Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation through Alternative Landuses in Rainforests of the Tropics

Université Catholique de Louvain

The team of Eric Lambin at the Department of Geography of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, is conducting a variety of research projects that contribute to a better understanding of land change and human-environment interactions in land systems at multiple scales of analysis.

The team developed a quantitative method to detect and categorize land-cover changes and ecosystem dynamics at regional to continental scales based on time series of wide-field-of-view satellite sensors (AVHRR, MODIS). Application of this method highlighted a broad range of patterns of inter-annual variability in land surface conditions that were previously ignored in land-cover change studies. They have developed and applied to several case studies worldwide, an integrated approach to humanenvironment interactions in land systems, based on remote sensing and socio-economic data which are linked using spatially-explicit models. This quantitative, landscape-scale approach has led to a better understanding of patterns and processes of land use (tropical deforestation, dryland degradation, land use conflicts around natural reserves, forest transition) and of their impacts on ecosystem attributes (fire regime, biodiversity, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases). This work was conducted for case studies in Africa mostly, but also in Asia, the Brazilian Amazon and Europe. It often involved interdisciplinary collaborations.

In REDD-ALERT, UCL will lead work on drivers of land use change, and will also contribute integrative knowledge the modelling components.

Visit the website for the Department of Geography of the University of Louvan.