The causes of land-use and land-cover change: Moving beyond the myths

E. F. Lambin, B. L. Turner, Helmut Josef Geist, S. Agbola, A. Angelsen, J. W. Bruce, O. Coomes, G. Fischer, C. Folke, P. S. George, K. Homewood, J. Imbernon, R. Leemans, X. Li, E. F. Moran, M. Mortimore, P. S. Ramakrishnan, J. F. Richards, H. Skanes, W. SteffenG. D. Stone, U. Svedin, T. Veldkamp, C. Vogel, J. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1854 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Common understanding of the causes of land-use and land-cover change is dominated by simplifications which, in turn, underlie many environment-development policies. This article tracks some of the major myths on driving forces of land-cover change and proposes alternative pathways of change that are better supported by case study evidence. Cases reviewed support the conclusion that neither population nor poverty alone constitute the sole and major underlying causes of land-cover change worldwide. Rather, peoples' responses to economic opportunities, as mediated by institutional factors, drive land-cover changes. Opportunities andconstraints for new land uses are created by local as well as national markets and policies. Global forces become the main determinants of land-use change, as they amplify or attenuate local factors. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • BRAZILIAN AMAZON
  • DEFORESTATION
  • POPULATION
  • LESSONS
  • SUSTAINABILITY
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • CULTIVATION
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • ECOSYSTEMS
  • MANAGEMENT

Cite this

Lambin, E. F., Turner, B. L., Geist, H. J., Agbola, S., Angelsen, A., Bruce, J. W., ... Xu, J. (2001). The causes of land-use and land-cover change: Moving beyond the myths. Global Environmental Change, 11(4), 261-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-3780(01)00007-3