Document Actions


In the JAGUAR Project we develop strategies and methods for the sustainable use of landscapes that are managed to meet the diverse needs of human societies. These cultural landscapes have showed contrasting trends over the past years, especially in industrialized countries like Germany and Japan. On the one hand, land use ceases in areas where former management practices have become uneconomical, while on the other hand land use is intensified in areas where conditions are conducive to large-scale operations. Both trends can counteract efforts to achieve sustainable use of cultural landscapes that takes into account their different functions. Searching for solutions to these common problems through cooperation between German and Japanese partners is the aim of the JAGUAR project.

The acronym 'JAGUAR' was derived from the full title of the project:

Sustainable futures for cultural landscapes of JApan and Germany - biodiversity and ecosystem services as Unifying concepts for the management of Agricultural Regions

The study regions in Germany and Japan represent typical examples of cultural landscapes found in both countries, ranging from highlands dominated by forests through areas with intensive agriculture to regions with high densities of industry and transport infrastructure. Different types of aquatic systems, i.e. rivers and lakes also play an important role.

Two key concepts are integrated for the development of new strategies and methods for sustainable land use: biological diversity and ecosystem services. These terms represent complex interaction networks in our environment that are indispensable for human well-being. They are the basis for the provision of food and raw materials, for the regulation of climate, hydrological processes and biogeochemical cycles and for cultural and aesthetic fulfillment.

In the JAGUAR Project these interaction networks are analyzed in regions in Germany and Japan, and they are formally expressed in computer-based models. At the same time, scenarios of future land use change are developed in close collaboration with the administration and land users. The scenarios describe possible future pathways of land use based on different sets of assumptions concerning socio-economic and environmental drivers of change. Integrating scenarios and models allows to analyze the consequences of land use decisions. The results of these studies are presented to the public and are discussed with decision-makers. The dialogue between scientists and practitioners thus can contribute to the maintenance of the natural foundations of our livelihoods.