Complexity, Agents, Volatility, Evidence and Scale


Description of Case Studies

All of the case studies of land use and how it changes over time will entail a strong retrospective modelling perspective in order to develop and demonstrate the integration of qualitative and statistical validation methods. In addition, for the two European case studies, the models will be used to analyse and inform policy discussions regarding the impending change in the Common Agricultural Policy, thereby to enable us to analyse the same shock to systems that have previously shown different degrees of resilience.

Land use issues could hardly be either more complex, concrete or urgent in the face of global environmental change, and of impending changes in public policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy. We have chosen three case studies that differ significantly in apparent resilience to both internal stresses and external shocks and also differ with respect to culture and ethnography.

  • One study will be of the Grampian Region of Scotland in the UK where, despite a range of external shocks and endogenous demographic change, land tenure and use has not changed greatly since the Second World War despite large-scale policy changes with entry to the European Union, and epidemics among agricultural livestock.
  • The second will be of the Oder River Valley in Poland, which has undergone considerable changes in land use, water regime and social structure over that period.
  • The third will be of the Vhembe district of Limpopo province, South Africa (chosen partly to ensure that our models are relevant beyond Europe) where land use change following the end of apartheid has been rapid and enormous.

All three studies combine retrospective and prospective components.

Page last modified on October 16, 2006, at 05:43 pm