Aligning Socio-economic Field Laboratories and Agent Based Models assessing local climate change adaptation measures of Andean farmers

  • André Lindner Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management – CIPSEM, Zellescher Weg 41c, 01217 Dresden, Germany
  • Francois Jost Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Tropical Forestry, Pienner Str. 7, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
  • Mariana Vidal Merino Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of Forest Growth and Forest Computer Sciences, Forest Biometrics and System Analysis, Pienner Str. 8, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
  • Natalia Reategui Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Tropical Forestry, Pienner Str. 7, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
  • Jürgen Pretzsch Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Tropical Forestry, Pienner Str. 7, 01737 Tharandt, Germany


The increase in extreme weather events is a major consequence of climate change in tropical mountain ranges
like the Andes of Peru. The impact on farming households is of growing interest since adaptation and mitigation strategies are required to keep race with environmental conditions and to prevent people from increasing poverty. In this regard it becomes more and more obvious that a bottom-up approach incorporating the local socioeconomic processes and their interplay is needed. Socio-economic field laboratories are used to understand such processes on site. This integrates multi-disciplinary and participatory analyses of production and its relationship with biophysical and socio-economic determinants. Farmers react individually based on their experiences, financial situation, labor conditions, or attitude among others. In this regard socio-economic field laboratories also serve to develop and test scenarios about development paths, which involve the combination of both, local and scientific knowledge. For a comprehensive understanding of the multitude of interactions the agent-based modeling framework MPMAS (Mathematical Programming-based Multi-Agent System) is applied. In combination with continued ground-truthing, the model is used to gain insights into the functioning of the complex social system and to forecast its development in the near future. The assessment of the effect of humans’ behavior in changing environmental conditions including the comparison of different sites, transforms the model to a communication tool bridging the gap between adaptation policies and local realities.

Author Biography

André Lindner, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management – CIPSEM, Zellescher Weg 41c, 01217 Dresden, Germany
Climate change and biodiversity loss are contemporary challenges for ecology, economy and society. Biodiversity comprises more than species and genes and society is in urgent need to manage the interrelations of the human-biosphere interface. The combination of participatory methods, expert knowledge and reliable methods for ex ante evaluation of adaptation strategies at a local level are urgently needed to provide crucial information on the expected impacts in the context of global change.


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