Land use and land cover change (LULCC) can be defined as a socio-ecological system (SES): social, economic, and political processes in interaction with ecological processes result in a given land use trend. Instead of forest recovery, Chile has been identified as a case of a forest transition dominated by commercial plantations. This chapter aims to examine the process LULCC in Chile from a socio-ecological perspective. Drawing upon frameworks of SES by Scheffer et al., this chapter analyzes the adaptive capacity of LULCC in Chile. First, SES concepts are presented. The next section is a summary of the political and economic process that underpinned the plantation transition in Chile and its consequences on the landscape. In light of SES theory, the 518,174 hectares wildfire observed in 2017 is a consequence of the lack of adaptive capacity. Nevertheless, Chile’s LULCC is unlikely to change due to abovementioned dynamics. Finally, this chapter discusses the implications for policy making and the global forest transition discussion. In summary, using the case of Chile, this chapter aims to contribute to SES theory and forest policy, seeking sustainable futures based on a systemic view.
Part of the book: Land Use