Stream: Resource Management and Sustainability


F6. Advancing land-use and land-cover modelling: enhancing complexity
Daniel Rutledge, Guy Engelen, Alexander Herzig, Jean-Luc de Kok, Fraser Morgan, Brendan Williams

This workshop follows-on from the session F1. Its purpose is to provide a forum to discuss and debate the challenge and merits of more complex approaches to land-use/land-cover modelling that were presented in the companion session. We will organise the workshop into five sections: one section for each of the four themes discussed in the session (1. ideas and methods for more complex characterisation, 2. techniques and approaches for facilitating more complex modelling, 3. approaches and solutions for increasing tractability and accessibility, 4. addressing complexity) and a final synthesis session. We may also modify the themes on the day based on the outcomes of the session and desires of the participants.
For each section we seek a willing participant who will agree to summarise the relevant papers presented at the start of the section and then lead a round-table discussion of the authors of the relevant papers. In discussing those themes, we will consider a range of critical questions that cut across them. While the full range of questions will emerge during the session, some key a priori questions include:

  1. When are more complex approaches warranted? How much complexity is "enough"?
  2. Do we have the data needed? If not, how can we start to collect/collate it?
  3. Will more complex approaches improve our shared knowledge and understanding or lead to more fragmentation and lack of comparability/synthesis?
  4. How do we communicate more complex approaches to policy makers, planners, resource managers, communities, etc. without overwhelming them?

During the synthesis section participants will discuss options for disseminating the findings of the combined session and workshop, ranging from the production of a single synthesis paper in a relevant journal to a collected body of work such a section in a journal or perhaps a book.


F7. Understanding ecosystem services, multi-functional land use, trade-offs and uncertainty for policy support and land management
David Miller, Iain Brown, Keith Matthews

Stakeholders in land use and the ecosystem services (ES) it supports are increasingly obliged to consider the implications of pressures for change on the management of our natural resources. Policy-makers in many countries have a public responsibility to take account of environmental, social and cultural demands whilst seeking to deliver food, fuel, fibre and well-being from limited natural resources. However, there are gaps in the scientific evidence base for sustainable use and management of all land and the ecosystem services and functions it supports, and in stakeholder understanding of the implications of uncertainty when in receipt of models of potential impacts. Such gaps include perceptions of risks and appreciation of uncertainty, and the factors (e.g. trust, costs/benefits, control) that influence those perceptions; impacts of different pathways of change on ecosystem services, and account being taken of dependencies of one set of ecosystem service(s) on another when planning changes in land use.
The Workshop will develop scientific themes identified in the linked conference session F5. In particular, it will focus on the implications for strategic planning of public policy, and the potential effects on land managers and those responsible for the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services. A position paper will be developed, authorship of which will be invited from those expressing an interest in the combined session and workshop. This paper will provide the basis for participant discussion on the key weaknesses in the support given to policy-makers, public sector agencies, and private land managers on the understanding of the pressures of change on ecosystem services, and the implications of uncertainty in model outputs when seeking to future-proof decisions on planning land uses.
The workshop will be run to try and elicit generic lessons relevant to land-use sector (e.g. agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, biodiversity, recreation), or different target audiences (e.g. national or regional strategy, local authority planner, land manager). Participants will be encouraged to prepare for the workshop with some background on either sector or audience type.
For the benefit of public bodies, a set of science briefs will be developed. These will comprise 1 or 2 page summaries of key issues associated with land-use sectors and ecosystem services, and target audience. It is proposed that these will be made available by the conference WWW and by participants in the workshop and associated conference session.