits and any other natural resources anybody needs. In land use terms it is called a communal area. Everyone has a semi permanent structure for housing, kraal to keep animals during the night, near the river or short distance from water source to access water for drinking and other household use. It was mostly men that will be staying in the area to look after animals. During drought times animals would be moved to other areas to relieve the area of pressure. The animals were moved to other areas like croplands or other rangelands. It was possible to be nomadic as there were not many people. During the night animals are kraaled to avoid predators that eat small livestock. These predators include leopards and jackals. When there were not many people it was mostly sustainable. Now there are a lot of people and people do not move the animals to other places as before, and there are high numbers of livestock. The area is now encroached by bush or woody trees making it difficult for the animals to pass through, less amount of good grass biomass, compacted less fertile soils. The bush provides less feed to animals and other biodiversity has reduced in biomass or distribution.

The name Thogoto came up as a result of people's inability to say Scotland ( the missionaries were from Scotland!). This was mainly used as farming and grazing land. When Kenya was colonized by the British this land became reserved land for the Africans residential areas. People used to live in mud-walled and grass thatched huts that were very congested. The rest of the land was used for whites settlements. Later on after independence, people purchased this land and its was demarcated into plots. Today the land is divided into well fenced plots with permanent and semi permanent houses. In the same locality there are over 25 churches where people gather for worship such as Jesus Glory Centre Ministries, PCEA and ACK churches. The area has educational institutions at all levels, preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions and universities. The area is fed by all weather roads, a railway line and a by pass. People also use their land for subsistence farming, market gardening and zero grazing. There is high value for this land.

Rugezi mashland is a peat bog of about 6735 ha located in Northern Province of Rwanda. In the past this marshland has been reclaimed for agriculture production and progressively degraded due to overpressure by the increase of farmers. The overuse of the wetland did not pay much attention on other important ecological functions and services: water quality regulation, flood control, biodiversity, water storage and supply to lakes Burera and Ruhondo located downstream and used for hydropower production. After energy crisis (2004-2005), strict measures have been taken to reverse mismanagement of the wetlands. Now, agricultural activities have been banned within the wetland and its buffers for the sake of restoration of the wetland. Nowadays, after restoration effort, water quality and quantity have improved and a new small hydropower was installed at the outlet and local population are already benefiting from the generated electricity. The wetland is also very important in terms of biological diversity: a Ramsar site since 2005, the Rugezi wetland is a habitat for many species of plants and birds with Important Bird Area of 8500 hectares (the wetland and its surroundings).