A Land Exchange Agent-based Model for the Baakse Beek region in Netherlands

Authors and Affiliations: 
  1. Shah Jamal Alam (University of Edinburgh)
  2. Marth M. Bakker (Wageningen University)
  3. Jerry van Dijk (Utrecht University)
  4. Eleni Karali (University of Edinburgh)
  5. Mark D. Rounsevell (University of Edinburgh)

We present a spatially-explicit agent-based simulation model of rural land exchange RULEX (RUral Land EXchange) for the Baakse Beek region in the Netherlands [1]. The model development process is part of an on-going research program* aiming at understanding the effects of climate change and socioeconomic drivers on agriculture land use and nature conservation. The RULEX model is being developed to study trends in increase of farms size under different climate change and socioeconomic scenarios. RULEX incorporates a market-based land exchange mechanism through which agents representing the nature managers and farmers in the region compete for the available land parcels they are interested in. This allows a cross-sectorial competition analysis for land resources between two actor types, viz. farmers and nature managers that take into account different factors when determining the desirability of a land parcel that is on sale. Both qualitative and quantitative data inform the processes in our model. This includes ownership maps, agriculture census, semi- and structured interviews and regular feedback from the stakeholders. Our modeling approach has been to find a neutral solution of not optimizing either from the ecological or economic perspectives but to mimic the observed behavior to engage the farmers in the Baakse Beek region and other stakeholders in exploring trajectories of land use change in the region. We report results based on two scenarios: global economy with a +1C increase in temperature by 2050; and regional communities with an +2C temperature increase.

* The CARE consortium funded by the under the Knowledge for Climate Re-search Programme in the Netherlands.


[1] Alam, S.J., Bakker, M.M., Karali, E., Rounsevell, M.D. (2013) Simulating the Expansion of Large-sized Farms in Rural Netherlands: A Land Exchange Model. In Fourteenth International Workshop on Multi-Agent-based Simulation (MABS 2013), St. Paul, MN, USA