Lowe Börjeson


View page in English
Arbetar vid Kulturgeografiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 48 48
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Postadress Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Please look at my English pages.
Vänligen titta på mina engelska sidor.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • Hanna Sinare (et al.).
  • 2016. Tola Gemechu Ango, Lowe Börjeson, Feyera Senbeta. Oryx

    We assessed the impacts of crop raiding by wild mammals on the livelihoods of smallholding farmers in south-western Ethiopia. Data were generated through participatory field mapping, interviews and focus groups. The results indicated that wild mammals, mainly olive baboons Papio anubis and bush pigs Potamochoerus larvatus, were raiding most crops cultivated in villages close to forests. In addition to the loss of crops, farmers incurred indirect costs in having to guard and cultivate plots far from their residences, sometimes at the expense of their children's schooling. Raiding also undermined farmers’ willingness to invest in modern agricultural technologies. Various coping strategies, including guarding crops and adapting existing local institutions, were insufficient to reduce raiding and its indirect impacts on household economies to tolerable levels, and were undermined by existing policies and government institutions. It is essential to recognize wild mammal pests as a critical ecosystem disservice to farmers, and to identify ways to mitigate their direct and indirect costs, to facilitate local agricultural development and livelihood security, and integrate wildlife conservation and local development more fully in agriculture–forest mosaic landscapes.

  • Tola Gemechu Ango, Kristoffer Hylander, Lowe Börjeson.
  • 2016. Hendrik Haenke (et al.). Land use policy 59, 111-120

    After the severe droughts in the 1970s and 1980s, and subsequent debates about desertification, analyses of satellite images reveal that the West African Sahel has become greener again. In this paper we report a study on changes in tree cover and tree species composition in three village landscapes in northern Burkina Faso, based on a combination of methods: tree density change detection using aerial photos and satellite images, a tree species inventory including size class distribution analysis, and interviews with local farmers about woody vegetation changes. Our results show a decrease in tree cover in the 1970s followed by an increase since the mid-1980s, a pattern correlating with the temporal trends in rainfall as well as remotely sensed greening in the region. However, both the inventory and interview data shows that the species composition has changed substantially towards a higher dominance of drought-resistant and exotic species. This shift, occurring during a period of increasing annual precipitation, points to the complexity of current landscape changes and questions rain as the sole primary driver of the increase in tree cover. We propose that the observed changes in woody vegetation (densities, species composition and spatial distribution) are mediated by changes in land use, including intensification and promotion of drought tolerant and fast growing species. Our findings, which indicate a rather surprising trajectory of land cover change, highlight the importance of studies that integrate evidence of changes in tree density and species composition to complement our understanding of land use and vegetation change trajectories in the Sahel obtained from satellite images. We conclude that a better understanding of the social-ecological relations and emerging land use trajectories that produce new types of agroforestry parklands in the region is of crucial importance for designing suitable policies for climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services that benefit local livelihoods in one of the world's poorest regions.

  • 2015. Martina Angela Caretta, Lowe Börjeson. Gender, Place and Culture 22 (5), 644-661

    This article presents the local gender contract of a smallholder irrigation farming community in Sibou, Kenya. Women's role in subsistence farming in Africa has mostly been analyzed through the lens of gender division of labor. In addition to this, we used the concept of ‘local gender contract’ to analyze cultural and material preconditions shaping gender-specific tasks in agricultural production, and consequently, men's and women's different strategies for adapting to climate variability. We show that the introduction of cash crops, as a trigger for negotiating women's and men's roles in the agricultural production, results in a process of gender contract renegotiation, and that families engaged in cash cropping are in the process of shifting from a ‘local resource contract’ to a ‘household income contract.’ Based on our analysis, we argue that a transformation of the local gender contract will have a direct impact on the community's adaptive capacity climate variability. It is, therefore, important to take the negotiation of local gender contracts into account in assessments of farming communities' adaptive capacity.

