Combining exploratory scenarios and participatory backcasting: using an agent-based model in participatory policy design for a multi-functional landscape

Derek B. Van Berkel, Peter H. Verburg
2012 Landscape Ecology  
While the merits of local participatory policy design are widely recognised, limited use is made of model-based scenario results to inform such stakeholder involvement. In this paper we present the findings of a study using an agent based model to help stakeholders consider, discuss and incorporate spatial and temporal processes in a backcasting exercise for rural development. The study is carried out in the Dutch region called the Achterhoek. Region-specific scenarios were constructed based on
more » ... interviews with local experts. The scenarios are simulated in an agent based model incorporating rural residents and farmer characteristics, the environment and different policy interventions for realistic projection of landscape evolution. Results of the model simulations were presented to stakeholders representing different rural sectors at a workshop. The results indicate that illustration of the spatial configuration of landscape changes is appreciated by stakeholders. Testing stakeholders' solutions by way of model simulations revealed that the effectiveness of local interventions is strongly related to exogenous processes such as market competition and endogenous processes like local willingness to engage in multifunctional activities. The integration of multi-agent modelling and participatory backcasting is effective as it offers a possibility to initiate discussion between experts and stakeholders bringing together different expertise.
doi:10.1007/s10980-012-9730-7 pmid:25983392 pmcid:PMC4426888 fatcat:ga2hye65hjdmpmi7gpl5row7jy