A Multi-Scale Approach to Land Governance in Complex Cultural, Environmental and Institutional Contexts. Development of a Comparative GIS Methodology Linking Land Use, Land Cover and Land Tenure from the Cases of Bolivia and the Lao PDR
How can a geographical information system methodology contribute to address the governance of natural resources in terms of conservation and development?

Summary

The overall aim of this project is to provide a methodological and conceptual contribution to address the governance of natural resources as a complex process involving multiple levels and scales. The project focuses on land as a key natural resource. Land use and land cover change deeply impact biological diversity and respond to the complex interplay between economic opportunities and institutional and cultural factors.

The main objective of the project is to develop a comparative geographical information system (GIS) methodology to address land governance at multiple levels by investigating interrelations between land tenure, land use, land cover and biodiversity in the cases of Bolivia and Laos. Both countries have highly diverse institutional, socio-economic and cultural contexts and have recently experienced partial transfers of governance from central state to sub-national and local levels, in parallel with an increased recognition of traditional or indigenous authorities.

Collected data will be processed together with already existing ones to identify so-called “geopolitical” hotspots where land governance is at stake, and link them with biodiversity crisis zones. The identification of these complex geographical contexts and their local dynamic outcomes will allow highlighting processes and patterns that are globally relevant to policymakers in development and conservation.

Keywords

  • Land use
  • Biodiversity
  • Land governance
  • Land cover
  • Land tenure
  • Multi-scale approach
  • Participatory GIS

Disciplines

  • Anthropology
  • Development
  • Environment
  • Ethnology
  • Geography

Collaborations

International Organisations:

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • United Nations Environment Programme – GRID-Arendal
  • United Nations Development Programme – Art Gold Bolivia Programme

NGOs, States or other institutions

  • The Global Diversity Foundation
  • Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS/EPER)
  • French Red Cross
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Water Resource and Environment Administration, Prime Minister’s Office, Lao PDR (to be confirmed)
  • Viceministerio de Medio Ambiente, Biodiversidad y Cambios Climáticos, Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia (to be confirmed)

Relevant Countries

  • Bolivia
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Status

This project, started in 2011, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Frédéric Giraut
Coordinator
Université de Genève

Joan Bastide
Principal Member
Université de Genève

Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel
Associated Member
Universität Ber

Luis Salamanca
Principal Member
Universidad Mayor de San Andrés

Sithong Thongmanivong
Principal Member

Heinzpeter Znoj
Principal Member
Universität Bern

Hy Dao
Associated Member
Université de Genève

Andreas Heinimann
Associated Member
Universität Bern

Irène Hirt
Associated Member
Université de Genève

Gary J. Martin
Associated Member
The Global Diversity Foundation

Sébastien Boillat
Co-Coordinator
Université de Genève

Louca Lerch
Principal Member
Université de Genève

Khamla Phanvilay
Principal Member

Yuri Sandoval
Principal Member
Universidad Mayor de San Andrés

Urs Wiesmann
Principal Member
Universität Bern

Elhadji Maman Moutari
Associated Member
HEKS / EPER Swiss Interchurch Aid

Gonzalo Mérida
Associated Member

Gonzalo Oviedo
Associated Member
IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Stephan Rist
Associated Member
Universität Bern

Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt
Associated Member