Comprehensive Analysis of Trajectories of Change in the Uplands.

Exploring pathways to sustainable development in the uplands of
Lao PDR.

Axis A: The diversity of landscapes and livelihoods

Bottom-up diagnostic approaches - based on an analysis of stakeholders' practices - are combined with top-down approaches - based on the analysis of land use patterns and their dynamics, considered as spatial signatures of human activities. The research incorporates diverse local land use trajectories into transition models that enlighten the main development issues and support decision making at the regional level.

Axis B: The driving forces of the agrarian transition

The transition from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture results from the combined effect of internal and external, local and global forces of change. The complex mechanisms of interaction between livelihood systems, market forces and public policies are investigated in order to mitigate their potentially negative effects on poverty and environmental degradation.

Axis C: Mediation between local practices and public policies

Empirical evidences as to what works, when, where and why, are needed to design relevant policies and institutional mechanisms supportive to the replication and/or generalization of success stories. The integration of data, originating from different sources and available at different scales, supports the participatory design of scenarios towards improved livelihoods and better governance of natural resources.