Building Capacity for Land Use Change Modeling (2014–2017)

Land use is constantly changing in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At the same time, land use planning processes are often poorly informed, risking decisions that may lead to social and environmental costs that outweigh intended benefits.

Land use change modeling can help planners to better evaluate land use change dynamics and related benefits and risks, but capacity in the subregion to use modeling tools and approaches remains low.

In response, this GMS Core Environment Program activity aimed to improve land change simulation capacity to reduce conflict from competing land demands. The activity begun in mid-2014 with a series of national consultations with government agencies and academic institutions. Following country feedback, from January 2015, implementation began and applied a new, dual approach to closing the capacity gap.

CEP made land use change software simpler to use and more relevant to the developing country context. Meanwhile, it also facilitated a regional network of national academic institutions as centers of excellence on land use change modeling as well as forged stronger government-science partnerships.

The Institute of Environmental Studies of the Free University of Amsterdam was the lead implementer of the activity and key results were as follows:

  • Developed an enhanced land use model: Produced an updated version of the CLUMondo land use model with increased analytical functions. For example, new anecosystem service demand module and results visualization interface).
  • Simplified CLUMondo usability: Developed CLUMondo into an integrated free access package with an easy-to-use interface and support materials such as self-teaching manuals in all six GMS languages.
  • Strengthened regional land use modeling technical capacity: One week training of trainer’s programs were held in each country.
  • Invested in long-term sustainability: By building a regional network of land-use planners in the subregion involving government agencies and national academic institutions. Land-use planning curricula were developed with partner universities.
  • Raised awareness of CLUMondo and land use planning challenges and opportunities: National and regional events were held to target policy makers and the new CLUMondo tool was presented at the 2016 Global Land Project Open Science Meeting in Beijing.

See below and the sidelinks for progress reports and other resources from this activity. 


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