383T: An introduction to system dynamics for understanding the sustainability challenges of land system transformations
How do we support transformation?
Land use and land cover change have been one of the main drivers of changes in climate and biodiversity and are increasing. Therefore, there is increasing attention to land system transformations in response to global change, in order to stay within an environmentally-safe operating space, a pre-condition for human development. However, land systems are characterized by complex interactions. Thus, despite the progress in land use and land cover change modelling, understanding the dynamics (interaction and feedbacks) among land, ecological (e.g. climate, water) and social systems remain a major challenge to sustainable transformations in land system. For example, the feedbacks between land use change and climate can be triggered by the feedbacks from socio-economic systems, such as largescale investments in land, which can lead to higher incomes, but in turn, can trigger investments in further expansion of such land use. Therefore, land system transformations without understanding and incorporating such social-ecological systems’ (SES) dynamics could lead to erroneous conclusions and could limit the long-term benefits of sustainable land system transformations.
System dynamics (SD) modelling can contribute to achieving sustainable land system transformations through understanding and capturing the dynamics (e.g. interaction and feedbacks) between SES. Using a systems perspective, this modelling technique provides insights into the behavior of a system, including feedbacks, delays and nonlinearities and can be used to explore pathways to sustainable transformations of land systems.
This training session aims to improve understanding about system thinking and system dynamics modelling, applied to SES and sustainable land system transformations, through introducing the theories, concepts and steps of SD modelling and through a short practical and discussion session.
1. General introduction to system dynamics modelling (50’) - Overview of modelling approaches - Introduction to system dynamics (SD) - SD modelling concepts and process - Application of SD model - General overview of modelling software
2. Brief introduction to STELLA (Practical session) (25’) 3. Question and answer session (10’) Training session will be recorded and will be uploaded online
Pre-requisite: - Basic understanding of statistics (e.g. regression, correlation, linearity, and non-linearity) - Interest in system thinking and social-ecological systems approach
Training Organisers: Sarwar Sohel and Chinwe Ifejika Speranza
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