Friis, C. & J. Østergaard Nielsen (2019): Telecoupling. Exploring Land-Use Change in a Globalised World. Palgrave Studies in Natural Resource Management. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

For more information see: Book Publication on Telecoupling – How Researchers track Land-Use Change in a Globalised World.


Articles in Journal


Bager, S., U.M.Persson & T.N.P. dos Reis (2021). Eighty-six EU policy options for reducing imported deforestation. One Earth 4: 289-306,

Bhan, M., S. Gingrich, N. Roux, J. Le Noe, T. Kastner, S. Matej, F. Schwarzmueller, K.-H. Erb (2021). Quantifying and attributing land use-induced carbon emissions to biomass consumption: A critical assessment of existing approaches. Journal of Environmental Management 286: 112228,

Coenen, J., L.M. Glass, L. Sanderink (2021). Two degrees and the SDGs: a network analysis of the interlinkages between transnational climate actions and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability Science.

Frohn Pedersen, A., J. Ø. Nielsen, C. Friis & J. Bosse Jønsson (2021). Mineral exhaustion and its livelihood implications for artisanal and small-scale miners. Environmental Science and Policy 119:34-43,

Frohn Pedersen, A., J. Ø. Nielsen, F. Mempel, S. Bager, J. Bosse Jønsson & E. Corbera (2021). The ambiguity of transparency in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector of Tanzania. The Extractive Industries and Society 101004,

Laroche, P.C.S.J., Schulp, C.J.E., Kastner, T., P.H.Verburg (2021). Assessing the contribution of mobility in the European Union to rubber expansionAmbio.

Mempel, F., E. Corbera (2021). Framing the frontier – Tracing issues related to soybean expansion in transnational public spheres. Global Environmental Change 69:102308.

Russo Lopes, G., M.G. Bastos Lima, T.N.P. dos Reis (2021): Maldevelopment revisited: Inclusiveness and social impacts of soy expansion over Brazil’s Cerrado in Matopiba. World Development 139:105316,

Roux, N.,T. Kastner, K.-H. Erb, H. Haberl (2021): Does agricultural trade reduce pressure on land ecosystems? Decomposing drivers of the embodied human appropriation of net primary production. Ecological Economics 181:106915,



Bager, S.L. & E.F. Lambin (2020). Sustainability strategies by companies in the global coffee sector. Business Strategy and the Environment 1-16.

Coenen, J., S. Bager, P. Meyfroidt, J. Newig & E. Challies (2020). Environmental Governance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Environmental Policy and Governance 1–15.

Corbera, E., I. Anguelovski, J. Honey-Rosés & I. Ruiz-Mallén (2020). Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care. Planning Theory & Practice 21:191-199.

Laroche, P.C.S.J. , C.J.E.Schulp, T. Kastner, P.H.Verburg (2020). Telecoupled environmental impacts of current and alternative Western diets. Global Environmental Change 62.

Leijten, F., S. Sim, H. King & P.H. Verburg (2020). Which forests could be protected by corporate zero deforestation commitments? A spatial assessmentEnvironmental Research Letters 15:064021.

Otero, I., K.N. Farrell, S. Pueyo, G. Kallis, L. Kehoe, H. Haberl, C. Plutzar, P. Hobson, J. García-Márquez, B. Rodríguez-Labajos, J.-L. Martin, K.-H. Erb, S. Schindler, J. Nielsen, T. Skorin, J. Settele, F. Essl, E. Gómez-Baggethun, L. Brotons, W. Rabitsch, F. Schneider, G. Pe’er (2020). Biodiversity policy beyond economic growth. Conservation Letters e12713

T.N.P. dos Reis, P. Meyfroidt, E.K.H.J. zu Ermgassen, C. West, T. Gardner, S. Bager, S. Croft, M.J. Lathuillière, J. Godar (2020). Understanding the Stickiness of Commodity Supply Chains Is Key to Improving Their Sustainability. One Earth 3(1):100-115,

Sonderegger, G., C. Oberlack, J. C. Llopis, P. H. Verburg, and A. Heinimann. 2020. Telecoupling visualizations through a network lens: a systematic reviewEcology and Society 25(4):47.



Munroe, D.K., M. Batistella, C. Friis, N.I. Gasparri, E. Lambin, J. Liu, P. Meyfroidt, E. Moran, J. Østergaard Nielsen (2019). Governing flows in telecoupled land systems. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38:53-59.

