- Using most recent, satellite based methodology to provide a regional overview of local variations and development trends in the agro-ecological potential
- Synthesising insight in contemporary land use system types, based on existing literature
- Documenting plausible links between regional patterns of land use systems and perceived drives of land use change (e.g. population pressure, market access, ethnics, environmental resources, national policies, tenure rules)
- Providing up-to date empirical verification of land use changes to test the popular narrative of uni-directional field encroachment onto marginal land
- Developing a novel, conceptual model of coupled human-environmental systems in the desert fringe - suited to improve insight into vulnerability and resilience of local agro-ecological systems to the triple exposure of climatic change, population pressure and globalization.