Why telecoupling research needs to account for environmental justice

Sébastien Boillat*, Adrian Martin, Timothy Adams, Desiree Daniel, Jorge Llopis, Elena Zepharovich, Christoph Oberlack, Gabi Sonderegger, Patrick Bottazzi, Esteve Corbera, Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Unai Pascual

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Engaging with normative questions in land system science is a key challenge. This debate paper highlights the potential of incorporating elements of environmental justice scholarship into the evolving telecoupling framework that focuses on distant interactions in land systems. We first expose the reasons why environmental justice matters in understanding telecoupled systems, and the relevant approaches suited to mainstream environmental justice into telecoupled contexts. We then explore which specific elements of environmental justice need to be incorporated into telecoupling research. We focus on 1) the distribution of social-ecological burdens and benefits across distances, 2) power and justice issues in governing distantly tied systems, and 3) recognition issues in information flows, framings and discourses across distances. We conclude our paper highlighting key mechanisms to address injustices in telecoupled land systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Land Use Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • decolonial thought
  • ecosystem services
  • environmental justice
  • governance
  • power
  • Telecoupling


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