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Past Events

Workshops

Use Case Workshops

 

  • Land Use Land Cover Change Modeling for Integrated Economic-Environmental Analysis: An Application to the Amazon Region (October 12, 2022)        Presentation Files
    • The Amazon biome, despite its resilience, is being pushed by unsustainable economic drivers towards an ecological tipping point where restoration to its previous state may no longer possible. This is the result of self-reinforcing interactions between deforestation, climate change and fire. In this paper, we develop scenarios that represent movement towards an Amazon tipping point and strategies to avert one. We assess the economic, natural capital and ecosystem services impacts of these scenarios using the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modeling (IEEM) Platform linked with high resolution spatial land use land cover change and ecosystem services modeling (IEEM+ESM). This paper’s main contributions are developing: (i) a framework for evaluating strategies to avert an Amazon tipping point based on their relative costs, benefits and trade-offs, and; (ii) a first approximation of the economic, natural capital and ecosystem services impacts of movement towards an Amazon tipping point, and evidence to build the economic case for strategies to avert it. We find that a conservative estimate of the cumulative regional cost through 2050 of an Amazon tipping point would be US$256.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product. Policies that would contribute to averting a tipping point, including strongly reducing deforestation, investing in climate-adapted agriculture, and improving fire management, would generate approximately US$339.3 billion in additional wealth. From a public investment perspective, the returns to implementing strategies for averting a tipping point would be US$29.5 billion. Quantifying the costs, benefits and trade-offs of policies to avert a tipping point in a transparent and replicable manner can pave the way for evidence-based approaches to support policy action focusing on the design of regional strategies for the Amazon biome and catalyze global cooperation and financing to enable their implementation.

 

  • Agricultural and forestry investments, land use change and socio-ecological sustainability impacts in Southern and Eastern Africa (August 2, 2022)
    • This use case builds on the data and knowledge that we have accumulated across nested scales, from global to pantropical dry forest and woodlands, the Eastern/Southern African region, and Northern Mozambique, to (i) build distinct scenarios of future agricultural and forestry investments in the region, characterized by different types of investors with different assets, goals and logics, and (ii) build on the Bayesian Network model that we developed to turn these investment scenarios into scenarios of land use change at the scale of the region (meso-scale). These scenarios could be further (iii) downscaled within Northern Mozambique to investigate detailed land use change and their impacts. The cross-scale assets on which we can build include in particular (i) a global characterization of frontiers as places with excess agricultural expansion compared to standard land rent predictions (Eigenbrod et al. 2020), (ii) a pan-tropical map and typology of deforestation frontiers covering all dry tropical forests and woodlands (Buchadas et al. under review), a typology of lands into categories of frontiers or more settled regions (Abeygunawardane et al. 2022), (ii) a Bayesian Network model linking investors assets and decision-making logics to probabilities of investing in certain categories of land, and (iii) at the more detailed scale, time series of land use maps for Northern Mozambique (Bey et al. 2021). We will also build on extensive qualitative ethnographic work of investors’ logics and dynamics in the region (Kronenburg García et al. 2021).

 

  • Net Zero Plus - Creating the UK's New Woodlands (June 21, 2022)
    • The Net Zero Plus project combines natural and social science to demonstrate how to design afforestation in the UK to store carbon (SDG13) and deliver co-benefits for biodiversity (SDG15), water environments (SDG6) and recreation. The project is unusual in having an extremely close association with those senior policy makers in the UK Government charged with the massive expansion in forestry needed to deliver the greenhouse gas removal element of the Government’s commitment to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The innovative NZ+ Decision Support Tool being developed by the project will be used by the UK Government to guide that expansion of woodland while also helping landowners, farmers and other decision makers, with advice on the most effective places to create new woodlands (and manage existing woodlands). The NZ+ team is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of GLASSNET, benefit from its expertise in computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling and integrate into the GTAP user community. UK afforestation is expected to make use of considerable areas of farmland and this may in turn both change and raise agricultural imports. The production of those imports is likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions abroad. Such offshoring (“leakage”) of carbon emissions could undermine the global effectiveness of greenhouse gas removal in the UK. If emissions for agricultural production abroad are higher than in the UK, woodland creation might even increase global greenhouse gas emissions. Understanding carbon leakage is, thus, vital to the project. Collaborating with GLASSNET and world leading experts at Purdue University, NZ+ will use the GTAP-AEZ-GHG CGE trade model to link land use change in the UK to global greenhouse gas leakage via agricultural and forestry imports incorporating the effect of potential changes in UK diet and food technology as well as the effect of climate change on agricultural yields and tree growth.

 

Early Career Researcher Workshops

  • Workshop 2: Developing Successful Interdisciplinary Research (November 7, 2022)        Presentation Files
    • Interdisciplinary research collaborations hold great promises for disentangling the complex sustainability challenges facing the world today. What knowledge and practices foster innovative and effective interdisciplinary endeavors? How can one best to empower present and future generations of interdisciplinary researchers? This workshop invited early career scholars to engage with a panel of experts who shared their experience and practical advice on the leadership of interdisciplinary research projects, as well as discussing opportunities and challenges.  (Purdue University). 

 

  • Workshop 1: Proposal Success (September 21, 2022)        Presentation Files 
    • Obtaining funding is an essential part of academic work for most researchers. In the first of three workshops, Proposal Success, we heard from a panel of experts on how to obtain funding for research that is interdisciplinary, international, and inclusive. The speakers were Dr. Karen Fisher-Vanden (Penn State University), Dr. Nancy Searby (NASA), and Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Brikhimer (Purdue University). 

 


 

Courses

SIMPLE-G Short Courses

  • 2022 Multi-Scale Analysis of Sustainability SIMPLE-G Short Course (April 4 - May 6, 2022)
    • The 2022 SIMPLE-G Short Course was held at Purdue University. Thirteen participants from the US, Europe, Australia, and Brazil completed four weeks of online learning, followed by one week of in-person training to learn the SIMPLE and SIMPLE-G models. SIMPLE-G is a multi-scale framework used for evaluation of sustainability policies in a global context while factoring in local heterogeneity in land and water resources, as well as natural ecosystem services.

 


 

Conferences

GLASSNET Conferences

  • Managing the Global Commons: Sustainable Agriculture and use of the World’s Land and Water Resources (April 7-8, 2022)
    • Scientists and policy makers gathered at Purdue University for a conference on Managing the Global Commons: Sustainable Agriculture and the use of the World’s Land and Water Resources to discuss potential solutions to the global sustainability challenges facing agriculture in the 21st century. The conference was hosted by GLASSNET and sponsored by Purdue University’s Provost Committee on Reputational Stewardship and USDA-NIFA. Papers presented at this conference will be published in a special issue of Environmental Research Letters.