Managing telecoupled landscapes for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services and poverty alleviation
This project focuses on landscapes on forest frontiers in the humid tropics, in which global forces now outweigh local determinants of land use change. These are areas that are driven by demands for agricultural expansion and intensification, fuel, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and more. These forces consist not only of socio-economic ("globalization") or environmental interactions ("teleconnections"), but increasingly encompass combined socio-economic and environmental interactions between two or more distant socio-ecological systems. Land change scientists have recently conceptualized this phenomenon under the term "telecoupling".
This research project pursues the overall goal of devising and testing innovative strategies and institutional arrangements for securing ecosystem service flows and human well-being within and between telecoupled landscapes. It strives at impacts both in terms of scientific research as well as development policy and practice. Contributions to science will include linking supply of and demand for ecosystem services in forest frontier contexts. Contributions to development policy and practice will include empowering reform actors across sectors and scales with knowledge and capacities for evidence-informed land use decisions and policy.
The project will focus on forest frontier contexts in the humid tropics in Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Madagascar.
Project duration: 6 years, starting 1.1.2015