Land economics and Environment Research Group

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Land economics and Environment Research Group

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Farmer J.,UHI Millennium Institute | Philip L.,University of Aberdeen | King G.,University of Aberdeen | Farrington J.,University of Aberdeen | MacLeod M.,Land economics and Environment Research Group
Health and Place | Year: 2010

This paper presents findings from a qualitative study investigating older people's health service provision in remote rural Scotland. Comparing stakeholders' perspectives, contested issues were exposed where community members, service managers and policymakers disagreed. Considering these, led to the proposal that fundamental tensions exist between community and management/policy stakeholders' perspectives and these underlie service change conflicts. While highlighting issues for older people's service design, findings suggest that impacts of the current planning process require to be understood, and aspects need to be changed, before the voice of older people can inform local service policy. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McRoberts N.,University of California at Davis | Hall C.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Madden L.V.,Ohio State University | Hughes G.,Crop and Soil Research Group
Phytopathology | Year: 2011

Many factors influence how people form risk perceptions. Farmers' perceptions of risk and levels of risk aversion impact on decision-making about such things as technology adoption and disease management practices. Irrespective of the underlying factors that affect risk perceptions, those perceptions can be summarized by variables capturing impact and uncertainty components of risk. We discuss a new framework that has the subjective probability of disease and the cost of decision errors as its central features, which might allow a better integration of social science and epidemiology, to the benefit of plant disease management. By focusing on the probability and cost (or impact) dimensions of risk, the framework integrates research from the social sciences, economics, decision theory, and epidemiology. In particular, we review some useful properties of expected regret and skill value, two measures of expected cost that are particularly useful in the evaluation of decision tools. We highlight decision-theoretic constraints on the usefulness of decision tools that may partly explain cases of failure of adoption. We extend this analysis by considering information-theoretic criteria that link model complexity and relative performance and which might explain why users reject forecasters that impose even moderate increases in the complexity of decision making despite improvements in performance or accept very simple decision tools that have relatively poor performance. © 2011 The American Phytopathological Society.


Alexander P.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Alexander P.,University of Edinburgh | Moran D.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Rounsevell M.D.A.,University of Edinburgh | Smith P.,University of Aberdeen
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2013

Biomass produced from energy crops, such as Miscanthus and short rotation coppice is expected to contribute to renewable energy targets, but the slower than anticipated development of the UK market implies the need for greater understanding of the factors that govern adoption. Here, we apply an agent-based model of the UK perennial energy crop market, including the contingent interaction of supply and demand, to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of energy crop adoption. Results indicate that perennial energy crop supply will be between six and nine times lower than previously published, because of time lags in adoption arising from a spatial diffusion process. The model simulates time lags of at least 20 years, which is supported empiricallyby the analogue of oilseed rape adoption in the UK from the 1970s. This implies the need to account for time lags arising from spatial diffusion in evaluating land-use change, climate change (mitigation or adaptation) or the adoption of novel technologies. © 2013 The Author(s).


Glenk K.,Macaulay Institute | Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Colombo S.,Centro Camino Of Purchil
Climatic Change | Year: 2011

Soil carbon sequestration has been regarded as a cheap and cost-effective way to sequester carbon until other technologies to tackle climate change become available or more cost-effective. An assessment of the social desirability of a soil carbon sequestration policy requires the consideration of all associated social costs and benefits. Measures to re-accumulate carbon in soils have ancillary or co-effects on the environment that can be beneficial or detrimental to social welfare and few of which are traded in markets. This paper discusses issues related to the development of soil carbon sequestration policies into agri-environmental schemes and reports findings from an application of a choice experiment to elicit preferences and estimate benefits of a soil carbon programme in Scotland under consideration of co-effects on biodiversity and rural viability. Preferences for soil carbon based mitigation are found to be heterogeneous and related to beliefs about climate change and attitudes towards its mitigation. Benefit estimates suggest that including co-effects can significantly change the outcome of cost-benefit tests. Implications for the development of climate change policies are discussed. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Tiffin R.,University of Reading | Arnoult M.,Land economics and Environment Research Group
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2011

Background/Objectives:Previous studies have analysed impacts on average intakes. Agueably however intakes that are of real concern are those which are some distance away from the recommendations. Fiscal measures might have a limited impact on such diets, and as a result, on health. We measure the impact of a fiscal intervention on the the risks of diet-related disease, accounting for the full range of diets.Subjects/Methods:Demand equations are estimated with data collected from 6760 households in the UK Expenditure and Food Survey. The model is used to simulate the impacts of a policy, in which a tax based on saturated fat content is combined with subsidy on fruit and vegetables. Changes in consumption are used to compute the effects on the risks of a range of diet-related disease using measures of relative risk. In contrast with other studies, we simulate the impacts of the fiscal regime at the level of the individual households in the sample.Results:The subsidy brings mean levels of fruit and vegetable consumption in line with dietary recommendations, but the tax is insufficient to achieve this goal for fat intakes. Once the changes in diet are converted into changes in the risks of disease, the impacts of the policy are negligible. A substantial part of the population continues to consume an unhealthy diet.Conclusion:Fiscally based interventions should be considered amongst a suite of policy interventions, which also include policies aimed at improving the poorest of diets. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Barnes A.P.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Islam M.,Nottingham Trent University | Toma L.,Land economics and Environment Research Group
Applied Geography | Year: 2013

