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Land use change in the globalization era Eric F. Lambin Stanford University & UCLouvain with Patrick Meyfroidt UCLouvain

Research question How to preserve forest ecosystems and the services that they provide us while enhancing food production?

Widely-held view Nature conservation through: 1.  Land use zoning, 2.  Agricultural intensification.

Controlled by national-scale policies.

Causes of land change

Geist & Lambin, Bioscience, 2002

Contemporary forest transition in the tropics

Meyfroidt & Lambin, GCB, 2008a

Highlands: land use policies allocating forestry land to households -  decline of cultivation on hillsides  forest regeneration -  land scarcity (+ population growth & land degradation) - increase in labour inputs & crop frequency on mountain paddies after decollectivisation  intensification + diversification Liberalisation of markets for agricultural inputs & outputs: - increase agricultural productivity on most fertile plots Local scarcity of forest products + timber demand for urban and industrial markets: - incentive for forest plantations in accessible locations No decline in rural population Meyfroidt & Lambin, 2008b

Social impacts of forest transitions •  Logging bans and forest allocation plans have social and economic costs •  In some cases: greater government control on ethnic minorities living in forests •  Different land managers have different perceptions of, and assign different values to « forests »

Lambin & Meyfroidt, PNAS, 2011

Pathways of forest transitions •  Economic development path: Growth in off-farm jobs •  Forest scarcity path: Tree plantations for forest products •  State forest policy path: Changes in national forest policies •  Globalization path: Labour out-migration, ecotourism, free trade •  Smallholder, tree-based land use intensification path: Agroforestry systems, fruit orchards, secondary successions...

Rudel et al. 2005, Lambin & Meyfroidt, 2009

Is a global forest transition possible? 1. Increasing wood supply without decreasing forest area (i) increase production from plantations (ii) sustainable extraction from natural forests

2. Demand: (i) eco-consumerism (certifications, moratoriums, roundtable‌) (ii) substitution of wood by other products, without displacement

3. Reduce forest clearing and promote reforestation: (i) land use zoning, payments for ecosystems services, etc. (iii) secure forest land rights, decentralize forest management

4. Control the expansion of competing land uses: (i) agricultural intensification (ii) develop off-farm rural economy (iii) decrease consumption of land-intensive products Meyfroidt & Lambin, 2011

Lambin & Meyfroidt, PNAS, 2011

Expansion of international trade

From 1961 to 2007: •  cross-border trade in food commodities: x 5 •  trade in raw timber products, pulp, paper products: x 7 FAOSTAT, 2010

Globalization •  Trade in agricultural and forestry products, •  Financial flows: foreign investments in land use, •  Human migrations: remittances to rural areas, •  Global governance: multilateral environmental agreements, •  Civil society: NGOs.

Mechanisms linking globalization and land change •  Displacement effect •  Rebound effect •  Cascade effect •  Remittance effect Lambin & Meyfroidt, PNAS, 2011

Effectiveness of land use zoning schemes Displacement (or leakage): When land use decisions in a place lead to a migration of activities to another place, therefore causing land change in that other locality.

Vietnam’s displacement of deforestation abroad Displacement = 39% of 1992-2006 forest regrowth About 80% of it exported as value-added products

Meyfroidt & Lambin, PNAS, 2009

Forest policy vs economic growth Policy-induced leakage = 59 % of displacement Demand-driven leakage = 41 % of displacement

Meyfroidt & Lambin, PNAS, 2009

All recent forest transition countries: •  Additional global land use change embodied in their wood imports offsets 74% of their total reforested area •  With their agricultural exports, net displacement offsets 22% of their total reforested area •  Total net displacement increasing to >50% in 2003-07 •  Illegal timber trade not included

Meyfroidt, Rudel, Lambin, PNAS, 2010

Agricultural intensification and land sparing for nature Rebound (or take-back) effect: Responses of agents to the introduction of new technologies, that offset the beneficial effects of an increase in production efficiency: new technology lowers costs and hence increases consumption due to lower prices, more income available to spend, substitution effects, economic growth

Evidence on land sparing with agricultural intensification National scale: (i) Paired increases in yields and declines in cropland infrequent in 1990-2005 (Rudel et al., 2009); (ii) For staple crops in developing countries: per capita cropland area decreased slightly with large increases in crop yields; Not for developed countries and for all crops (Ewers et al. 2009) Local scale: (i)  Abandonment of slash-and-burn cultivation in uplands with lowland irrigation in the Philippines (Shively and Pagiola 2004) and Vietnam (Meyfroidt and Lambin 2008) (ii)  More cropland expansion for cash crops, with global market, elastic demand, frees up labor, attracts migrants (Anglesen and Kaimowitz, 1998): soybean in Brazil, palm oil in Indonesia, …

Indirect land use changes Cascade effect: Unforeseen chain of events due to a perturbation affecting a system and that can cause additional land-use change elsewhere. Food crops replaced by bioenergy crops, market price increases, more land allocated to that crop, displaces other crops, land conversion at the margins

International migrations Decrease rural population, but: Remittance effect: in 2009: 214 millions international migrants; 414 billions US$ sent back home Used for: •  diversification in non-farm rural sector, •  investments in land use intensification, •  land purchases by migrants.

Evidence •  El Salvador: forest recovery correlated remittances from abroad, not with local rural population density (Hecht and Saatchi 2007); •  Southern Morocco: Moroccans having migrated abroad invest more in land back home and have more formal property rights than local households (de Haas 2006) •  African Sahel: increase in wealth associated with a decreased engagement in agriculture and diversification towards rural non-farm activities.

Land use transition •  A process of system change in land use in which the structural character of the system transforms •  Associated with other social and biophysical changes •  Neither a fixed pattern, nor deterministic. Highly contingent! •  Large variability in specific trajectories •  Ecological and social significance depends on land cover prior and after the transition afforestation versus reforestation natural forest regeneration versus plantation •  Some cross-border displacement of land use •  Influenced by the forces of globalization

Halting deforestation? Forest area

The forest transition


‌ or accelerating a land-use transition Forest area

The forest transition



Eric Lambin presenting in the Land Change Seminar

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