  • 2015. Camilla Årlin, Lowe Börjeson, Wilhelm Östberg. The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology

    Developmental narratives are commonly constructed through statements on directions and drivers of ongoing change. In the process, however, heterogeneous realities and historical trajectories become manicured and truncated due to temporal short-sightedness, misinformation, and the creation of clear-cut categorizations. Based on historical, geographical, and anthropological research on landscape change in East Africa from the nineteenth century to the present, this chapter examines how different types of historical data sources (maps, photographs, remote sensing data, written and oral accounts, as well as the landscape itself) can be used to both interrogate and improve the rigour of narratives that frame concerns for development and conservation. We describe methods of interaction with members of the researched communities over these various data bodies, and summarize this process as ‘participatory checking’. While the focus of this chapter is on landscape change the participatory research methods described are equally relevant to other topics and disciplines.

  • 2014. Tola Gemechu Ango (et al.). Ecology & society 19 (1)

    Farmers' practices in the management of agricultural landscapes influence biodiversity with implications for livelihoods, ecosystem service provision, and biodiversity conservation. In this study, we examined how smallholding farmers in an agriculture-forest mosaic landscape in southwestern Ethiopia manage trees and forests with regard to a few selected ecosystem services and disservices that they highlighted as beneficial or problematic. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from six villages, located both near and far from forest, using participatory field mapping and semistructured interviews, tree species inventory, focus group discussions, and observation. The study showed that farmers' management practices, i.e., the planting of trees on field boundaries amid their removal from inside arable fields, preservation of trees in semimanaged forest coffee, maintenance of patches of shade coffee fields in the agricultural landscape, and establishment of woodlots with exotic trees result in a restructuring of the forest-agriculture mosaic. In addition, the strategies farmers employed to mitigate crop damage by wild mammals such as baboons and bush pigs, e. g., migration and allocation of migrants on lands along forests, have contributed to a reduction in forest and tree cover in the agricultural landscape. Because farmers' management practices were overall geared toward mitigating the negative impact of disservices and to augment positive services, we conclude that it is important to operationalize ecosystem processes as both services and disservices in studies related to agricultural landscapes.

  • 2014. Martina Angela Caretta (et al.).

    This booklet presents the results of a 4 years project (2011-2015) by four geographers from the university of Stockholm. This research took place in two small villages: Sibou, Kenya and Engaruka, Tanzania. The overall project looks at three variables: soil, climate and labor. These aspects can give an indication of the type of changes that happened in these irrigation systems and what have been the triggers behind them. In this booklet results are presented according to location and focus on: agricultural practices, women´s and men´s labor tasks, soil and water characteristics, adaptation weather variability and how all of these aspects have changed over time.

  • 2014. Lowe Börjeson (et al.). Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History 1 (1), 1-2

    The academic study of rural landscapes covers a broad range of academic disciplines and thematic, methodological and theoretical concerns and interests; including questions concerned with resource use (e.g. agriculture, forestry, water and mining), settlement, livelihoods, conflicts, conservation, culture and identity. This diversity is clearly a strength (the rich empirical and intellectual base), but also presents a challenge, as the dissemination of research findings is distributed through a plethora of publishing channels, which do not necessarily encourage exchange of results and ideas that are not already perceived as germane to already established academic networks.

  • 2014. Lowe Börjeson. Landesque capital, 251-268
  • 2010. Lowe Börjeson. Encyclopedia of Geography
  • 2010. Lars-Ove Westerberg (et al.). Geographical Journal 176 (4), 304-318

    Climate data from Empakaai Crater in northern Tanzania, covering the last 1200 years, are related to the establishment, development and decline of the ancient irrigation system at Engaruka. New dates for the system are linked to reconstructed climatic variations and historical data on long-distance and regional trade and migration patterns. A shift from a comparatively humid climate to drier conditions in the 1400s prompted the establishment of irrigated agriculture at Engaruka, and a flourishing long-distance trade increased its value as a water and food source for passing caravans. Once established, the land-use system at Engaruka was sufficiently resilient to survive and even intensify during much drier climate from c. 1500 to 1670 CE (Common Era) and during the decline of caravan trade between c. 1550 and 1750. The ancient land-use system probably reached its maximum extension during the humid conditions between 1670 and 1740, and was deserted in the early to mid 1800s, presumably as a result of the added effects of climate deterioration, the Maasai expansion, and change of livelihood strategies as agriculturalists became pastoralists. Towards the end of the 1800s irrigated agriculture was again established at Engaruka, in part driven by the transfer from pastoral to agricultural livelihoods caused by the Rinderpest.

