PRIMA: Prototypical Policy Impacts on Multifunctional Activities in rural municipalities

The project PRIMA aims to develop a method for scaling down the analysis of policy impacts on multifunctional land uses and economic activities to municipality level, principally by means of agent-based modelling (ABM).

Models of municipality dynamics will be developed for a set of municipality case studies. These models will use ABM and will focus on the activities of the agricultural, forestry, tourism sectors and local residents. The models will address the structural evolution of the populations (appearance, disappearance and change of agents) and the evolution of land use in the face of a range of EU policies related to sustainable development such as EAFRD, ESF and ERDF. Case study municipalities will be located in partner countries, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and UK (within Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire).
PRIMA involves interaction with stakeholders in pre-, on- and post-modelling phases. In the pre-model stage, engagement with 2 groups of stakeholders will occur for scenario design and to formulate agent decision rules for the agent-based models. On-model engagement will inform model development, and post-model engagement will allow validation, with stakeholder assessment of outputs.

From these case study models a set of virtual municipality prototypes, beyond the case studies, will be extracted and will allow aggregation of model outputs to the regional level to provide evolutions of land-use at municipality level in the regional case studies. These will be compared with downscaled outputs from the Global Trade Analysis Project model (GTAP) and the Integrated Model to Assess the Global Environment (IMAGE).

PRIMA also aims to enhance the scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Sustainable Impact Assessment (SIA) by their incorporation of results from the ABM methodology.

Project funder: FP 7 ENV

Staff involved: Guy Garrod, Marian Raley, Lee Stapleton (University of Sussex)

Project duration: 2008 to 2011