FLORES: a model to evaluate land-use options at the forest frontier, proceedings of a Conference on Advances in Methodology and Software for Decision Support Systems, 5-7 September 1997, Laxenburg, Austria

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Policy issues are central to natural resource management, but the consequences of well-intended policies are not always obvious, especially for land use in frontier areas. A model is proposed to predict the behaviour of individuals in forest communities near the forest frontier, and the resulting impacts on, and response by the ecosystem. The underlying assumption is that individuals behave rationally to maximize their utility, and that their behaviour under various scenarios can thus be predicted. The model, FLORES (Forest Land Oriented Resource Envisioning System), will be spatially explicit, allowing strong empirical tests. Initially, the model will test hypotheses proposed by fellow researchers, and will help identify gaps and deficiencies in existing knowledge. Ultimately, it should help policy-makers and planners better understand consequences of their proposals, and may be implemented as an educational game (cf. SimCity, SimIsle, etc.).

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