WP3: Quantitative tools and models for integrated sustainability assessment at multiple scales


Leader : Thomas Heckelei, Bonn University, Bonn, Germany

[Publications] [Reports]


The overall goal of Work Package 3 is to develop quantitative procedures and tools needed within SEAMLESS. These procedures and tools will be used to quantify selected indicators derived from WP2. All tools and approaches will be implemented into SeamFrame, the open and modular software architecture of the SEAMLESS-IF (WP5), use data (WP4) from and provide model specifications to the knowledge base. The analysis tools to be developed include a generic farming system simulator for estimating the externalities and technological performance of agricultural activities, a generic agricultural activities simulator for biophysical analysis, and a farm level optimising module. These tools are designed to facilitate evaluation of the impacts of top-down as well as bottom-up drivers, including effects of farmers’ and herders’ behavioural changes. Some policies or technological developments will have supply impacts that make agricultural commodity prices endogenous. The farm-level models will therefore be connected to a market level model to enable price adjustments at the farm level modelling. This requires coherent methods for linkage between spatial and hierarchical scales. Such methods will be developed and will be integrated into SEAMLESS-IF. Procedures are proposed and developed for spatial analysis of environmental and ecological impacts of agricultural production at regional scale. Models are developed for sustainable impact assessments onto developing countries, and tools are provided for capturing rural employment and gender impacts. The main aims of this WP are:


· To develop a generic production activities simulator (APES – Agricultural Production and Externalities Simulator) for biophysical analysis that provides the basis for estimating productivity and environmental impacts from production activities;

· To develop a generic Farming Systems Simulator (FSSIM), for modelling different European farming systems;

· To apply FSSIM to different European farm types, as developed in WP4, to enable assessing the impact of policies and innovations on behavioural responses;

· To develop and integrate model components for economic analysis at the market scale;

· To develop methods and model components for linking in a rigorous manner economic modelling at farm and market levels;

· To develop procedures for spatial analysis of environmental and ecological impacts of agricultural production at regional scale as a response to policy scenarios;

· To develop model components for impact assessment of policies on international competitiveness and on selected economic, environmental and social issues in developing countries;

· To develop econometric model components for capturing rural employment and gender impacts.