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Valentinov V.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies
Society and Natural Resources | Year: 2015

Drawing upon his original ecological approach to evolutionary economics, Kenneth Boulding developed a systems-theoretic reconstruction of the neoclassical supply-and-demand framework. He located the systems-theoretic meaning of the neoclassical concept of opportunity costs in the limits of the environmental carrying capacity, which are centrally emphasized by ecological economists and sustainability scholars. An implication of his argument is that the neoclassical supply-and-demand framework presents a variety of the general systems theory that suffers from being grounded in the attenuated concept of the environment. This article explores the options for broadening this concept by revisiting the work of Niklas Luhmann and C. West Churchman. Their ideas are shown to underlie an alternative systems-theoretic framework that is capable of incorporating the contemporary concerns about the societal and ecological sustainability of economic activity. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Lee J.-S.,University of Twente | Filatova T.,University of Twente | Ligmann-Zielinska A.,Michigan State University | Hassani-Mahmooei B.,Monash University | And 6 more authors.
JASSS | Year: 2015

The proliferation of agent-based models (ABMs) in recent decades has motivated model practitioners to improve the transparency, replicability, and trust in results derived from ABMs. The complexity of ABMs has risen in stride with advances in computing power and resources, resulting in larger models with complex interactions and learning and whose outputs are often high-dimensional and require sophisticated analytical approaches. Similarly, the increasing use of data and dynamics in ABMs has further enhanced the complexity of their outputs. In this article, we offer an overview of the state-of-the-art approaches in analyzing and reporting ABM outputs highlighting challenges and outstanding issues. In particular, we examine issues surrounding variance stability (in connection with determination of appropriate number of runs and hypothesis testing), sensitivity analysis, spatio-temporal analysis, visualization, and effective communication of all these to non-technical audiences, such as various stakeholders. © JASSS.

Sun Z.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies | Muller D.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies | Muller D.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014 | Year: 2014

Land system change has major consequences for climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and is central to the debate of sustainable development. Land policies aimed at guiding land system towards sustainable pathways need to be informed by better understanding of land system change, and often rely on the forecasting of future land system change. For example, initiatives of Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) provide financial incentives to developing countries in tropical regions in exchange for a reduction of carbon emission from land system compared to business-as-usual. REDD+ schemes therefore rely on predictions of future land use without REDD+ intervention as the benchmark to calculate incentive payments. One key question for REDD+ schemes therefore is how future land use can be predicted. This is notoriously challenging due to the intrinsic non-linearity and complexity of land systems. One example for such non-linearity are rapid and persistent regime shifts of land systems to alternate states. In this paper, we present evidence of regime shifts in land systems in four case studies in Southeast Asia: Xishuangbanna Prefecture, China; Huaphan Province, Laos; Nghe An Province, Vietnam; Kutai Barat District, Indonesia. Land systems in all four sites were dominated by largely subsistence-based shifting cultivation in the early 1980s but land system change later embarked on distinctly different pathways with different agricultural production strategies and divergent outcomes in terms of livelihoods and ecosystem services. To further reveal the causes of these regime shifts, we simulated regime shifts of land-use systems with a stylized system dynamics model. Such models can help better understand how regime shifts in land system happen and thus can support proactive decision making to prevent (or foster) land systems tipping towards undesirable (or desirable) regimes.

Hielscher S.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Pies I.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Valentinov V.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies | Chatalova L.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

The public discourse on the acceptability of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is not only controversial, but also infused with highly emotional and moralizing rhetoric. Although the assessment of risks and benefits of GMOs must be a scientific exercise, many debates on this issue seem to remain impervious to scientific evidence. In many cases, the moral psychology attributes of the general public create incentives for both GMO opponents and proponents to pursue misleading public campaigns, which impede the comprehensive assessment of the full spectrum of the risks and benefits of GMOs. The ordonomic approach to economic ethics introduced in this research note is helpful for disentangling the socio-economic and moral components of the GMO debate by re- and deconstructing moral claims. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Hermans F.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies | Hermans F.,Wageningen University | Klerkx L.,Wageningen University | Roep D.,Wageningen University
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2015

Purpose: We investigate how the structural conditions of eight different European agricultural innovation systems can facilitate or hinder collaboration and social learning in multidisciplinary innovation networks. Methodology: We have adapted the Innovation System Failure Matrix to investigate the main barriers and enablers eight countries (England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands and Switzerland). Findings: Results show some of the recent trends the AKS actors in these countries have experienced and how these have affected their potential to act as collaborators in multidisciplinary innovation networks. Lack of funds, combined with horizontal and vertical fragmentation and the lack of proper evaluation criteria for collaborative innovation networks are among the most important threats we found. Practical Implications: This study shows that each national AIS has some unique features. This means that the implementation of policies promoting collaboration and social learning (e.g. the European Innovation Partnerships and Operational Groups) should depend on a critical reflection of the existing structural elements of the AIS in each country and whether there is a need for inclusion of new actors, or whether certain innovations for collective goods should be promoted. Originality: The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion in the scientific literature on the advantages and disadvantages of privatization of extension and advisory services and the shift from thinking in terms of the traditional Agricultural Knowledge System towards a broader Agricultural Innovation System. © 2014, © 2014 Wageningen University.

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