The debate about Sustainable Development Goals following the United Nations “Rio+20” reveals the difficulty of simultaneously addressing social and economic development challenges and the degradation of Earth’s life support systems. Land systems in the humid tropics illustrate these challenges prominently. Local people’s land use strategies are facing competition from large-scale land acquisition, logging etc., but also biodiversity conservation. Remote decision-makers reshape flows of ecosystem services to their benefit, whereas the consequences hardly reach them. Land change scientists have recently conceptualized this phenomenon under the term “telecoupling”. Our research project within the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) pursues the overall goal of devising and testing innovative strategies and institutional arrangements for securing ecosystem service flows and human well-being in and between telecoupled landscapes at study sites in Laos, Myanmar, and Madagascar.
An online platform for spatial and iterative modelling with Bayesian Networks
Our project team members at ETH Zurich have developed an openly available online platform to run Bayesian Networks (BNs) with spatial data over time. Using gBay (gbay.ethz.ch), users can link their BNs to spatial data, run the network iteratively to incorporate dynamics and feedbacks, and add geo-processing calculations to account for spatial interactions. Find more information on the tool and its applications in the linked publication.