Migrant remittances can reduce the potential of local forest transitions - a social-ecological regime shift analysis
We explore how remittances shape the effect of rural out-migration on the potential for local forest transitions. Building on an existing theoretical model of social-ecological regime shifts that links migration, farmland abandonment, and forest regrowth, we incorporate migrant remittances as an additional rural-urban teleconnection. We also extend the ecological dynamics to include a dynamical forest regrowth rate, generating a slowing-down of regrowth once the landscape has undergone extensive agricultural change. We first analyse how these two extensions to the base model reshape the stability of the system, altering the existence and dynamics of alternative agricultural and forested regimes. Then we explore how two different uses of remittances by rural households (hiring agricultural labour or supplementing household income/consumption) affect the potential for local forest transitions in a context of structural economic change, represented as an increasing differential of rural and urban incomes. We find that remittances change the character of forested and agricultural regimes, and increase the resilience of the agricultural regime. This effect is stronger when remittances are used for hiring labour. The findings are consistent with empirical research that highlights the remarkable persistence of rural livelihoods and landscapes in the face of increasing global connectivity and urbanization. Remittances, and possibly other rural-urban teleconnections, are necessary components for an updated 'economic development pathway' forest transitions. With this simple model we show that social-ecological regime shifts offer a useful perspective to study land use transition dynamics and advance land change theory.
Research news | 2023-06-08
Envisioning alternative futures helps rethink human-ocean relationships
Imagining sustainable futures for the high seas may inspire change today, according to a recent study.
Research news | 2023-06-02
More freshwater experts needed in the IPBES biodiversity panel
Centre researcher Jan Kuiper lists why and how more freshwater experts could contribute to the Intergovernmental Science–Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
General news | 2023-06-01
Centre researcher Juan Rocha elected into Young Academy of Sweden
Centre researcher Juan Rocha joins the Young Academy of Sweden, a junior version of the prestigious Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for a five-year term
Research news | 2023-05-31
Groundbreaking study quantifies safe and just Earth system boundaries
International commission proposes new safe and just boundaries for maintaining a healthy planet and protecting people from significant harm
Research news | 2023-05-25
AI could create a perfect storm of climate misinformation
The speed and the way misinformation about climate change and sustainability issues moves around the world is rapidly changing. Now, the Centre presents a new synthesis on AI and climate misinformation in connection to the Nobel Prize Summit 2023, "Truth, Trust and Hope"
Research news | 2023-05-22
Financial actors and academia join forces to build back biodiversity
Today is International Biodiversity Day! This year with the theme “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity”, and for us, that is a good reason to highlight the potential of the finance sector in reviving biodiversity