Special Issue "Transforming Telecoupled Landscapes Towards Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +41 31 631 30 60
Interests: land system science; sustainable development transformation; land governance; knowledge co-production
Guest Editor
Dr. Julie G. Zähringer

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: land-use change; ecosystem service trade-offs; human well-being; social-ecological systems; conservation
Guest Editor
Dr. Enrico Celio

Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems – PLUS, ETH Zürich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: land-use change; participatory modelling; landscape approaches; integrated landscape management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey

Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems – PLUS, ETH Zürich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: human-landscape interaction; land-use decision modelling; fore- and backcasting; landscape perception; co-design of landscape processes
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bruno Ramamonjisoa

ESSA-Forêts, Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest policy and governance; ecosystem services; social-ecological systems; land-use change; knowledge production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In many parts of the world, local land-use changes are no longer determined just by local decision-making. Distant decision-makers – policymakers, consumers, conservation actors, and others – increasingly influence highly dynamic land-use changes at the interface of forest, subsistence farming, and commercial agriculture. The telecoupling framework provides opportunities to investigate these social–ecological systems combining place-based analyses with flow-based perspectives. It focuses on interactions between distant actors and institutions through flows of goods, capital, information, and people. However, the framework’s operationalization regarding the analysis of (1) decision-making leading to land-use changes and (2) the impacts of these land-use changes on ecosystem services and human well-being is still in its early stage.

A better understanding of telecoupled processes and their impacts on local livelihoods and the environment is crucial to support the transformation of many landscapes worldwide towards sustainable development. The following questions need to be answered:

  • Who are the key actors and institutions in land-use decision-making, what are their strategies, and what power do they have to pursue them?
  • What ecosystem services trade-offs do these land-use changes imply, and for whom?
  • Who are the winners and losers of these land-use changes, i.e. how do these land-use changes affect disaggregated groups of people in terms of their well-being?
  • What methodological approaches are needed to inform today’s decision-makers about possible future land-use change pathways? What land-use changes are likely to occur, what is their uncertainty, and how should this information feed into policymaking?
  • What approaches and methods can support transformations of telecoupled landscapes towards sustainable development?

For this Special Issue, we encourage studies that aim to answer these (and other related) questions through a telecoupling lens. Papers may present (1) empirical and context-specific case study results, (2) generalization and upscaling of telecoupling processes and impacts based on empirical findings, and (3) methodological innovations that support transformation towards more sustainable development, taking into account the challenges posed by telecoupled interactions between systems.

Prof. Peter Messerli
Dr. Julie G. Zähringer
Dr. Enrico Celio
Prof. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
Prof. Bruno Ramamonjisoa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 750 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • telecoupling
  • land-use change
  • land governance
  • land-use predictions
  • decision-making
  • ecosystem services
  • human well-being
  • transformations towards sustainable development

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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