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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences | Geography Department | Earth Observation Lab | Projects | Territorial Diff across ecoregions in South America

Understanding differences in land systems and their social-ecological impacts within and across ecoregions in South America

work scheme of the project

Land use is crucial for human societies, providing essential food, feed and materials. At the same time, land-use has major impacts on the environment and is a driver of many of the major sustainability challenges we face in the 21st century. Understanding these trade-offs, and finding ways to manage them, is therefore a central challenge for science and for society at large. Trade-offs between land use, and agriculture in particular, and the socio-environment do not play out randomly in space. Often, those regions that are best for agriculture also harbour high levels of carbon and biodiversity or many ethnic groups. Trade-offs are mediated both via environmental conditions (e.g., agro-ecological conditions) and the institutional setup (e.g., governance systems, policy frameworks), yet which of these sets of factors dominate is often unclear. My project will characterize agricultural land systems and will assess transboundary differences within transnational ecoregions and across national ecoregions in South America (obj. 1). It will also evaluate environmental and social indices for this region (obj. 2). Together, this will allow assessing potential socio-economic and environmental trade-offs (obj 3). As a result, I will be able to discuss if ecological or institutional conditions shape socio-environmental impacts in agricultural regions. The results of my project will deepen our understanding on the power of institutions in achieving sustainable development goals.




Geo.X Young Academy


Duration: 2019-2021


Project members