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Cuba's polygon program—agricultural land rehabilitation

Aguilar, Yulaidis, Calero, Bernardo, Rodriguez, Dagoberto, Muniz, Olegario
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2015 v.15 pp. 72-78
agricultural land, farms, forests, land restoration, small-scale farming, soil, soil degradation, sustainable land management, water resources, Cuba
Cuba's agricultural system has seen many structural changes over the past decades. A development from small-scale to large-scale, industrial monoculture practices was followed by a return to small-scale farming. To combat soil degradation from the previous decades of monocultures, Cuba has initiated a country-wide program, based on the principles of sustainable land management (SLM). Since 2009, SLM demonstration areas (so-called ‘polygons’) have been introduced to ensure the implementation of integrated conservation and melioration technologies for soil, forest and water resources at a farm production level. In 2010, seventeen of these areas in different soil and climatic regions of the country were established as demonstration units and another seventeen are in progress. Initial insights into the social and biophysical conditions of these demonstration units provide evidence of their effects in terms of sustainable development.