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The Behavioural Models of Land Systems Working Group is a joint venture between the AIMES project and the Global Land Programme. In linking two Global Research Projects of the Future Earth network, the group aims to support and build interdisciplinary collaboration across scientific disciplines. The group welcomes a wide range of perspectives and members with interests in any aspects of human behaviour (e.g., individual, collective, and organisational) in land systems models and its interactions with other land system processes.
The working group supports the development of the next generation of land systems models that represent diverse human behaviour, agency, decision-making and institutional processes. These models explore a wide range of key research and policy questions at the nexus of food, ecosystems, water, climate and energy across multiple land systems and scales (from landscape to regional to global). This approach supports understanding of climate change adaptation and mitigation processes, as well as sustainability transformations, with land systems used as exemplars of other social-ecological and coupled human-natural systems and their components.
The working group promotes alternatives to econometric, equilibrium-based and ‘top-down’ models based on the rational actor model by incorporating insights about human behaviour from the behavioural sciences. This working group encourages rich representations of human behaviour and institutional processes with a focus on the diversity of actors and their interactions with one another and their physical environment, whether proximal or distal in space (e.g., due to telecoupling). Key objectives are to support the construction of a library of models to compare representations of human decision-making, to stimulate social simulation experiments, and to promote identification of actions to support sustainability policies. The working group aims to catalyse the coupling of behavioural land-use models with other model types, such as dynamic global vegetation models, biodiversity models and/or climate emulators to explore a wide range of environmental change drivers and to evaluate the consequences of these for ecosystem services. As such, we welcome scholars and practitioners working on representing human behaviour and social institutions in simulation models spanning a range of topics (including, human behaviour in large-scale simulations and social-ecological contexts, adaptation to climate extremes, and social processes of transformation).
Given the diversity of decision-making contexts globally, many models representing agency, behaviour and social processes (e.g., norms, formal institutions and organisations) in land systems are possible and have been developed. To advance knowledge in this domain the working group advocates the comparison and synthesis of these models and insights generated from them. Through frequent webinars and other activities, the working group will foster an inclusive, active, diverse and cooperative global community of behavioural land system modellers.
The group page on the AIMES project site can be found here.
The overall aim of the working group is to support the creation of the next generation of land systems models that represent diverse human behaviour, agency, decision-making and institutional processes. The specific objectives are to:
Is the idea of large-scale behavioural modelling realistic? (November 2020)
What can land use modellers learn from other disciplines? (April 2021)