Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) for Austria: conceptual thoughts on its demand and stakeholder-driven development.

M Schönhart, (submitter)


Modelling communities in climate change research developed so-called Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), which can be attributed to particular Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). SSPs are available at global to continental scales and describe major socio-economic developments. Such resolution is insufficient in particular for global to local mitigation, adaptation, and impact studies in agriculture. Hence, Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) shall overcome this gap by developing narratives of plausible potential futures for the agricultural sector at regional to national scale. They should be consistent with SSPs and RCPs. These RAPs narratives are operationalized by variables and parameters usable in bio-physical and economic modeling of farms, landscapes and the agricultural and food sector.

In our presentation, we argue that there is demand of RAPs in local to regional land use studies up to the national scale. RAPs contribute to increase the consistency of climate change studies across scales and enhance harmonization of inputs and comparability of results. They are a service to the research community to save resources in scenario development. In the second part of the talk, we present a methodology for a stakeholder-driven design of RAPs. We refer to methodologies for RAPs-development in international studies and identify necessary deviations to take into account idiosyncratic features of Austria, which is our country of interest. Stakeholder engagement during the definition of RAPs may improve the acceptance of modelling results among practitioners and foster its implementation in policy processes. Besides, the process itself can stimulate a debate on the future of agriculture under climate change and its inherent uncertainties.

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