Published on Feb 17, 2020

International Workshop
The Sustainability Governance of Inter-Regional Linkages: Lessons from the Brazil-Europe Soy Complex
12 March 2020, 9.00-18.30
Universidade de Brasília
(by invitation only)

Sustainability in one place is often interdependent with sustainability in particular distant places and systems. For instance, Brazilian soy is fueling German meat production, and this connection is driving both nitrate accumulation in Germany and negative externalities (e.g. deforestation, pesticide pollution, land dispossession) in Brazil (Lenschow et al. 2016).

For analysing how human-induced processes in one part of the globe impact in specific ways on a distant part (or parts) of the world, the concept of telecoupling might be useful. Inspired by notions of ‘teleconnections’ as developed in atmospheric science to denote physical interlinkages across large distances, ‘telecoupling’ has been developed in global land systems research to refer to human-induced processes that entail biophysical and social consequences in distant places (Reenberg and Fenger 2011; Liu et al. 2013). The field of global environmental politics and governance has been maturing in recent years, but these established literatures have seldom addressed the particular sustainability problems generated through telecoupled linkages from a wider governance perspective.

This workshop will discuss diverse public and private governance arrangements that are in place and interact at different scales along the Brazil-Europe soy commodity chain. Therein, on the one hand the objective will be to gain a better understanding of deficits and gaps in current governance arrangements (for instance, knowledge deficits, divergent interests and policy incoherence and fragmentation) and on the other hand we will ask how existing governance deficits could be overcome and how the current globalized system could be transformed towards environmental and social sustainability.

This workshop is endorsed by the Earth System Governance Project and hosted by its new Research Center at the University of Brasília, with the workshop using the research framework of the 2018-2018 Science and Implementation Plan: