Food Security and Land Use: The Telecoupling Challenge - ABC Telecoupling

Funded Project Information
Food Security and Land Use Change
Type of Project: 
Type 2 - Medium to Long-term Integrated Project
Lead PI: 
Luiz Martinelli, University of São Paulo
Mateus Batistella, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring
Leila Ferreira, University of Campinas
Daniel Victoria, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring
Edson Bofle, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring
Claudio Bragantini, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring
Fabiana Barbi, University of Campinas
Emilio Moran, Michigan State University
Jianguo Liu, Michigan State University
Jiaguo Qi, Michigan State University
Douglas Buhler, Michigan State University
Charles Godfray, University of Oxford
James Millington, King's College
Steve Yearley, University of Edinburgh
Tara Garnett, University of Oxford
Jeremy Woods, Centre for Environmental Policy
Huajun Tang, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Zhiyun Ouyang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Fusuo Zhang, China Agricultural University
Ninghui Li, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Lubiao Zhang, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Andrew Jarvis, CIAT
Kevin Chen, IFPRI
An Liu, FAO China Office


The Telecoupling Consortium, consists of four focal countries (Brazil, China, U.K. and U.S.), vulnerable spillover countries in Africa, two major CGIAR centers (CIAT and IFPRI) , FAO and extensive stakeholder involvement. We apply an innovative integrative framework, Telecoupling – socioeconomic and environmental interactions among coupled human and natural systems at different scales over great distances – that can transform how we think about collateral effects from international trade on food security and land use dynamics. We address Theme 3 (Feedback Loops), focusing on major commodities central to food security: rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, potato, biofuel crops (mainly sugarcane and corn) and livestock. We will examine processes at different scales, from the international trade in major food commodities, to in-depth studies at regional/local scales. The Consortium partners bring to this project a very large portfolio of food security and land use projects, representing four continents, while providing a much needed framework to address how food systems change across large distances, and to account for socioeconomic and environmental consequences of shifting forms of food production, trade and distribution. The team includes leading scholars in social and natural sciences as well as influential stakeholders in relevant sectors. The end result of this project will be enhanced capacity to predict effects from shifts in food flows and land use; tools to facilitate policy changes to improve food security, while ensuring a more sustainable environment; increased cooperation among major research and stakeholder groups in major food production and consuming countries; and training a new generation alert to minimizing negative consequences from changes in land use worldwide. The project will provide a comprehensive framework, a complex systems modeling approach and a Web-based Decision Support System to finding solutions that enhance food security for all, while ensuring a sustainable earth.