Land use and Biodiversity

Managing telecoupled landscapes for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services and poverty alleviationg


Social-ecological systems (SES) of forest frontiers in the humid tropics ensure a complex mix of ecosystem service flows that support human well-being locally and provide environmental benefits worldwide. Yet, global forces have come to outweigh local determinants of land use change in these landscapes. Driven by demands for agricultural expansion, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and more, these forces increasingly encompass combined socio-economic and environmental interactions between two or more distant SES. The growing distance between supply and demand has been labeled as “telecoupling” and undermines ecosystem stewardship and SES’ adaptive capacities.

This project will build on research partnerships in Laos, Myanmar and Madagascar, linking case study research in


Dr. Manuel Fischer
Tel.: +41 58 765 56 76


Dr. Manuel Fischer
Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold

Project partners

Peter Messerli (CDE Universität Bern); Adrienne Grêt-Regamey (ETH Zürich); Bruno Salomon Ramamonjisoa (University of Antananarivo); Khamla Phanvilay (National University of Laos); Win Myint (Environmental and Economic Research Institut, Yangon, Myanmar); Gudrun Schwilch (Universität Bern); San Win (University of Forestry, Myanmar)
Funding R4D
Project duration Start Spring 2015, duration 2x 3 years





concrete contexts with generalization and modelling. We will assess telecoupling in terms of the impact it has on land use and on ecosystem service flows and human well-being.

The PEGO subproject will identify the actors involved and study their relational patterns by means of Social Network Analysis (SNA). This will then be combined with a GIS-based analysis and modelling of ecosystem services supply. The three elements will inform analysis of the spatial patterns of trade-offs and related winners and losers.

Related publications:

  • Andriamihaja, O.R.; Metz, F.; Zaehringer, J.G.; Fischer, M.; Messerli, P. (2019). Land Competition under Telecoupling: Distant Actors’ Environmental versus Economic Claims on Land in North-Eastern Madagascar. Sustainability, 11(3), 851. DOI:10.3390/su11030851.