Deforestation explained by social-ecological dynamics and governance shifts

Projektteam am UFZ Yves Zinngrebe (Dr.)
Diego Brizuela - Torres
Funding iDiv
Duration 2021 - 2024


Tropical deforestation is a key threat to global biodiversity, climate change mitigation and rural livelihoods. Yet the growing body of scientific knowledge on this topic is largely isolated within single disciplines and governance components. Particularly, social-ecological modelling and governance research have strong but unconnected and underused transformative potential. This project will therefore adopt a transdisciplinary approach to the analysis of dynamics and patterns of tropical deforestation in the Amazonian biome to identify potential leverage points for improved forest governance.

We are currently looking at historical deforestation dynamics in relation to explanatory factors like demographic change, agricultural expansion, livestock breading and other land-use patterns on a macro level. In a second step, more specific sites within Amazonian countries will be selected to evaluate the impact of specific land-use policies (e.g. conservation areas, forestry concessions and other land-use schemes) and socio-cultural responses. To explain the changing dynamics, we will complement geo-statistical analyses with document analysis and selected expert interviews to extract social-ecological patterns and transformation factors. In a third step, we will build on our findings to model alternative land-use patterns and quantitatively assess the transformative potential of governance options.