Livestock production has been criticized for its effect on greenhouse gas emissions and policy makers are now supporting actions to reduce these impact. Voluntary adoption of these actions will be precluded by the farmer perception of the risks from a changing climate. We employ a latent class clustering approach to understand the heterogeneity within a sample of dairy farmers, based on 8 statements related to climate change risk.The majority of farmers are found to be 'confused moderates' who have no strong opinion towards the possible future impacts of climate change. Two further classes emerged, namely 'deniers' and 'risk perceivers'. We find that higher education levels have an influence on increasing risk perception, as does the intention to pass the farm onto another family member. Membership of agri-environmental schemes does not preclude awareness or acceptance of climate change risk, principally due to the lack of emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions within these schemes. In addition, use of social networks seems to be a significant factor in raising the profile of risk perception within farmer decision-making.We conclude that advisors and those engaging with the farming community must accommodate climate messages in their communication strategies. Furthermore, emphasis on the greenhouse gas benefits from adoption of agri-environmental schemes would seem to be an efficient vehicle for raising the risk profile of climate change and influence future uptake of Government and industry supported actions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Renwick A.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Jansson T.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Verburg P.H.,VU University Amsterdam | Revoredo-Giha C.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | And 3 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2013

This paper examines the potential impact of agricultural and trade policy reform on land-use across the EU focussing particularly on the issue of land abandonment. Using a novel combined application of the well established CAPRI and Dyna-CLUE models it estimates the extent of change across Europe under removal of Pillar 1 support payments and trade liberalisation. Overall, it is estimated that around 8 per cent less land will be farmed under these reforms than under the baseline situation. However, some regions, areas and farm types face more significant reductions. The reforms are particularly felt on livestock grazing farms situated in the more marginal areas of Europe, which also coincide with areas of high nature value. Therefore, farmland biodiversity is likely to be reduced in these areas. However, using a range of environmental indicators, relating to nutrient surpluses, GHG emissions, soil erosion and species abundance, an overall improvement in the environmental footprint of agriculture is likely. In addition, the economic efficiency of the agricultural sector will probably improve. The paper considers several possible options available to deal with any negative aspects of land abandonment. Following the FAO (2006), it is argued that untargeted, rather general agricultural policy measures which maintain land in production are likely to be an ineffective and inefficient way to address the perceived negative consequences of abandonment. A more holistic approach to rural development is required, tailored to the specific context within each area. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Alexander P.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Alexander P.,University of Edinburgh | Moran D.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Rounsevell M.D.A.,University of Edinburgh
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2015

The electricity infrastructure in many developed countries requires significant investment to meet ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets, and to bridge the gap between future supply and demand. Perennial energy crops have the potential to deliver electricity generation capacity while reducing carbon emissions, leading to polices supporting the adoption of these crops. In the UK, for example, support has been in place over the past decade, although uptake and the market development have so far been relatively modest. This paper combines biophysical and socio-economic process representations within an agent-based model (ABM), to offer insights into the dynamics of the development of the perennial energy crop market. Against a changing policy landscape, several potential policy scenarios are developed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the market in providing a source of low carbon renewable electricity, and to achieve carbon emissions abatement. The results demonstrate the key role of both energy and agricultural policies in stimulating the rate and level of uptake; consequently influencing the cost-effectiveness of these measures. The UK example shows that energy crops have the potential to deliver significant emissions abatement (up to 24 Mt carbon dioxide equivalent year-1, 4% of 2013 UK total emissions), and renewable electricity (up to 29 TWh year-1, 8% of UK electricity or 3% of primary energy demand), but a holistic assessment of related policies is needed to ensure that support is cost-effective. However, recent policy developments suggest that domestically grown perennial energy crops will only play a niche role (<0.2%) of the UK energy balance. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Hall C.,Land economics and Environment Research Group | Wreford A.,Land economics and Environment Research Group
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2012

It is now widely accepted that climate change is happening and that future changes will impact on many aspects of society, including agriculture. To maintain food supplies, the agricultural industry must address climate change adaptation. Key to this is the attitudes of those within the industry likely to have responsibility for adapting. This study investigated stakeholder attitudes towards adaptation to climate change in the livestock industry. Findings reveal four attitudinal groups. First, there is a 'farmer-focused group' that has a positive attitude about the ability of livestock farmers to adapt to climate change, but that also has the opinion that they will need additional support to adapt. Second, there is an 'incentive for enterprise, anti-GM (genetic modification) group' with an attitudinal position stressing that the government should have a role in implementing regulations and providing finance. This group has a negative attitude towards GM technology and does not think it will be the answer to climate change. Third, there is an 'information and education group' whose attitude is that the provision of information is crucial for ensuring that the livestock industry adapts. Fourth, there is a 'pro-technology group' who have a positive attitude towards GM technology and who are therefore willing to embrace it as the route to adaptation. Three of these four groups favour soft adaptations that maintain flexibility within the system, and only the fourth is of the opinion that adaptive capacity is not an issue and that the industry is ready to implement hard adaptations. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Alexander P.,Land economics and Environment Research Group
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society | Year: 2013

Biomass produced from energy crops, such as Miscanthus and short rotation coppice is expected to contribute to renewable energy targets, but the slower than anticipated development of the UK market implies the need for greater understanding of the factors that govern adoption. Here, we apply an agent-based model of the UK perennial energy crop market, including the contingent interaction of supply and demand, to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of energy crop adoption. Results indicate that perennial energy crop supply will be between six and nine times lower than previously published, because of time lags in adoption arising from a spatial diffusion process. The model simulates time lags of at least 20 years, which is supported empirically by the analogue of oilseed rape adoption in the UK from the 1970s. This implies the need to account for time lags arising from spatial diffusion in evaluating land-use change, climate change (mitigation or adaptation) or the adoption of novel technologies.

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