Operationalising Telecouplings for Solving Sustainability Challenges for Land Use (COUPLED)


This project focuses on telecoupling, a concept which helps to explain drivers and outcomes of land-use change by investigating the interrelationship between different actors, drivers, and feedback over long distances.

Given Europe’s large and growing land-use footprint abroad, Europe has a special responsibility to develop concepts and tools needed to achieve sustainability in an interconnected world. Different sectors, consumers, businesses and politicians are increasingly demanding more environmental and social sustainable land-use both inside and outside Europe. Yet, there is increasing recognition of the limitations of current research approaches to adequately understand and address the increasing complexity of land system dynamics, which are often characterized by strong non-linearity, feedback mechanisms, and local contexts, and where places of production, trade, and consumption of land-based products are increasingly separated.

The COUPLED project aims to operationalize the concept of telecoupling in order to address these issues with a new generation of interdisciplinary research.


Project dates

 January 2018 - January 2022

Research area

Team members

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