Shifting to a Land Systems Paradigm in Conservation

SystemShift seeks to develop concepts and approaches to shift to a land systems perspective in conservation assessments and planning. This will open new ways to understand threats to biodiversity, design effective responses, and identify conservation opportunities.

What motivates us

Biodiversity loss is an accelerating global crisis, eroding the integrity of the biosphere and threatening human wellbeing. The main driver of this crisis is how we use land. This also means that there are huge opportunities for mitigating and halting biodiversity loss by rethinking and transforming land use.

Key concepts

Land System Typology for Conservation
Threat Portfolios
Syndromes of Threat

Tropical Dry Forests

Global-scale work on dry forests and savannas
Comparative social-ecological work across dry forest regions
Gran Chaco & Chiquitania

Conservation planning

Area-based conservation and conservation prioritization
Land use in ABC and CP

We focus on the world’s tropical dry forests and savannas

We conduct global-scale assessments and carry out comparative work across dry forests in South America, Africa and India.
Our in depth case studies are based in the Gran Chaco (Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay) and Chiquitano Forests (Bolivia).

We focus on the world’s tropical dry forests and savannas

Research Summary

Land use is a primary cause of biodiversity loss, which is a global crisis threatening human well-being. The ERC-funded SystemShift project will bring about major breakthroughs in our understanding of how land use threatens biodiversity. Specifically, SystemShift will develop novel concepts to identify key combinations of land-use actors and threats, to understand interactions among different land-use-related threats, and to carry out effective conservation planning. The project will empirically validate these concepts for two tropical dry forest regions in South America, the Chaco and Chiquitano forests, and study dry forests globally to provide insights into conservation challenges and opportunities in these endangered forests.

Read more about our research

Network and Partners

We acknowledge the indispensable expertise and contributions of local and regional experts in the tropical dry forests of the study areas, who form an integral part of our research project. Our collaborative efforts extend to a diverse network of partners, encompassing various research institutions, organisations and stakeholders.

Get to know our partners

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SystemShift is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant agreement No 101001239).