NielsenJ.Ø., A. de Bremond, R. Roy Chowdhury, C. Friis, G. Metternicht, P. Meyfroidt, D. Munroe, U. Pascual, A. Thomson (2019). Toward a normative land systems scienceCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38:1-6.

Parra Paitan, C. & P.H. Verburg (2019). Methods to Assess the Impacts and Indirect Land Use Change Caused by Telecoupled Agricultural Supply Chains: A Review. Sustainability 11:1162.

Qin, S., R.E. Golden Kroner, C. Cook, A.T. Tesfaw, R. Braybrook, C.M. Rodriguez, C. Poelking, M.B. Mascia (2019). Protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement as a threat to iconic protected areas. Conservation Biology 33 (6):1275-1285.



Meyfroidt, P., R. Roy Chowdhury, A. de Bremond, E.C. Ellis, K.H. Erb, T. Filatova, R.D. Garrett, J.M. Grove, A. Heinimann, T. Kuemmerle, C.A. Kull, E.F. Lambin, Y. Landon, Y. le Polain de Waroux, P. Messerli, D. Müller, J.Ø. Nielsen, G.D. Peterson, V. Rodriguez García, M. Schlüter, B.L. Turner II, P.H. Verburg (2018). Middle-range theories of land system change. Global Environmental Change 53:52–67.

The deliverables are the building blocks of our project and guide you through our workplan. The deliverables of the Work Packages 3-7 are public and will be available for download.


Work  Package 1 – Project Management & Communication


Work  Package 2 – Training Implementation


Work  Package 3 – Processes

D3.1 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 1 (flows) (August 2019)
D3.2 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 2 (actors) (November 2020)
D3.3 Synthesis paper on processes coupling land systems (October 2021)


Work  Package 4 – Distance

D4.1 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 3 (distance) (August 2019)
D4.2 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 4 (mismatches) (November 2020)
D4.3 Synthesis paper on different concepts of distance and mismatches (October 2021)


Work  Package 5 – Processes

D5.1 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 5 (causality) (August 2019)
D5.2 Report on the outcomes of Virtual Meeting Series 6 (trade-offs) (November 2020)
D5.3 Synthesis paper on trade-offs in telecoupled systems (October 2021)


Work  Package 6 – Synthesis

D6.1 Report on typology of telecoupled land systems (June 2020)
D6.2 Toolbox to assess, model, and govern telecoupled land systems (June 2021)
D6.3 Report on emerging issues in telecoupled land systems (June 2021)


Work  Package 7 – Dissemination, Communication, and Translation

D7.1 Practitioners Summaries (June 2021)
D7.2 Policy white paper (August 2021)
D7.3 Summary report of publications in international, peer-reviewed journals and scientific presentations during COUPLED (December 2021)


Work  Package 8 – Ethics requirements

We want to understand changes of land use in a globalised economy. Because what happens on land is important for a range of sustainability indicators.

Everything is connected

How does International Trade of food and biomass products affect the environment, deforestation and other ecosystems?

Online lecture

Billions of Dollars, millions of traded tons & millions of connections: the Brazil soy supply chain. A video by Tiago Reis on his study of connections between producing municipalities, traders & consumer countries. Why do some change, why do some remain stable?

The Soy Chain Relations

Does trade help to achieve SDGs? Or do we need different trade regulations? Nicolas has six minutes to discuss whether or not international trade in agricultural products did reduce pressure in land ecosystems. Does he pass the challenge? Look for yourself.

Nicolas' Pecha Kucha challenge: 20 images x 20 seconds

Meet some COUPLED members and get a short insight into our training network. It was filmed during our Summer School last July in Berlin and surroundings. Thanks to Anna Frohn Pedersen for putting it together.

COUPLED Summer School

Do you ever ask yourself where your golden jewellery was born? It might well be right here, in Tanzania. Extracting gold is what employs hundreds of thousands Tanzanians and gives them food on the table. But it comes with a price that both the people and the environment will eventually pay.

60Seconds is an urban video festival projecting selected silent short films. Anna‘s short film Gold was selected and presented in April 2020.

It was also screened at the 12th Seoul Metro International Subway Film Festival (SMIFF) from 17.08 – 12.09.2021 (


Flyer – Quick Guide to COUPLED PDF


Media Coverage


ORF. Punkt Eins radio show. Die große Entwaldung und unser Beitrag (The Great Deforestation and Our Contribution. In German only). Nicolas Roux invited expert speaker. 16.04.2021.