  • 2009. Lowe Börjeson. African Journal of Ecology 47 (s1), 185-191

    Vegetation data in an early 20th century map from northern Tanzania are presented and discussed for its potential of expanding the analytical time-frame in studies of land-use and land-cover change. The starting point is that much research on land-use and land-cover change suffers from a time-frame bias, caused by limitations in remote sensing data. At the same time, the use of historical maps as a complementary data-set is rather insignificant. Can information in historical maps be used to extend the baseline in land-use and land-cover change studies? The historical context of the vegetation data is evaluated, and as an illustration of its potential for interdisciplinary research on land-cover and ecosystems change, a section of the map is juxtaposed with a recent pollen record specifically addressing the impact of a 'large infrequent disturbance' (LID) event at the end of the 19th century. It is concluded that the vegetation data in the map are not likely to be reflecting an extreme situation due to the LID event. Finally, the historical vegetation data were visually compared with a national 1995 land-cover data set, illustrating the possibility of using the map data as a baseline in land-cover change studies.

  • 2008. Mats Widgren, Thomas Håkansson, Lowe Börjeson. International Journal of African Historical Studies 41 (3), 369-382

    The article focuses on the historical and regional views on landscape shift in northeastern Tanzania from 1850-2000. It highlights several perspectives on the impact of landscape transformation towards the social relation in the northeastern part of the country. Specifically, it discusses how regional historical method to land cover changes offers an analytical field to bridge social gap. It primarily considers the perspectives of a group of scholars, centering on their views on human-environmental relationships and political economy. In addition, it explores the history and spatial interactions in the region, regarding as well the economic determinants of land use.

  • 2008. Lowe Börjeson, Dorothy L. Hodgson, Pius Z. Yanda. International Journal of African Historical Studies 41 (3), 523-556

    The article focuses on the historical perspectives on the land use change of rangelands in the northeastern part of Tanzania. It traces the influence of colonial policies and precolonial political economic connection on the rapid land cover transformation on the Maasai Plains. Specifically, the authors present a historical narratives of landscape changes in the northeastern part of the country, focusing on land cover and land use change. It cites several areas in the northeast that were affected by landscape change and how these areas were agriculturally converted. Furthermore, the impact on the alterations in landscape that rooted in the colonial and precolonial history in the region is considered.

  • 2008. N. Thomas Håkansson, Mats Widgren, Lowe Börjeson. International Journal of African Historical Studies 41 (3), 369-382
  • 2007. Lowe Börjeson. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 89B (3), 249-267

    Why do farmers intensify their agricultural practices? Recent revisions of African environmental historiographies have greatly enriched our understanding of human–environmental interactions. To simply point at poor farming practices as the main cause of deforestation, desertification and other processes of land degradation is, for example, no longer possible. The contemporary analytical focus is instead on the complex and often unpredictable set of causal relations between societal, ecological and climatic factors.

    In the literature on agricultural intensification, conventionally defined driving forces, such as population pressure and market demand, remain important explanatory factors despite a growing body of research that suggests more dynamic scenarios of agricultural development and landscape change. This article reports on a case where the common-sense logic of population pressure theory has dominated the historical narrative of a local process of agricultural intensification among an agro-pastoral people in north-central Tanzania. By way of a ‘detailed participatory landscape analyses’ a more complex and dynamic historical process of intensification is suggested, in which the landscape and the process of agricultural intensification itself are in focus.

    It is concluded that the accumulation of landesque capital has been incremental in character, and that the process of agricultural intensification in the study area has largely been its own driving force based on self-reinforcing processes of change, and not a consequence of land scarcity and population pressure. This result demonstrates the possibility and usefulness of reversing the Boserupian argument in analyses of agricultural intensification.

Visa alla publikationer av Lowe Börjeson vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 16 maj 2017

Bokmärk och dela Tipsa