Developing an Agricultural Land and Policy Simulator to Promote Climate-Smart Policy

Abstract : Feeding 1.5 billion people by 2030, and 2 billion by 2050, while mitigating and adapting to climate change, is a daunting challenge that countries in Africa are attempting to address. In this paper we report in a project between Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and Climate Interactive (CI). Our tool, the Agriculture and Land Policy Simulator (ALPS) helps policy-makers and stakeholders make climate-smart decisions in their agriculture strategies. ALPS models the intersections among land, agriculture, and climate. We base our work on the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) concept, the three pillars of which are: food security, resilience to climate changes, and mitigation of emissions. Using System Dynamics, a multidisciplinary team of agronomists, agricultural economists, and system dynamics developed the causal relationships. We refined system structure and formulations based on discussion with experts, existing research, and analysis of strategic policy documents. The model parameters are set to fit historical data from a variety of sources. In this paper we present the Moroccan case of ALPS, incorporating significant improvements over prior work and fitted to the Morocco policy context. The Green Morocco Plan (known by the French acronym PMV) is specifically used for simulation and modeling exercise. The simulator allows the user to test assumptions and scenarios through varying levels on different policy components. ALPS has previously been used to simulate the Ethiopian context, and future development will improve both these cases and will be extended to cover several African countries. The causal loop below summarizes all interactions between the model variables that interlink agriculture sectors. Food Demand increases with population and living standards. The user makes choices to ensure Food Available-Production and Imports less Losses and Exports-can meet demand. Land use can change between five categories-Cropland, Pasture, Forest, Grassland, and Dessert. The availability and need for irrigation depends on rainfall and infrastructure. These physical limits enforce the constraints the agriculture system faces. Action to meet food demand also create undesirable consequences. Countries have goals such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. ALPS includes direct emissions from crop and livestock farming, as well as emissions from land-use changes and the stocks of carbon sequestered in soil and biomass. These help the user see the impact on other goals when meeting food needs.
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Safae Elmisaoui, Saad Benjelloun, Souhail Maazioui, Abdelkrim Lachgar, Charles Jones. Developing an Agricultural Land and Policy Simulator to Promote Climate-Smart Policy. The 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Aug 2018, Reykjavík, Iceland. ⟨hal-02265037⟩

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