LCLUC 2020 Webinar Series

The 2020 LCLUC Webinar Series features LCLUC South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative (SARI) projects.


Thursday, May 28, 2020, 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)

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Presenter:  Son Nghiem, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Land Use Status, Change and Impacts in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos​

The overall science objective of this research is to quantitatively document the current status and rate of change of how land cover and land use and how trajectories of these changes are linked to population and demographic transitions for the Southeast (SE) Asian countries of Vietnam (VN), Cambodia (CB), and Laos (LS). We will focus the research on three interconnected science questions, each with specific aspects: Q1: It is known that rapid LCLUC has occurred over VN, CB, and LS, especially the loss of important forest regions since the turn of the 21st century, considered as ecocide. Now a key question is what has happened over those deforested land as well as non-deforested land in terms of the current land use status, specifically: (1) Whether the deforested areas are still denuded and/or deforestation has expanded to other areas; (2) whether the deforested land has converted to a more natural state (e.g., grass land) or is being used for agriculture (e.g., rice fields); and (3) where reforestation exists, whether it is on previously denuded land, or the natural forests are replaced by commercial tree plantations (e.g., rubber trees). Q2: From the quantitative delineation of the above current land cover and land use status (denoted as LCLUS henceforth), the next connected component is quantifying spatial patterns and temporal trends of LCLUC, specifically: (1) How does multi-scale spatial fragmentation in rural and natural landscapes vary within a country and across borders of different countries; (2) with recent shifts in LCLUC, what type of seasonal vegetation change has emerged over rural and natural land in a country and in different countries? And (3) what is the quantitative characterization of the recent rate of LCLUC since year 2000. Q3: The above observations of LCLUS together with the LCLUC patterns, trends, and rate of change are coupled/integrated with population and demographic data for each country, specifically to address: (1) How population distribution (e.g., rural versus urban) is associated with LCLUS for built, agricultural, and forested lands and how the population change trajectories in relation to the observed LCLUC patterns occur differently in the tri-nations; (2) how subnational demographic changes in working-age versus dependent populations may affect or be impacted by LCLUC; and (3) how policies in different regions and in different countries may be driving or impacted by LCLUC. Here, we consider specific case studies of factors that may drive the differences in LCLUC and force different impacts within and across borders of the different countries (e.g., plantation development in VN, Economic Land Concessions policy in CB, and population resettlement policy in LS).