The book presents recent estimates of the rates in changes of major land classes such as forest, cropland and pasture. Among the causative mechanisms behind land change, synergetic factor combinations are found to be more common than single key factor explanations. Aggregated globally, multiple impacts of local land changes are shown to significantly affect central aspects of Earth System functioning. Innovative developments and applications in the fields of modeling and scenario construction are presented. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the most pressing implications for the design of appropriate intervention policies, and on new directions and frontiers of research.
The edited book synthesizes research achievements by dozens of scientists related to the Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). It summarizes relevant findings on global land-use change which arose from value-adding activities of the LUCC project, starting in 1995 and extending until its termination in October 2005. The main intention is to describe how human modification of land cover became a major driving force of Earth System changes over the past 300 years, a period of most rapid transformations, with fundamental implications for current landscape configurations. In writing this book, current knowledge and understanding is reported on the rates, causes/pathways, impacts, future scenarios/models, policy implications and new research directions in the field of land-use/cover change.
Introduction: Local Processes with Global Impacts.- Global Land-Cover Change: Recent Progress, Remaining Challenges.- Causes and Trajectories of Land-Use/Cover Change.- Multiple Impacts of Land-Use/Cover Change.- Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Change.- Searching for the Future of Land: Scenarios from the Local to Global Scale.- Linking Land-Change Science and Policy: Current Lessons and Future Integration.- Conclusion.
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Eric Lambin is Professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the IGBP-IHDP Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) project, besides contributing to many other international scientific projects and initiatives. His research focuses on remote sensing, tropical deforestation, desertification and land use transitions. Helmut Geist is Professor of Human-Environment Interactions at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, and former Executive Director of the IGBP-IHDP Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) project. His research focuses on environment/development issues and political ecology.