Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia

Joy Marie Hought, Torben Birch-Thomsen, Jacob Dyrby Petersen, Andreas de Neergaard, Myles Oelofse

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    Resumé

    Crop-based biofuels represent an environmental and political alternative to fossil fuels, as well as an important source of rural development income; as global biofuel markets continue to mature, however, their impact on food security remains controversial. This study investigates the effects of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders to a sharp increase in regional demand for cassava starch (grown exclusively on upland fields). The study found that agricultural expansion due to cassava growing was severe, but it was not the sole contributor to deforestation in the region. The exposure of smallholder economies to the volatile cassava market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land use changes, but also provides evidence at the local scale of how a strongly market driven crop, in this case biofuel feedstock, can have striking environmental and socioeconomic consequences.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftApplied Geography
    Vol/bind34
    Sider (fra-til)525-532
    ISSN0143-6228
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2012

    Citer dette

    Hought, J. M., Birch-Thomsen, T., Dyrby Petersen, J., de Neergaard, A., & Oelofse, M. (2012). Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods: A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia. Applied Geography, 34, 525-532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.02.007
    Hought, Joy Marie ; Birch-Thomsen, Torben ; Dyrby Petersen, Jacob ; de Neergaard, Andreas ; Oelofse, Myles. / Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods : A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia. I: Applied Geography. 2012 ; Bind 34. s. 525-532.
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    abstract = "Crop-based biofuels represent an environmental and political alternative to fossil fuels, as well as an important source of rural development income; as global biofuel markets continue to mature, however, their impact on food security remains controversial. This study investigates the effects of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders to a sharp increase in regional demand for cassava starch (grown exclusively on upland fields). The study found that agricultural expansion due to cassava growing was severe, but it was not the sole contributor to deforestation in the region. The exposure of smallholder economies to the volatile cassava market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land use changes, but also provides evidence at the local scale of how a strongly market driven crop, in this case biofuel feedstock, can have striking environmental and socioeconomic consequences.",
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    Hought, JM, Birch-Thomsen, T, Dyrby Petersen, J, de Neergaard, A & Oelofse, M 2012, 'Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods: A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia', Applied Geography, bind 34, s. 525-532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.02.007

    Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods : A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia. / Hought, Joy Marie; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; Dyrby Petersen, Jacob; de Neergaard, Andreas; Oelofse, Myles.

    I: Applied Geography, Bind 34, 2012, s. 525-532.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    T2 - A case study from Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia

    AU - Hought, Joy Marie

    AU - Birch-Thomsen, Torben

    AU - Dyrby Petersen, Jacob

    AU - de Neergaard, Andreas

    AU - Oelofse, Myles

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    AB - Crop-based biofuels represent an environmental and political alternative to fossil fuels, as well as an important source of rural development income; as global biofuel markets continue to mature, however, their impact on food security remains controversial. This study investigates the effects of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders to a sharp increase in regional demand for cassava starch (grown exclusively on upland fields). The study found that agricultural expansion due to cassava growing was severe, but it was not the sole contributor to deforestation in the region. The exposure of smallholder economies to the volatile cassava market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land use changes, but also provides evidence at the local scale of how a strongly market driven crop, in this case biofuel feedstock, can have striking environmental and socioeconomic consequences.

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