SEAMLESS - System for Environmental and Agricultural Modeling; Linking European Science and Society
"The project will develop 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 will be 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 will be 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 will be 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 will also be integrated into SEAMLESS-IF, to take into account institutional and social contexts. SEAMLESS-IF will be developed reflexively, using selected test cases to evaluate and improve the tools and assess utility. The development of SEAMLESS-IF will use 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 will allow 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 will be assessed by incorporating appropriate models. SEAMLESS-IF will rapidly become 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"