The Ecologist. The EU and tropical deforestation. By Simon Bager & Martin Persson. 01.04.2021

Humboldts17. Alles hängt mit allem zusammen… (Everything is connected… In German only). 09.03.2021.

Horizon.The EU Research & Innovation Magazine: To confront climate change, we need to understand the environmental footprint of global supply chains. By Sarah Wild. 08.02.2021

Related video: EU imports like cocoa and coffee have an environmental cost – but accounting for them from the start of their supply chains could help reduce impacts. Twitter, 11.02.2021

Adlershof Journal. Tracing the Anthropocene. Professor of geography Jonas Østergaard Nielsen studies land use changes in an age of global interconnectedness. By Nora Lessing. 04.01.2021.

Humboldts17.  Wie können wir Minenarbeitern einen nachhaltigen Lebensunterhalt ermöglichen? (How can we provide sustainable livelihoods for mine workers? In German only). By Anna Frohn Pedersen. 27.01.2021.

360° – Verden I Udvikling: Afrikas Wild West – Jagen pa det gode guld (Africa’s Wild West – The Hunt for the Good Gold. In Danish only). By Anne Kidmose Jensen. 07.12.2018.

Bruun T. B., de Neergaard A., Lawrence D. & Ziegler A. (2009). Environmental Consequences of the Demise in Swidden Cultivation in Southeast Asia: Carbon Storage and Soil Quality. Human Ecology 37:375-388.

Bruun T.B., de Neergaard A., Burup M.L., Hepp C.M., Larsen M.N., Abel C., Aumtong S., Magid J. & Mertz O. (in press). Intensification of Upland Agriculture in Thailand: Development or Degradation? Land Degradation & Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2596.

Challies E., Newig J. & Lenschow A. (2014). What role for social-ecological systems research in governing global teleconnections? Global Environmental Change 27:32-40.

Chaplin-Kramer R., Sharp R., Mandle L., Sim S., Johnson J., Butnar I., Mila I., Canals L., Eichelberger B., Ramler I., Mueller C., McLachlan N., Yousefi A., King H. & Kareiva P. (2014). Spatial patterns of agricultural expansion determine impacts on biodiversity and carbon storage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112:7402-7.

Chaplin-Kramer, R., Ramler I., Sharp R., Haddad N., Gerber J., West P., Mandle L., Engstrom P., Baccini A., Sim S., Mueller C. & King H. (2015). Degradation in carbon stocks near tropical forest edges. Nature Communications 6:10158.

Corbera E. (2012). Problematizing REDD+ as an experiment in payments for ecosystem services. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4:612-619.

Corbera E. (2015). Valuing nature, paying for ecosystem services and realizing social justice: A response to Matulis (2014). Ecological Economics 110:154-157.

Corbera E., Calvet-Mir L., Hughes H.R. & Paterson M. (2015). Patterns of authorship in the IPCC Working Group III report. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2782.

Creutzig F., Corbera E., Hunsberger C. & Bolwig S. (2013). Integrating place-specific livelihood and equity outcomes into global assessments of bioenergy deployment. Environmental Research Letters 8:035047.

Eakin, H. et al. in Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era (eds Karen C Seto & Anette Reenberg) (MIT Press, 2014).

Erb K.H., Krausmann F., Lucht W. & Haberl H. (2009). Embodied HANPP: Mapping the spatial disconnect between global biomass production and consumption. Ecological Economics 69:328-334.

Fischer-Kowalski M., Dittrich M., Eisenmenger N., Fulton J., Kastner T., Hosking K., Schandl H., West J. & Wiedmann T.O (2015). International Trade in Resources: A Biophysical Assessment. Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme.

Friis C., Nielsen J.Ø., Otero I., Haberl H., Niewöhner J. & Hostert P. (2016). From teleconnection to telecoupling: taking stock of an emerging framework in land system science. Journal of Land Use Science 11:131-153.

Friis, C., Nielsen, J. Ø.2017. On the system. Boundary choices, implications and solutions in telecoupling land use change research. Sustainability 9 (6), 974, 1-20,

Friis, C., Nielsen, J. Ø.2017. Land-use change in a telecoupled world: the relevance and applicability of the telecoupling framework in the case of banana plantation expansion in Laos. Ecology and Society 22 (30),

Gasparri N.I., Kuemmerle T., Meyfroidt P., Le Polain Waroux Y. & Kreft H. (2015). The emerging soybean frontier in Southern Africa: conservation challenges and the role of south-south telecouplings. Conservation Letters 8:290-298.

