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Behavioural, Ecological and Socio-economic Tools for Modelling Agricultural Policy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BESTMAP (Behavioural, Ecological and Socio-economic Tools for Modelling Agricultural Policy)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2021-03-01 al 2022-08-31

BESTMAP (Behavioural, Ecological & Socio-Economic Tools for Modelling Agricultural Policy) addresses the topic RUR-04-2018 “Analytical tools and models to support policies related to agriculture and food”, the “Socio-economic science and humanities” cross-cutting priority and the “Rural Renaissance” call.
Around 40% of European Union land is agricultural. Processes like land-use intensification and climate change threaten the ecosystem services provided by these agro-ecosystems. Policy makers at all levels face the challenge of enhancing agricultural sustainability whilst maintaining farmers’ livelihoods. Current policy impact assessment models (PIAMs) used by the Commission largely ignore the complexity of farmers’ decision making, and existing models focus on economics, mostly ignoring policy impacts on rural natural, social and cultural assets.
BESTMAP is developing a new modelling framework utilising behavioural theory and linking economic modelling with individual-farm Agent-Based Models (ABM). These new modular and customizable tools will allow BESTMAP to quantitatively model, monitor and map policy change impacts on the environment, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and socio-economic conditions.
BESTMAP aims to improve and contribute to existing tools used by the Commission, national and regional decision-makers and expert personnel. Finally, BESTMAP will use a range of external communication and dissemination activities to build capacity for researchers, national and EU Directorate-General staff and parliamentarians, to model policy impacts and improve policy design and monitoring
Work Package 1, ‘Project management’, version 3 of data management plan completed, second version of exploitation plan including business model and market analyses completed.

Work Package 2, ‘Co-design and co-development’, second version of the conceptual framework design & architecture completed, co-design sessions held with stakeholders, Economic scenarios outputs completed, dashboard prototype completed.

Work Package 3, ‘Farming System Archetypes’, ecosystem services, biodiversity and socio-economic models for each case study completed.

Work Package 4, ‘Agent-based modelling and analysis’, first versions of ABMs for case studies completed.

Work Package 5, ‘Upscaling’, work on upscaling biophysical and agent-based models underway, remote sensed mapping of vegetation indices and metrics completed.

Work Package 6, ‘Capacity building and dissemination’, second versions of communication & dissemination plan and engagement plan completed, workshop held on integrating ABM and CGE/PE models - guide produced, BESTMAP summer school held.

Work Package 7, ‘Ethics’, has delivered all three ethics requirements of the project.
ESS, biodiversity and socio-economic models for each case study were conducted looking at two scenarios, current status quo and zero adoption of agri-environmental schemes. Their results will contribute to the dashboard and will form the basis of policy recommendation going forward.

An online survey, in the form of a discrete choice experiment was was conducted in Spring 2022 in all 5 case studies. Analysis of the data continues and results will form an input to the ABM.

Co-design sessions were held with stakeholders comprising policy makers at national level in all 5 case studies. Their feedback will inform the development of the dashboard.

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