Environmental Management

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 394–403 | Cite as

Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia

RESEARCH

Abstract

This paper summarizes land-cover and land-use change at eight sites in Thailand, Yunnan (China), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos over the last 50 years. Project methodology included incorporating information collected from a combination of semiformal, key informant, and formal household interviews with the development of spatial databases based on aerial photographs, satellite images, topographic maps, and GPS data. Results suggest that land use (e.g. swidden cultivation) and land cover (e.g. secondary vegetation) have remained stable and the minor amount of land-use change that has occurred has been a change from swidden to monocultural cash crops. Results suggest that two forces will increasingly determine land-use systems in this region. First, national land tenure policies—the nationalization of forest lands and efforts to increase control over upland resources by central governments—will provide a push factor making it increasingly difficult for farmers to maintain their traditional swidden land-use practices. Second, market pressures—the commercialization of subsistence resources and the substitution of commercial crops for subsistence crops—will provide a pull factor encouraging farmers to engage in new and different forms of commercial agriculture. These results appear to be robust as they come from eight studies conducted over the last decade. But important questions remain in terms of what research protocols are needed, if any, when linking social science data with remotely sensed data for understanding human-environment interactions.

Keywords

Land-use/land-cover change GIS Remote sensing Social science data Southeast Asia 

Literature Cited

  1. Axinn W., J. Barber. 1993. Linking people and land use: A sociological perspective. in Fox, Rindfuss, Walsh, Mishra (eds.), People and the environment: Approaches for linking household and community surveys to remote sensing. Kluwer Academic Press, Boston Pages 285–313Google Scholar
  2. Brown S., A. Lugo. 1990. Tropical secondary forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6:1–32Google Scholar
  3. Collins M., J. Sayer, T. Whitmore. 1991. The conservation atlas of tropical forests: Asia and the Pacific. Simon and Schuster, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  4. Crooker R. 1988. Forces of change in the Thailand opium zone. Geographical Review 78:241–256Google Scholar
  5. Crumley C. L. (ed.) 1994. Historical ecology: Cultural knowledge and changing landscapes. School of American Research Press, Santa FeGoogle Scholar
  6. Fox J., J. Krummel, S. Yarnasarn, M. Ekasingh, N. Podger. 1995. Land use and landscape dynamics in northern Thailand: Assessing change in three upland watersheds. Ambio 24:328–334Google Scholar
  7. Fox J., Dao Minh Truong, A. T. Rambo, Nghiem Phuong Tuyen, Le Trong Cuc, S. Leisz. 2000. Shifting cultivation: A new old paradigm for managing tropical forests. BioScience 50:521–528Google Scholar
  8. Fox J. 2002. Understanding a dynamic landscape: Land use, land cover, and resource tenure in Northeastern Cambodia. in S. Walsh, K. Crews Meyer (eds.), Linking people, place, and policy: A GIScience approach. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  9. Game-Tropics. 1996. Draft Implementation Plan of GAME-Tropics, web site: http://climate.gsfc.nasa.gov/∼taikan/GAMET/Imple2e/imple2e.html#3221Google Scholar
  10. Geist, H., and E. Lambin. 2001. What Drives Tropical Deforestation? A meta-analysis of proximate and underlying causes of deforestation based on subnational case study evidence. LUCC International Project Office, LUCC report series no. 4, Louvain-la-NeuveGoogle Scholar
  11. Klepeis P., B. L. Turner II. 2001. Integrated land history and global change science: The example of the Southern Yucatan Peninsular Region Project. Land Use Policy 18:27–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kummer D., B. L. Turner II. 1994. The human causes of deforestation in Southeast Asia. BioScience 44:323–328Google Scholar
  13. Long C., J. Fox, L. Xing, G. Lihong, C. Kui, W. Jieru. 1999. State policies, markets, land-use practices, and common property: Fifty years of change in Yunnan, China. Mountain Research and Development 19:133–139Google Scholar
  14. Menzies N. 1997. The villagers’ view of environmental history in Yunnan province. in M. Elvin, T. Liu (eds.), Sediments of time: Environment and society in Chinese history. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Poffenberger M. (ed.) 1999. Communities and forest management in Southeast Asia. World Conservation Union-IUCNBerkeley, California and Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  16. Potter L., H. Brookfield, Y. Byron. 1994. The Sundaland region of Southeast Asia. In: J. X. Kasperson, R. E. Kasperson, B. L. Turner II (eds.), Regions at risk: Comparisons on threatened environments. United Nations University Press, Tokyo, Japan, Pages 460–518Google Scholar
  17. Richards J. F. 1990. Land transformation. Pages 341–353 in B. L. Turner, W. C. Clark, R. W. Kates, J. F. Richards, J. Mathews, and W. B. Meyer (eds.), The earth as transformed by human action: Global and regional changes in the biosphere over the past 300 years. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  18. Rindfuss R., S. Walsh, V. Mishra, J. Fox, G. Dolcemacolo. 2003. Linking household and remotely sensed data: Methodological and practical problems. in Fox, Rindfuss, Walsh, Mishra (eds.), People and the environment: Approaches for linking household and community surveys to remote sensing. Kluwer Academic Press, Boston, Massachusetts Pages 1–29Google Scholar
  19. Saura S. 2002. Effects of minimum mapping unit on land cover data spatial configuration and composition. International Journal of Remote Sensing 23:4853–4880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schmidt-Vogt D. 1998. Defining degradation: The impacts of swidden on forests in northern Thailand. Mountain Research and Development 18:135–149Google Scholar
  21. Shinawatra, B. 1985. Highland-lowland interrelationships in Northern Thailand: A study of production, distribution and consumption. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, LansingGoogle Scholar
  22. Tan-Kim-Yong, U., S. Yarnasarn, J. Fox, P. Hammawan, A. Siribanchongkran, B. Amphonkirimat, W. Roengmai, and J. Vogler. 2004. Contextualizing the local: Linking changes in land-use practices to meso- and macro-scale factors that drive household decision-making in northern Thailand. East-West Center Working Paper. East-West Center, Honolulu, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  23. Xu J. C., J. Fox, L. Xing, N. Podger, S. Leisz, A. Xihui. 1999. Effects of swidden cultivation, population growth, and state policies on land cover in Yunnan, China. Mountain Research and Development 19:123–132Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East-West CenterHonolulu

Personalised recommendations