Detecting and linking indirect land-use change associated with large-scale land acquisitions in Southeast Asia

Authors: Nicholas Magliocca*, Department of Geography, University of Alabama, Ariane de Bremond, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Bern Switzerland, Evan Ellicott, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Topics: Economic Geography, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Land grabs, economic globalization, agricultural commodities, rural communities, global countryside
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Studio 9, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the global South, a ‘rush’ of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) is occurring by government and transnational investors seeking to secure access to land in developing countries to produce food, biofuels, and non-agricultural commodities. Researchers are just now beginning to fully grasp the global scope and varied contexts in which LSLAs have occurred. Most knowledge of LSLAs produced thus far provide insight into the local livelihood consequences of LSLAs, typically through detailed case studies, or describe the governance, socio-economic, and/or environmental conditions at the national scale that make particular countries more or less likely to host LSLAs. Comparably less is known about the causes, timing, and sub-national locations of land-use changes associated with LSLAs, and how such processes result in linked livelihood and land-use consequences – particularly indirect, or ‘spillover’, land-use change. Here, we examine the time-sequencing, or pathways, through which locations become more or less susceptible to transnational investments in LSLAs, land-use change, and follow-on livelihood change and indirect land-use change. A portfolio of tools including analysis of remote sensing time series, mixed methods meta-studies, and trade flows analysis are integrated to perform an innovative synthesis. A pilot study using transaction data from Cambodia and Laos is presented here to demonstrate the potential of this synthesis approach to produce systematic knowledge across multiple sub-national contexts. This work lays the groundwork for an expanded synthesis effort at the global level.

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