COUPLED example of a telecoupling
Example of a telecoupling

COUPLED. Operationalising Telecouplings for Solving Sustainability Challenges for Land Use

Project time period:
January, 2018 to December, 2021

COUPLED is a four-year, European Training Network granted by the EC under Horizon 2020 and coordinated by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. COUPLED trains 15 early stage researchers in order to better integrate research, innovation and social responsibility framed around the concept of telecoupling.

Human consumption of food and agricultural products has a significant impact on the environment and the societies in the regions where they are produced. Different sectors, consumers, businesses and politicians are increasingly demanding more environmental and social sustainable land-use both inside and outside Europe. Yet, there is increasing recognition of the limitations of current research approaches to adequately understand and address the increasing complexity of land system dynamics, which are often characterised by strong non-linearity, feedback mechanisms, and local contexts, and where places of production, trade, and consumption of land-based products are increasingly separated.

COUPLED trains early stage researchers capable of:

  • understanding processes and actors that influence land-use in an increasingly interconnected world
  • considering distant, unexpected feedbacks and spillovers and to account for their social and environmental impact
  • fostering new and enhanced governance measures that can shape land-use couplings to deliver more sustainable outcomes of land use decisions

COUPLED receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765408.

Consortium: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, University of Bern, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, University of Copenhagen, Institute of Social Ecology Vienna, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Université catholique de Louvain, The Forest Trust, Unilever U.K. 


GLP Themes: Telecoupling of land use systems, Land governance, Land change trade-offs for ecosystem services and biodiversity , Land management systems, Urban-rural interactions, Land use and conflict

GLP Methods: Co-production and transdisciplinarity, Decision Making, Decision support tools and approaches, Institutional Analysis, Integrative Assessments, Interdisciplinary methods, Modelling, Past land use/historical land use reconstruction, Qualitative social science methods (interviews, observations, document review, surveys), Remote Sensing, Social network analysis, Spatial Analysis, Supply and value chains, Synthesis/meta-analysis/meta-study

Principal Investigator(s)