Semester Offering: August

Integrated land use systems are capable of contributing significantly to sustainable land use, economic diversification, watershed protection and biodiversity conservation. The focus of the course will be on integrated smallholder systems in Asia (swiddens, crop-livestock systems, rice-fish systems). The course will provide students with knowledge of the various types of integrated land use systems, as well as with an understanding of their ecology, economics and social functions.


The students on completion of this courses will be able to:
  • Assess the sustainability of integrated land use systems
  • Analyse land use systems according to biophysical, social, infrastructural and economic resourse use potentials.
  • Comprehend integrated land use systems in various contexts across Asia
  • Assess the performance and potential of land use systems with respect to environmental, economic and sociocultural considerations
  • Explore ways to promote, improve or conserve integrated land use systems




I.          Definitions and typology
1.      Terminology (land, resource, system, land use);
2.      Food systems in Southeaset Asia
3.      Land use types
4.      Resource use systems
5.      Resource use indicators

II.         Integrated analysis of land use management
1.      Land use categories
2.      Units of analysis
3.      Transition of land use types
4.      Definition of indicators
5.      Assessment of land use systems

III.       Properties of integrated land use systems
1.      Relevance of integrated land use systems
2.      Shifting cultivation
3.      Land-Time-Budget Analysis

IV.       ILUS for Sustainable Development
1.      Strategic Environmental Assessment
2.      Scenario development
3.      Triple bottom line outcomes of ILUS




1.  Netting,R. M.. 1986. Cultural Ecology. Second Edition. Waveland Press, Long Grove.


1.    Netting, R. M. 1993. Smallholders, Households: farm families and the ecology of intensive, sustainable agriculture. Stanford University Press, Stanford.
2.    Giampietro, M. 2004. Multi-scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems. CRC Press,
3.    FAO. 2001. Mixed Crop-Livestock Farming: A review of traditional technologies based on literature and field experience. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rome.
4.    Marten, G.G. 1986. Traditional Land Use in Southeast Asia. A Human Ecology Perspective. Westview Press, Boulder.
5.    Cairns, M. (ed). 2007. Voices from the Forest: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into Sustainable Upland Farming. RFF Press, Washington D.C.


1.      Human Ecology [Springer]
2.      Land Use Policy [Elsevier]
3.      Agricultural Systems [Elsevier]
4.      International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability [Taylor & Francis]


Readings (for discussion in class):

  1. Stepp, J. R., E. C. Jones, M. Pavao-Zuckerman, D. Casagrande, and R. K. Zarger, 2003. Remarkable Properties of Human Ecosystems. Conservation Ecology 7(3) 11 [online].
  2. Netting, R.M. 1993. Chapter 5: Cultivators. In: R. Netting, Cultural Ecology. Waveland P. 59-85.
  3. Netting, R.M. 1993. Chapter 6: Testing Ecological Explanations. In: R. Netting, Cultural Ecology. Waveland P. 86-103.
  4. Fox, J., Y. Fujita, D. Ngidang, N. Peluso, L. Potter, N. Sakuntaladewi, J. Sturgeon, and D. Thomas, 2009. Policies, Political-Economy, and Swidden in Southeast Asia. Human Ecology 37: 305-322.
  5. Smil, V. 2006. Energy. A Beginner’s Guide. Oneworld, Oxford
  6. Hanks, L.J. 1992. Rice and Man: Agricultural Ecology in Southeast Asia. Univ of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
  7. Fukui, H. 1994. Food and Population in a Northeast Thai Village. Univ of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
  8. Diamond, J. 2005. Guns, Germs and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies. WW Norton, New York.
  9. Boserup, E. 1993. The conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure. Routledge, London.
  10. Bennett, J.W. 2005. The Ecological Transition: Cultural Anthropology and Human Adaptation. Transaction, New Brunswick.



  • Direct instructions in the form of class lectures, using lecture notes and reading materials
  • Visuals/Video specifically on case experiences relevant to natural resources degradation and conservation topics.
  • Self-learning by completing two autonomous assignments to demonstrate and relate discussed concepts
  • Group work: assignments with students taking different roles, such as moderating, observing, providing feedback, and synthesizing
  • Student presentations with consecutive student feedback (peer-group)
  • Readings: assigned to students who will summarise, discuss, and analyse according to specific assignments
  • Regular summaries of course material provided by students
  • Case studies
  • Field visits: Chitralada Palace, Royal Agricultural Museum


Mid-semester exam (closed book, 40%), and Final exam (closed book, 60%)

Grade “A” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate thorough knowledge and mastery of concepts and techniques and understanding of subject matter with high degree of skill to relate them with real world examples. Grade “B” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate good knowledge and mastery of concepts and understanding of subject matter with good skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “C” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts and understanding but lacks skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “D” will be awarded if a student have poor understanding of concepts and techniques with no or little skill to relate with real world cases. Grade “F” will be awarded if student demonstrates very poor and limited knowledge and understanding of concepts and lacks the skill to relate with real world cases.