Direct and indirect land-use change caused by large-scale land acquisitions in Cambodia

Magliocca, Nicholas R; Khuc, Quy Van; de Bremond, Ariane; Ellicott, Evan A (2020). Direct and indirect land-use change caused by large-scale land acquisitions in Cambodia. Environmental Research Letters, 15(2), pp. 1-9. IOP Publishing 10.1088/1748-9326/ab6397

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Large-scale land acquisitions(LSLAs)have received considerable scholarly attention over the lastdecade, and progress has been made towards quantifying their direct impacts. There is also a growingrecognition of the importance of indirect effects of LSLAs, such as‘spillover’or indirect land-usechange(iLUC), and the substantial challenges they pose for attribution and quantification. In fact, therelative contributions of direct and indirect LUC associated with LSLAs are unknown. This study aimsto address these knowledge gaps using Economic Land Concessions(ELCs)in Cambodia, now themost targeted country for LSLAs in Southeast Asia. We leveragefindings on archetypical pathways ofdirect and indirect LUC in Cambodia, developed through previous mixed-methods synthesis efforts,to quantify remotely sensed forest loss to specific ELCs. During 2000–2016, Cambodia roughly 1611kha of forest, or 22% of total forest cover. Although ELCs(as of 2016)contained roughly 16% ofCambodia’s forest cover(2000), forest lost within ELC boundaries accounted for nearly 30%(476kha)of total forest lost by 2016. Furthermore, iLUC contributed an additional 49–174 kha of forestloss(3.0%–10.7% of all forest lost in Cambodia)over the same period. Thus, iLUC contributed toCambodia’s total forest loss at the rate of 11.4%–40.8% of direct LUC caused by ELCs. Suchfindingssuggest that the total amount of LUC caused by LSLAs may well be underestimated globally. This andrelated synthesis research efforts can be valuable approaches for better targeting remote sensinganalyses to specific locations and time periods needed to disentangle and quantify forest loss due todirect and indirect land change processes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Brémond, Ariane Carole




IOP Publishing


[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2020 09:17

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 09:19

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

deforestation, agricultural commodities, telecoupling, cascading effects, displacement effects




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