Analysis of climate change adaptation with bio-economic farm models: lessons from MACSUR regional pilot studies

Martin Schönhart


Integrated land use models (ILM) featuring agronomic and economic drivers of land use are frequently applied to serve the high information demand of stakeholders. This presentation results from collaboration among bio-economic farm modelers across the MACSUR regional pilot studies ( and shall compare and finally reveal good practice examples on the representation of climate change adaptation in bio-economic farm models. First results show a considerable diversity of approaches employed in the MACSUR regional pilot studies. All are programming models that optimize more or less elaborated forms of utility. All consider or plan to consider crop yield impacts from bio-physical crop models based on daily-resolution climate data. While some models include pest and diseases or livestock impacts, none take climate change impacts on market prices or interactions among farms into account so far. Clearly, adaptation options determine the solution space and are mainly expert-based in the regional case studies. Overall, the models are normative and analyze economically rational and optimal land use and management at the farm level, capable of showing the likely direction of differences in future management as a response to exogenous parameter changes (prices, yields, disease pressure, changed policy conditions, etc.). Such detailed models and their results may be applied in stakeholder interaction. Integrating the different direct and indirect effects of climate change, including the policy dimension, is the main contribution of farm level modelling of agricultural systems in the domain of climate change adaptation research.

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Authors: Martin Schönhart1, Gabriele Dono2, Øyvind Hoveid3, Heikki Lehtonen4 and Peter Zander5

Affiliations: 1Institute for Sustainable Economic Development; BOKU University, Vienna; 2Department of Science and Technology for Agriculture, Forestry, Nature and Energy, Tuscia University, Viterbo; 3Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute NILF, Oslo; 4Economy and Society, Natural Resources Institute, Finland, Helsinki; 5Institute of Socio-Economics; Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Müncheberg

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