Archetypical pathways of direct and indirect land-use change caused by Cambodia`s economic land concessions

Magliocca, Nicholas R.; Khuc, Quy Van; Ellicott, Evan A.; de Brémond, Ariane (2019). Archetypical pathways of direct and indirect land-use change caused by Cambodia`s economic land concessions. Ecology and Society, 24(2) Resilience Alliance Publications 10.5751/ES-10954-240225

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In the global South, a rush of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) is occurring by governments and transnational and domestic investors seeking to secure access to land in developing countries to produce food, biofuels, and other agricultural commodities. Complex interactions between regional and global market dynamics and local institutional, socioeconomic, and agro-ecological conditions can lead to widely varying causal processes, land-use change (LUC), and socioeconomic and environmental outcomes. Systematic understanding of how characteristics of LSLAs across multiple social and environmental contexts produce spillover effects on local communities, ranging from employment opportunities to displacement and indirect land-use change (iLUC), is lacking. We conceptualize agricultural commodity production and land-acquisition processes associated with LSLAs as catalyzing causal pathways of direct and indirect land-use changes. Using the case of economic land concessions (ELCs) in Cambodia, we employed a novel synthesis research approach combining remote sensing, spatio-temporal statistics, and case study meta-analysis to construct archetypical pathways of the causes, timing, and consequences of ELC-driven land change. Archetypical pathways generally diverged based on specialized or flex commodity crops and rates of direct LUC, and rapid rates of direct LUC tended to cause displacement and iLUC. In contrast, ELCs producing commodity crops associated with more gradual land-use change and/or organized local resistance lead to less iLUC. Systematic knowledge generated through synthesis of local causes and consequences of LSLA-driven land change is now possible and needed to better address the direct and indirect consequences of LSLAs for commodity crop production.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Brémond, Ariane Carole




Resilience Alliance Publications


[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2020 16:40

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:40

Publisher DOI:





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