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Toward Partial Reorientation of Land Management for Sustainability in View of Material Circulation: Biophysical and Historical Analysis

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Listed:
  • Sylvie Ferrari

    (Groupe de Recherche en Économie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA), Research Group on Theoretical and Applied Economics, France)

  • Kozo Mayumi

    (Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokushima)

  • Jesus Ramos-Martin

    (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

This paper explores two major issues, from biophysical and historical viewpoints. We examine land management, which we define as the long-term fertility maintenance of land in relation to agriculture, fishery and forestry. We also explore humans’ positive role as agents aiming to reinforce harmonious materials circulation within the land. Liebig’s view on nature, agriculture and land, emphasizes the maintenance of long-term land fertility based on his agronomical thought that the circulation of matter in agricultural fields must be maintained with manure as much as possible. The thoughts of several classical economists, on nature, agriculture and land are reassessed from Liebig’s view point. Then, the land management problem is discussed at a much more fundamental level, to understand the necessary conditions for life in relation to land management. This point is analyzed in terms of two mechanisms: entropy disposal on the earth, and material circulation against gravitational field. Finally from the historical example of the metropolis of Edo, it is shown that there is yet another necessary condition for the sustainable management of land based on the creation of harmonious material cycles among cities, farm land, forests and surrounding sea areas in which humans play a vital role as agent.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvie Ferrari & Kozo Mayumi & Jesus Ramos-Martin, 2010. "Toward Partial Reorientation of Land Management for Sustainability in View of Material Circulation: Biophysical and Historical Analysis," UHE Working papers 2010_02, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2010_02
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    Keywords

    land management; material circulation; sustainability; Liebig; Edo;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General

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