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.
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.
Land System Typology for Conservation
Syndromes of Threat
Global-scale work on dry forests and savannas
Comparative social-ecological work across dry forest regions
Gran Chaco & Chiquitania
Area-based conservation and conservation prioritization
Land use in ABC and CP
Decisions about land use are made by a large diversity of actors that engage in a variety of land-use practices. Their decisions are influenced by factors operating at different geographic scales, and these actors interact with biodiversity in many ways other than just the direct use of land …
… We are convinced that by acknowledging and embracing this complexity– rather than oversimplifying it –, we can avoid conservation failures and uncover opportunities for more effective conservation. …
… SystemShift seeks to develop new concepts and approaches, rooted in social-ecological systems research, to better represent land use in conservation assessments and planning. In doing so, we hope to cross-fertilize between the Land System Science and Conservation Science communities.
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).
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
SystemShift is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant agreement No 101001239).