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Evolving Integrated Models From Narrower Economic Tools: the Example of Forest Sector Models

Abstract : Integrated simulation models are commonly used to provide insight on the complex functioning of social-ecological systems, often drawing on earlier tools with a narrower focus. Forest sector models (FSM) encompass a set of simulation models originally developed to forecast economic developments in timber markets but now commonly used to analyse climate and environmental policy. In this paper, we document and investigate this evolution through the prism of the inclusion of several non-timber objectives into FSM. We perform a systematic, quantitative survey of the literature followed by a more in-depth narrative review. Results show that a majority of papers in FSM research today focuses on non-timber objectives related to climate change mitigation, namely carbon sequestration and bioenergy production. Habitat conservation, deforestation and the mitigation of disturbances are secondary foci, while aspects such as forest recreation and many regulation services are absent. Non-timber objectives closest to the original targets of FSM, as well as those for which economic values are easier to estimate, have been more deeply integrated to the models, entering the objective function as decision variables. Others objectives are usually modelled as constraints and only considered through their negative economic impacts on the forest sector. Current limits to a deeper inclusion of non-timber objectives include the models’ ability to represent local environmental conditions as well as the formulation of the optimisation problem as a maximisation of economic welfare. Recent research has turned towards the use of model couplings and the development of models at the local scale to overcome these limitations. Challenges for future research comprise extensions to other non-timber objectives, especially cultural services, as well as model calibration at lower spatial scales.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 3:28:10 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:31:08 AM



Miguel Riviere, Sylvain Caurla, Philippe Delacote. Evolving Integrated Models From Narrower Economic Tools: the Example of Forest Sector Models. Environmental Modeling & Assessment, Springer, 2020, ⟨10.1007/s10666-020-09706-w⟩. ⟨hal-02512330⟩



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