The landscapes of Southeast Asia have long been managed as diverse, and often forest-rich, mosaics by the region’s thousands of communities and millions of smallholder households. These patterns are now rapidly changing, as economic and demographic transformations sweep the region.
The shift towards integration into a global economy and reliance on patterns of investment flows over recent decades have brought prosperity to a significant part of the region, and have brought significant changes to both the forests and the communities that depend on them (Rigg 2004, 2006; Hall 2011a, 2011b). The transformation of Southeast Asia’s rural landscapes – from complex mosaics of forests and mixed agriculture to blocks of commercial mono-crop plantations – alongside changing livelihoods and farming practices – from mixed multi-product agriculture and forest-use systems to commercial crops for the market – has had varying impacts on: landscape functions and provision of ecosystem services; local food security; and resilience of rural livelihoods. Many of these are well documented (Bruun et al. 2009; Castella et al. 2013; Ziegler et al. 2012).