Abundant maize harvest following switch from traditional soy production in Heilongjiang Province, China

Food Security and Land Use: The Telecoupling Challenge

Project time period:
January, 2014 to December, 2018

One of the greatest challenges the world faces is meeting growing demand for food while protecting the environment and the well-being of future generations. Short-term food security must not sacrifice the environment as the latter is the foundation for long-term food security. Even when there is enough food produced globally, it is often poorly distributed and major losses are incurred in spoilage. Food security and land use are inherently linked across multiple spatial, temporal, and organizational scales. Increasingly, land use is shaped by powerful new forces such as demand for food from distant places and nations capable of buying food to meet their food preferences. Food needs were historically met by local producers but are now met through global trade. Reexamining food security and land-use dynamics in the context of distant interactions is crucial for enhancing global food security and environmental sustainability. To address the global challenges of food security and land use, the team consists of leading scholars in social and natural sciences as well as stakeholders in relevant sectors from four countries (Brazil, China, U.K. and U.S.), and two major centers of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR, International Center for Tropical Agriculture [CIAT] and International Food Policy Research Institute [IFPRI]). The overall goal is to understand the direct and collateral effects of feedbacks between food security and land use over long distances.


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

GLP Methods: Co-production and transdisciplinarity, Decision Making, Decision support tools and approaches, GIS, Interdisciplinary methods, Modelling, Qualitative social science methods (interviews, observations, document review, surveys), Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, Supply and value chains

Principal Investigator(s)