Modelling interactions amongst people and forest resources at the landscape scale

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FLORES, the Forest Land Oriented Resource Envisioning System, is a framework to facilitate quantitative modelling of ecological, economic and social issues at the landscape scale. This issue of Small-scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy describes the evolution of FLORES from a concept to a series of models calibrated for diverse locations, and documents the lessons learned. The idea to construct and use landscape-scale models of the forest frontier, based on simulating household decisions and land use at a spatial scale close to the field level, arose from a desire to add rigour to land-use policy research at CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research (Vanclay 1995). This simulation modelling approach to addressing interdisciplinary issues, where people are strongly interacting with forest resources, became known as FLORES, the Forest Land Oriented Resource Envisioning System (Vanclay 1998). Muetzelfeldtet al. (1998) constructed a simple prototype of a FLORES model to illustrate the concept and demonstrate the ability of a system-dynamics modelling environment to animate such a model (Muetzelfeldt and Taylor 1997, 2001, Muetzelfeldt and Massheder 2003). In 1999, FLORES became a reality, when 50 scientists from diverse disciplines met in Bukittinggi, Indonesia to construct the first FLORES model styled on this prototype (CIFOR 1999, Vanclayet al. 2003).

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