Abstract: Over the last decade considerable research has been conducted on the development and the impacts of large-scale economic land concessions for plantations in Laos and Cambodia. These studies have variously illustrated that concessions frequently result in serious negative impacts on local people and the environment, often leading to dramatic transformations of landscapes and livelihoods. As important as this research has been, these studies have largely focused on the immediate impacts of the “enclosure” process associated with gaining access to land by investors. In this study we take a different approach, investigating the implications of large-scale land concessions in southern Laos and northeastern Cambodia with regard to places outside of actual concession areas, both within the countries where the concessions are located and beyond. These links have been referred to as “teleconnections” or “telecoupling”, and adopting a “telecoupling” approach allows us to focus on particular relations between land-use change in one location and land-use change elsewhere, either nearby or distant, as the result of large-scale plantation development, both during the early plantation development period, and later when plantations are productive. It also provides opportunities to engage with Land Change Science (LCS) through Political Ecology (PE).
Abstract: The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp.), and native forests, particularly aspen and northern hardwoods, are a potential source of woody biomass for these uses. This study provides a geographic information system (GIS) framework for assessing the current spatial extent of aspen and northern hardwoods) and their proximity to roads. Additionally, the potential for expanding the area of these feedstock sources based on pre-European settlement vegetation cover is assessed. Utilizing GIS technology to compile, edit and analyze available geospatial data (e.g., present day and pre-European settlement land use/cover, soils, road infrastructure, and land ownership) for counties located in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan provides a robust framework for various management scenarios to be evaluated in a cost effective manner and foster better decision making.
Abstract: A landscape epidemiology modeling framework is presented which integrates the simulation outputs from an established spatial agent-based model (ABM) of malaria with a geographic information system (GIS). For a study area in Kenya, five landscape scenarios are constructed with varying coverage levels of two mosquito-control interventions. For each scenario, maps are presented to show the average distributions of three output indices obtained from the results of 750 simulation runs. Hot spot analysis is performed to detect statistically significant hot spots and cold spots. Additional spatial analysis is conducted using ordinary kriging with circular semivariograms for all scenarios. The integration of epidemiological simulation-based results with spatial analyses techniques within a single modeling framework can be a valuable tool for conducting a variety of disease control activities such as exploring new biological insights, monitoring epidemiological landscape changes, and guiding resource allocation for further investigation.
Abstract: In this article, we argue that research on land reform in the nation of Zimbabwe has overlooked possibilities of integrating geospatial methods into analyses and, at the same time, geographers have not adequately developed techniques for this application. Scholars have generally been captured within the debate focused on the success or failure of the Zimbabwean land reform program, and have neglected to analyze what has occurred where during the process of “fast-track land reform”. To date, no extensive national dataset of land ownership change, and the effect of this change on land use planning strategies, has been developed within the scientific community. As a result, most publications, even very detailed and thorough ones, have been based on regional case studies, broad estimates, or on outdated, cross-referenced statistics. To overcome the lack of spatio-temporal data, we propose an analytic framework to map Zimbabwe’s fast-track land reform and its country-wide effects. It emphasizes the potential of geographic information systems and satellite remote sensing to provide an objective basis for future studies of the subject.
Abstract: This study deals with the landscape evolution reflected in the changes of land cover in the suburban area of Marathon, Attica, Greece. The study was based on remote sensing images covering the time period between 1945 and 2007. Several other types of data were also used, such as a digital terrain model, historical orthophotos, vegetation maps, geological maps, cadastral maps and aerial photos. These types of data were used in order to create the spatial database for the classification/interpretation of land cover and to identify the land cover changes that occurred during the period in question. The results of this study showed significant land cover changes, especially for the land covered by forests and wetlands with a 47% and a 37% decrease, respectively. The spatial arrangement of the development of residential areas was partially predictable, while the occurrence of land cover changes due to retrogressive vegetation succession appeared rather idiosyncratically throughout the area initially covered by forest.
Abstract: Interacting land use demands and competing interests originating from fields such as agriculture, housing, mobility and nature conservation call for integrated governance approaches that incorporate disciplinary perspectives and arbitrate between them. The German research program “Sustainable Land Management” targets this challenge and provides an umbrella for a number of regional projects involving transdisciplinary system-oriented approaches to sustainable land use, connecting researchers and practitioners. This research note gives an insight into the experiences presented at the program’s fourth year status conference, held in October 2014 in Berlin. It focuses on cross-scalar and cross-sectoral approaches to governing urban-rural interdependencies of land use and scrutinizes debates on how to implement and disseminate project results.