Linkages between poverty and sustainable agricultural and rural development in the uplands of Southeast Asia

  • Manfred ZellerEmail author
  • Tina Beuchelt
  • Isabel Fischer
  • Franz Heidhues
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Most of the upland areas of Southeast Asia are characterized by insufficient infrastructure, low productivity in smallholder crop and animal production, mounting environmental problems such as soil and forest degradation and loss of biodiversity, increasing population pressure, and widespread poverty, particular in rural areas. While some upland areas in Southeast Asia have been experiencing considerable progress during the past twenty years, others have stagnated or even declined economically, socially and environmentally. This paper focuses on the disadvantaged upland areas and discusses sustainable development in the upland areas of Southeast Asia, notably Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. We distinguish three explanatory approaches for land use change and agricultural and rural development. Apart from the market approach and the population approach, we suggest to focus more on governance issues as a major driving force of land use change. The governance approach appears particularly relevant for upland areas which are often politically and institutionally marginalized. The paper concludes with implications for rural and agricultural development policies.


Deforestation development policies governance approach land use change market approach population approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Zeller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tina Beuchelt
    • 1
  • Isabel Fischer
    • 1
  • Franz Heidhues
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and SubtropicsSection Rural Development Theory and Policy, Universität Hohenheim, (490a)StuttgartGermany

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