Department Environmental Social Sciences

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

[Translate to English:] © Cheryl 2011

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 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.

Project team

Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold Group leader, Cluster: PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail
Dr. Manuel Fischer Head of Department ESS & Group leader PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail

External team members

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


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 (24 pp.), doi:10.3390/su11030851, Institutional Repository

Planned Publications

Andriamihaja et al. Identifying Agents of Change for Sustainable Land Governance

Andriamihaja et al. Institutions for Sustainability Collaboration: Bringing Different Actors Together

Lundsgaard-Hansen et al. Telecoupled land use change in war-related state-making


Dr. Manuel Fischer Head of Department ESS & Group leader PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail


Project Start: Frühjahr 2015, Duration: 2x3 Years

Funding: R4D