The overall objective of the joint project SURUMER is to develop an integrative, applicable, and stakeholder-validated concept for sustainable rubber cultivation in southern Yunnan. The outcomes of the project will not only refer to the regional situation of the study region. Rather, they provide a wider application for potential rubber cultivation areas across Southeast Asia. The concepts for sustainable rubber cultivation developed in this project provide a practical implementation framework to all stakeholders and political institutions of countries involved in large-scale rubber production. The concept can further be adapted to other socio-ecological environments of large-scale tropical production systems of renewable resources such as oil palm plantations.

The concept is based on multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary approaches, involving nine German-Chinese research subprojects of different disciplines and sectors. Trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem functions and services on the one hand and socio-economic goals and constraints on the other are being identified. These results will facilitate the achievement of the safeguarding of biophysical features that ensure the flow of ecosystem services within the socio-ecological system. A fundamental prerequisite is that transferring scientific concepts into practical land use is only feasible if all relevant stakeholders of various levels are involved during the entire conceptualization process.