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An interdisciplinary approach to regional land use analysis using GIS, with applications to the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica

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  • Hans G. P. Jansen
  • Bas A. M. Bouman
  • Robert A. Schipper
  • Huib Hengsdijk
  • André Nieuwenhuyse

Abstract

Policy makers and other stakeholders concerned with regional rural development increasingly face the need for instruments that can improve transparency in the policy debate and that enhance understanding of opportunities for and limitations to development. To this end, a methodology called SOLUS (Sustainable Options for Land Use) was developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientists over a 10‐year period in the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica. The main tools of SOLUS include a linear programming (LP) model, two expert systems that define technical coefficients for a large number of production activities, and a geographic information system (GIS). A five‐step procedure was developed for GIS to spatially reference biophysical and economic parameters, to create input for the expert systems and the LP model, to store and spatially reference model output data, and to create maps of both model input and output data. SOLUS can be used to evaluate the potential effects of alternative policies and incentive structures on the performance of the agricultural sector. A number of practical applications demonstrate SOLUS's capability to quantify trade‐offs between economic objectives (income, employment) and environmental sustainability (soil nutrient balances, pesticide use, greenhouse gas emissions). GIS‐created maps visualize the spatial aspects of such trade‐offs and indicate hotspots where local goals may conflict with regional goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans G. P. Jansen & Bas A. M. Bouman & Robert A. Schipper & Huib Hengsdijk & André Nieuwenhuyse, 2005. "An interdisciplinary approach to regional land use analysis using GIS, with applications to the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 87-104, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:32:y:2005:i:1:p:87-104
    DOI: 10.1111/j.0169-5150.2005.00007.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jansen, Hans G. P. & Stoorvogel, Jetse J., 1998. "Quantification of aggregation bias in regional agricultural land use models: application to Guacimo county, Costa Rica," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 417-439, November.
    2. EH Bulte & BAM Bouman & RAJ Plant & A Nieuwenhuyse & HGP Jansen, 2000. "The economics of soil nutrient stocks and cattle ranching in the tropics: optimal pasture degradation in humid Costa Rica," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 207-226, June.
    3. Barbier, B. & Bergeron, G., 1999. "Impact of policy interventions on land management in Honduras: results of a bioeconomic model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-16, May.
    4. Stomph, T. J. & Fresco, L. O. & van Keulen, H., 1994. "Land use system evaluation: Concepts and methodology," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 243-255.
    5. Mamingi, Nlandu, 1997. "The impact of prices and macroeconomic policies on agricultural supply: a synthesis of available results," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 17-34, March.
    6. Hengsdijk, H. & Bouman, B. A. M. & Nieuwenhuyse, A. & Jansen, H. G. P., 1999. "Quantification of land use systems using technical coefficient generators: a case study for the Northern Atlantic zone of Costa Rica," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 109-121, August.
    7. de Wit, C. T. & van Keulen, H. & Seligman, N. G. & Spharim, I., 1988. "Application of interactive multiple goal programming techniques for analysis and planning of regional agricultural development," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 211-230.
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    1. Roebeling, Peter C. & Smith, D. Mark & van Grieken, Martijn, 2006. "Exploring Environmental-Economic Benefits from Agri-Industrial Diversification in the Sugar Industry: An Integrated Land Use and Value Chain Approach," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25755, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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