Godar J., Suavet C., Gardner T.A., Dawkins E. & Meyfroidt P. (2016). Balancing detail and scale in assessing transparency to improve the governance of agricultural commodity supply chains. Environmental Research Letters 11:035015. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/035015.

Haberl H., Erb K.H. & Krausmann F. (2014). Human appropriation of net primary production: patterns, trends, and planetary boundaries. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 39: 363-391

Haberl H., Steinberger J.K., Plutzar C., Erb K.H., Gaube V. Gingrich S. & Krausmann F. (2012). Natural and socioeconomic determinants of the embodied human appropriation of net primary production and its relation to other resource use indicators. Ecological Indicators 23:222-231.

Heilmayr R. & Lambin E.F. (2016). Impacts of nonstate, market-driven governance on Chilean forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:2910-2915.

Heinimann A., Hett C., Hurni K., Messerli P., Epprecht M., Jørgensen L. & Breu T. (2013). Socio-economic perspectives on shifting cultivation landscapes in Northern Laos. Human Ecology 41:51-62.

Jadin I., Meyfroidt P. & Lambin E.F. (2016). International trade, and land use intensification and spatial reorganisation explain Costa Rica’s forest transition. Environmental Research Letters 11:035005.

Jordà-Capdevila D. & Rodríguez-Labajos B (2017). Socioeconomic value(s) of restoring environmental flows: systematic review and guidance for assessment. River Research and Applications. DOI: 10.1002/rra.3074.

Kastner T., Erb K.H. & Haberl H. (2014). Rapid growth in agricultural trade: effects on global area efficiency and the role of management. Environmental Research Letters 9: 034015.

Kastner T., Erb K.H. & Nonhebel S. (2011). International wood trade and forest change: A global analysis. Global Environmental Change 21:947-956.

Kastner, T., Erb, K.-H. & Haberl, H. Rapid growth in agricultural trade: Effects on global area efficiency and the role of management. Env. Research Letters 9, 034015 (2014).

Kuemmerle T., Kaplan J.E., Prishchepov A.V., Rylskyy I., Chaskovskyy O., Tikunov V.S. & Müller D. (2015). Forest transitions in Eastern Europe and their effects on carbon budgets. Global Change Biology 21:3049-3061.

Lambin E.F. & Meyfroidt P. (2011). Global land use change, economic globalization, and the looming land scarcity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:3465–3472.

Le Polain Y., Garrett R., Heilmayr R. & Lambin E.F. (2016). Land-use policies and corporate investments in agriculture in the Gran Chaco and Chiquitano. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:4021-4026.

Lenschow A., Newig J. & Challies E. (2015). Globalization’s limits to the environmental state? Integrating telecoupling into global environmental governance. Environmental Politics 25:136-159.

Liu J.Q., Hull V., Batistella M., DeFries R., Dietz T., Fu F., Hertel T.W., Izaurralde R.C,. Lambin E.F., Li S., Martinelli L.A., McConnell W., Moran E.F., Naylor R., Ouyang Z., Polenske K.R., Reenberg A., de Miranda Rocha G., Simmons C.S., Verburg P.H., Vitousek P.M., Zhang F. & Zhu C. (2013). Framing sustainability in a telecoupled world. Ecology and Society 18:26. DOI: 10.5751/ES-05873-180226

Magliocca N., Rudel T.K, Verburg P.H., McConnell W.J, Mertz O., Gerstner K., Heinimann A. & Ellis E. (2015). Synthesis in Land Change Science: Methodological Patterns, Challenges, and Guidelines. Regional Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-014-0626-8.

McGregor A. & Challies E., Howson P., Astuti R. et al. (2015). Beyond carbon, more than forest? REDD+ governmentality in Indonesia. Environment and Planning A 47:138-155.

Mertz O. (2009). Trends in shifting cultivation and the REDD mechanism. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 1:156-160.

Mertz O., Egay K., Bruun T.B. & Colding T. (2013): The last swiddens of Sarawak, Malaysia. Human Ecology 41:109-118.

Messerli P., Bader C., Hett C., Epprecht M. & Heinimann A. (2015). Towards a spatial understanding of trade-offs in sustainable development: an analysis of landscapes in the Lao PDR. PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133418.

Messerli P., Heinimann A., Giger M., Breu T. & Schoenweger O. (2013). From ‘land grabbing’ to sustainable investments in land: potential contributions by land change science. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Meyfroidt, P. & Lambin, E. F. Forest transition in Vietnam and displacement of deforestation abroad. PNAS 106, 16139-16144 (2009).I: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.03.004.

Meyfroidt P., Carlson K.M., Fagan M.E., Gutiérrez-Vélez V.H., Macedo M.N., Curran L.M., DeFries R.S., Dyer G.A., Gibbs H.K., Lambin E.F., Morton D.C. & Robiglio V. (2014). Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes. Environmental Research Letters 9:074012. DOI: 1748-9326/9/7/074012.

Meyfroidt P., Rudel T.K. & Lambin E.F. (2010). Forest transitions, trade and the global displacement of land use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:20917–20922.

Müller, D. & Munroe, D. K. Current and future challenges in land use science. J. Land Use Science 9, 133-142 (2014).

Newig J. & Fritsch O. (2009). Environmental governance: Participatory, multi-level – and effective? Environmental Policy and Governance 19:197-214.

Newig J., Günther D. & Pahl-Wostl C. (2010). Synapses in the network: Learning in governance networks in the context of environmental management. Ecology and Society 15,

Nielsen J.Ø. & Vigh H. (2012). Adaptive lives. Navigating the global food crisis in a changing climate. Global Environmental Change 22:659-669.

Oberlack C., Tejada L., Messerli P., Rist S. & Giger M. (2016). Sustainable livelihoods in the global land rush? Archetypes of livelihood vulnerability and sustainability potentials. Global Environmental Change 41:153-171.

Reenberg, A. & Fenger, N. A. Globalizing land use transitions: The soybean acceleration. Danish J. Geography 111, 85-92 (2011).

Rodríguez-Labajos B. (2013). Climate change, ecosystem services, and costs of action and inaction: Scoping the interface. WIREs-Climate Change 4:555-573.

Schierhorn F., Meyfroidt P., Kastner T., Kuemmerle T., Prishchepov A.V. & Müller D. (2016): The dynamics of beef trade between Brazil and Russia and their environmental implications. Global Food Security, in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.001.

Schulp C.J.E., Lautenbach S. & Verburg P.H. (2014). Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services: Demand and supply of pollination in the European Union. Ecological Indicators 36:131-141.

Serna-Chavez H.M., Schulp C.J.E., van Bodegom P.M., Bouten W., Verburg P.H. & Davidson M.D. (2014). A quantitative framework for assessing spatial flows of ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators 39:24-33.

Seto, K. C. et al. Urban land teleconnections and sustainability. PNAS 109, 7687-7692 (2012).

van Vliet J., Magliocca N., Büchner B., Cook E., Rey Benayas J., Ellis E.C., Heinimann A., Keys E., Lee T., Liu J., Mertz O., Meyfroidt P., Moritz M., Poeplau C., Robinson B., Seppelt R., Seto K. & Verburg P. (2015). Meta-studies in land use science: Current coverage and prospects. Ambio. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-015-0699-8.

Van Vliet N., Mertz O., Heinimann A., Langanke T., Pascual U., Schmook B., Adams C., Schmidt-Vogt D., Messerli P., Leisz S., Castella J.C., Jørgensen L., Brich-Thomsen T., Hett C., Bruun T.B., Ickowitz A., Kim Chi Vu, Yasuyuki K., Fox J., Padoch C., Dressler W. & Ziegler A.D. (2012): Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden agriculture on tropical forest frontiers: a global assessment. Global Environmental Change 22:418-429.

Verburg, P. H., Erb, K.-H., Mertz, O. & Espindola, G. Land System Science: Between global challenges and local realities. Current Opinion in Env. Sustainability 5, 433-437 (2013).

Verburg P.H., Crossman N., Ellis E.C., Heinimann A., Hostert P., Mertz O., Nagendra H., Sikor T., Erb K.-H., Golubiewski N., Grau R., Grove M., Konaté S., Meyfroidt P., Parker D.C., Chowdhury R.R., Shibata H., Thomson A., Zhen L. (2015). Land system science and sustainable development of the earth system: A global land project perspective. Anthropocene 12:29-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.ancene.2015.09.004

Verburg P.H., Dearing J., Dyke J., Leeuw S.v.d., Seitzinger S., Steffen W., Syvitski J. (2016). Methods and Approaches to Modelling the Anthropocene. Global Environmental Change 39:328-340. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.08.007

Verburg, P. H. et al. Land system science and sustainable development of the earth system: A global land project perspective. Anthropocene (2015).