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Connectivity and distant drivers of land change: a case study of land use, land cover, and livelihood changes in Quang Tri, Vietnam




Rounds, Eric, author
Leisz, Stephen, advisor
Laituri, Melinda, committee member
Galvin, Kathleen, committee member

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The urban lowland areas of Vietnam have been at the forefront of economic liberalization over the last 30 years, while the more remote mountainous areas of the country have lagged behind. Upland areas in the Northern and Central portions of Vietnam in particular remain largely impoverished and disconnected from broader national and regional markets. To address this economic inequality in the uplands, recent economic development efforts such as the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) have aimed at expanding road infrastructure to remote areas in Central Vietnam. This study examines the impact of road expansion in the EWEC on a single village in Quang Tri, Vietnam. It draws from social economic data gathered during fieldwork and a historical land cover analysis to address how land use, land cover, and livelihoods have changed in recent decades. Moreover, the paper discusses the distal and proximate drivers of these changes. Findings show that the improved road connectivity provided by new roads has facilitated the transmission of distant market-related drivers into the study area, and that these drivers have fostered significant changes in land use, land cover, and livelihoods.


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land cover
land use
drivers of change


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