Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics


A System for Environmental and Agricultural Modelling; Linking European Science and Society

Start: 01/2005
End: 12/2009

The project has developed an integrated framework (SEAMLESS-IF) which integrates approaches from economic, environmental and social sciences to enable assessment of the impact of policy and behavioural changes and innovations in agriculture and agroforestry. Contributions of agriculture to sustainable development and multifunctionality have been assessed at different spatial scales from farm to global, allowing consideration of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to land management change. Innovative software architecture is used to facilitate the use of quantitative biophysical and economic models and databases in combination, and to ensure re-usability of these tools well beyond the lifetime of the project. Indicators have been operationalised to communicate key information to users and between scales or disciplines, and methods for establishing threshold values for these indicators will be clarified. Qualitative tools are also integrated into SEAMLESS-IF, to take into account institutional and social contexts. SEAMLESS-IF was developed reflexively, using selected test cases to evaluate and improve the tools and assess utility. The development of the framework has been using participatory approaches to user involvement and dissemination, and to ensure applicability for prime users (EC DGs Research, Agriculture and Environment) and other users. SEAMLESS-IF allows ex-ante analyses of the impacts of policy and behavioural changes, through clarification of the benefits, costs, and externalities associated with farming system management. Interactions between the EU, associated candidate countries and the rest of the world can be assessed by incorporating appropriate models. SEAMLESS-IF aims at rapidly becoming essential for integrated assessment of agricultural systems in the context of agro-ecological innovations, rural development, sustainability, agricultural policy reform, EU enlargement, and world trade liberalisation.

Researcher: Dr. agr. Insa Theesfeld; Christian Schleyer, Dr. Robert Fischer

Project Partners:

  • Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands;
  • Agricultural Economics Research Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands;
  • CEMAGREF, Aubiére, France;
  • Institute of Landscape Ecology, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, Montpellier, France
  • Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Warsaw Agricultural University, Warsaw, Poland

Lead HU Overall Project: Dr. Martin van Ittersum, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Lead HU Sub-project: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Funding: EU

Project Website: SEAMLESS

Publications and Presentations: Project report - SEAMLESS:
Christian Schleyer, Insa Theesfeld, Konrad Hagedorn, Olivier Aznar, Jean-Marc Callois et. al. Approach towards an operational tool to apply institutional analysis for the assessment of policy feasibility within SEAMLESS-IF.