Special Issue "Environmental Sustainability of Contemporary Land Use Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Ecology and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Bernard Lacaze
Guest Editor
CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
Interests: remote sensing of vegetation; land use and land cover change; desertification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land use changes during the last 3 centuries have dramatically increased, driven by population growth and technological evolution since the Industrial Revolution. Deforestation and agricultural expansion have been the major features, enhancing the global greenhouse effect. Over the last 50 years, the world’s agricultural production has grown 2.5 times, while cultivated land increased only by 12% (FAOSTAT, 2015), but current practices are unsustainable, reducing biodiversity and requiring massive external inputs. However, land use change does not occur evenly, and in some parts of the developed world, the process of natural land conversion has stopped or has even been reversed. Another obvious driver of land use change in recent decades has been increasing urbanization, with higher rates in developing countries, challenging sustainable development goals, from local to global scales.

Multitemporal land use/land cover maps are currently available on a regular basis from remote sensing data. Considerable progress is being made concerning annual continental or global monitoring of land use/land cover changes observed at low/medium spatial resolutions (1 km–100 m). An example is the annual land cover change of Africa product with 100 m spatial resolution for the years 2015–2018, available from Copernicus Global Land Service. Validation and analysis of observed land conversion changes are needed, using higher-resolution remote sensing data and ground observations.

Contributors from different fields are invited to submit their articles on topics including (but not limited to): patterns of land use/land cover changes at several spatial and temporal scales, drivers of land use changes, anticipated effects of climate change on croplands and rangelands, urban sprawl, and dynamics of rural/urban interface. Research should address current and projected environmental consequences of land use change, including possible depletion of ecosystem services (food and fiber supply, conservation of biodiversity, surface water regulation, soil protection, desertification mitigation, etc.).

Dr. Bernard Lacaze
Guest Editor

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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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.


  • Land use/land cover monitoring
  • Land use sustainability
  • Coupled human–environment systems
  • Sustainable agriculture intensification
  • Deforestation/afforestation
  • Urban sprawl
  • Ecosystem services

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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