Workers harvesting bananas for export to the Chinese market, Luang Namtha Province, Laos, February 2018. Photo: Cecilie Friis
Workers harvesting bananas for export to the Chinese market, Luang Namtha Province, Laos, February 2018. Photo: Cecilie Friis

Telecoupling Research Towards Sustainable Transformation of Land Systems

Short Description

The telecoupling concept has been proposed to describe socio-economic and environmental interactions, flows and feedbacks over distance and across scales that cause change in otherwise separated land systems. As an analytical framework, the telecoupling framework brings together a systemic perspective on land-use change with flow- and network-oriented analytical approaches. As such, it is a clear and concrete response to the scientific and applied need for interdisciplinary exchange to tackle the challenges of global interconnectivity and (un)sustainability in land-use change.

Yet, while methodological and conceptual advancements have been made, and an emerging body of empirical studies is examining telecoupling in land-use systems, more collaboratory research is urgently needed in order to 1) foster a better understanding of how global interconnectivity influences land-use change in particular places and at particular moments in time; 2) capture and account for distant, unexpected feedbacks and spillovers that challenge social and environmental sustainability and 3) enhance evidence-based decision- and policy-making through transformative land governance initiatives for the sustainable management of land.

Goals and Objectives

The specific objectives of this Working Group are:

  1. Provide a platform for the diverse group of Land System Scientists working on telecoupling related questions to foster better interdisciplinary exchange and the consolidation of knowledge on methodological, conceptual and empirical issues related to telecoupling of land use systems.
  2. Advance the understanding of challenges and opportunities presented by telecoupling to sustainable land-use change
  3. Identify potential best practices and methodologies for designing transformative interventions into telecoupled land use systems that fosters sustainable development.
  4. Bringing together early and advanced-stage researchers
  5. Communicating telecoupling research activities and advances to non-academic stakeholders

GLP Themes: Telecoupling of land use systems, Land governance


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Photo by Jeremy Stewardson on Unsplash


Deforestation is one of the most pressing global challenges in relation to the climate and biodiversity crises. Recently, the European Union (EU) has taken a step towards addressing this challenge by adopting the new EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) to secure deforestation-free supply chains. In this blog post, the authors open a discussion of consequences and effectiveness of this new supply chain regulation. The post is based on a May 2023 webinar hosted by GLP's Telecoupling Research Towards Sustainable Transformation of Land Systems Working Group.   Read full post

Related Information


July 11, 2023

A new paper in Biological Conservation offers a dual-branched conservation model that commands novel actions to tackle distant wealth-related drivers of biodiversity decline, while enhancing site-level conservation to empower biodiversity stewards. 

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May 11, 2023
Monday, May 22, 2023 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm

In this webinar, the GLP Telecoupling Research Towards Sustainable Transformation of Land Systems Working Group will start a discussion on how telecoupling research can be used to advance our understanding of new EU legislation that seeks to ensure “deforestation-free” imports and exports of seven “forest-risk” commodities.

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March 30, 2023

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Sunday, April 30, 2023

The transdisciplinary research project ”Building an evidence-base for deforestation-free landscapes: supporting equitable outcomes in and beyond commodity supply-chains” (BEDROCK) is announcing three 3-year postdoc positions in a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology, Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI), Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Deadline: 30 April 2023

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