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Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision making

Participation in INI programmes is by invitation only. Anyone wishing to apply to participate in the associated workshop(s) should use the relevant workshop application form.

3rd July 2019 to 2nd August 2019
Peter Challenor
Peter Cox
Felix Eigenbrod
Paula Harrison
Simon Kerley

Programme Theme

Land is a key limiting resource in many regions of the world, including the UK. Society depends on land resources for many purposes, including urban settlement, employment and transportation, as well as a host of benefits we get from nature (ecosystem services) - food, timber, energy, recreation, and aesthetic benefits. We require these land resources to be resilient to environmental change, and to meet increasing demands for not only housing, but also renewable energy, recreation and climate change mitigation.  Land-use therefore connects many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the UK, EU exit will require the introduction of many new policies connected to land-use (e.g. replacing the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, etc) – implying an urgent need to develop better landscape decision tools. This INI programme will explore the mathematical and statistical challenges associated with making use of the latest observations to understand and project land-use changes. 

Questions to be addressed will include: what is the minimal useful representation of the landscape system? How do we robustly model the coupled human-environment system without assuming that people act as perfectly rational economic agents? Where are the non-linearities and sensitivities of the system, and how could these be used to produce transformative changes in land-use? How do we reconcile scale disconnects between different elements of human-environment systems?  The one-month programme will be interdisciplinary by design, bringing together those interested in agriculture, forestry, water resources and biodiversity, with mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists expert in system modelling, uncertainty quantification and decision making.

Final Scientific Report: 

EBD Programme: Organisers Peter Challenor and Peter Cox

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons