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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Global land use change and economic globalization Seminar

18:00 - 19:00
7 December 2011
Building 44 Room 2103

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Professor Peter Atkinson at .

Event details

Geography and Environment seminar

A central challenge for sustainability is how to preserve forest ecosystems, their biodiversity and the services that they provide us while enhancing food production. This challenge for developing countries confronts the force of economic globalization which seeks cropland that is shrinking in availability and triggers deforestation. The displacement, rebound and cascading mechanisms that are amplified by economic globalization accelerate land conversion. Remote, rural regions become linked with global markets through specialty commodities produced for niche markets (e.g., certified coffee, argan oil, flowers, quinoa, ecotourism). A few developing countries have managed a land use transition over the recent decades that simultaneously increased their forest cover and agricultural production. These countries have relied on various mixes of agricultural intensification, land use zoning, forest protection, increased reliance on imported food and wood products, and the creation of off-farm jobs. Sound policies and innovations can therefore reconcile forest preservation with food production. Various demand-driven instruments, such as certification, moratoria and roundtables, have the potential to harness the forces of globalization to increase land use efficiency rather than leading to uncontrolled land use expansion. To make these institutions work, we need to better understand how land systems are affected by long-distance flows of goods, people, and capital that connect local land use with global-scale factors.

Speaker information

Eric Lambin, Stanford University, USA and University of Louvain, Belgium. Eric Lambin divides his time between the University of Louvain, Belgium (from mid-June to December every year), where he is professor at the Department of Geography, and Stanford University, where he occupies the George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professorship at the School of Earth Sciences and Woods Institute for the Environment (from January to mid-June every year). He leads a research team that is involved in several international scientific projects on human-environment interactions in different parts of the world. These projects combine remote sensing, socio-economic data, and spatial models to better understand and predict terrestrial ecosystem dynamics and their impacts.

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