iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Confronting international research topics with stakeholders on multifunctional land use: the case of Inner Mongolia, China

Hannes J König (1)   , Aranka Podhora (1), Katharina Helming (1), Lin Zhen (2), Chao Wang (2), Jost Wübbeke (3), Tom Baumeister (1), Bingzhen Du (2), Huimin Yan (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 403-413 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1172-007
Published: May 19, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: RegioResources21
Spatial information and participation of socio-ecological systems: experiences, tools and lessons learned for land-use planning
Guest Editors: Daniele La Rosa, Carsten Lorz, Hannes Jochen König, Christine Fürst

The established pattern of land use in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is being challenged by China’s rapid overall economic transition. The provision of required land-related functions and services is subject to land management decision making. Scientific research can offer substantial support for this decision making by providing evidence of the interaction between land management and land function services. This paper’s objective was to identify the most important land use functions and services from a local perspective and to compare these functions and services with the land-related research topics addressed in the scientific literature. For this purpose, we conducted a workshop with local stakeholders (land use decision makers) in the West Ujimqin Banner (Inner Mongolia) as a specific case study and performed a comprehensive survey of the Inner Mongolian land use research published in international scientific journals. Our analysis indicated that the stakeholders assigned particular importance to social land use functions, such as jobs, as well as environmental land use functions and ecosystem processes. In contrast, the research topics were primarily concerned with natural science. We discussed possible shortcomings in the research agenda by emphasising and contrasting local stakeholder perspectives with the research topics and concluded that without bottom-up stakeholder participation, there would be a mismatch between the research interests of land use scientists and the needs of stakeholders. Future research that can contribute to local policy making with the aim of meeting the objectives of a multifunctional land use concept is required.


Land Use, Decision Making, Research Needs, Science-policy Interface

Authors’ address

Hannes J König
Aranka Podhora
Katharina Helming
Tom Baumeister
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, D-15374 Müncheberg (Germany)
Lin Zhen
Chao Wang
Bingzhen Du
Huimin Yan
Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101 (China)
Jost Wübbeke
Environmental Policy Research Centre, Free University of Berlin, Ihnestr. 22, D-14195 Berlin (Germany)

Corresponding author

Hannes J König


König HJ, Podhora A, Helming K, Zhen L, Wang C, Wübbeke J, Baumeister T, Du B, Yan H (2014). Confronting international research topics with stakeholders on multifunctional land use: the case of Inner Mongolia, China. iForest 7: 403-413. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1172-007

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Oct 31, 2013
Accepted: Nov 14, 2013

First online: May 19, 2014
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2014
Publication Time: 6.20 months

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