Changing land use in the Golden Triangle: Where the rubber meets the road

Maite Guardiola-Claramonte, Jefferson M. Fox, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Peter A. Troch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Land use and land cover change in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA) ischanging dramatically as shifting cultivation gives way to commercial agriculture driven bydomestic demand and regional trade agreements. In Xishuangbanna, China, both owners ofsemi-privatised state farms and minority farmers are planting rubber at rates that threatento transform landscapes, with elevations of between 300 m and even above 1,000 m, intoan unbroken carpet of rubber. While it has become apparent that this region is on thecusp of major changes in tree cover, there is much uncertainty about the direction of changeand the sustainability of this land use in terms of people's livelihoods and environmentalvariables such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration, watershed hydrolog y, and climate.This paper explores the hydrological sustainability of this land-cover change at thebasin scale, showing the importance of science for a sustainable water resources managementpolicy. Observations in the study basin showed that water is an important and neededresource of rubber especially during the driest and hottest season. These results were notobserved in native vegetation. This could also have negative large-scale implications onavailable local and regional water resources that need to be considered before launching land management policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainability Science for Watershed Landscapes
PublisherInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9789814279604
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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