Modeling Land Use Change: A GIS Based Modeling Framework to Support Integrated Land Use Planning (NabanFrame)
Monoculture rubber plantations replace traditional land use systems in subtropical south west China. This land use change intensified since 1990 and reduced natural diversity. Planning authorities need spatially explicit information for sustainable land use planning.
We developed an integrated modeling cluster to provide decision support for planning authorities. Our definition of an integrated modeling framework was to apply and coordinate agro-economic, ecological and social models which altogether interact with a land allocation model via defined interfaces (no dynamic coupling). Data sources were remote sensing data, data from geographic information systems (GIS), questionnaires, narrative interviews, and ecological field surveys. We conducted GIS analysis (Euclidian distance, Euclidian allocation, focal mean, map algebra) to reference originally non-spatial information to spatial units. The baseline scenario based on the location factors elevation, distance to villages and available labor. We allowed land use change to occur only in regions outside nature protection zones. Villages served as spatial reference (and thus interface) for social information, farm types as spatial reference for agro-economic information.
The result of the modeling framework was a map of land use change for the baseline scenario (2001–2007). Model results showed that rubber covered nearly the whole area that is below the rubber growing limit of 1200 meters in the year 2007. Fields concentrated on the western part of the study area where rubber growing is not possible.
We showed that it was possible to integrate from various sources into a decision support tool. The value of the approach was that all data were referenced to spatial entities. The modeling framework provided land use maps and evaluated the implications of land use change from a social, agro-economic and ecological point of view. Planning authorities can use the results to conduct sustainable land use planning.
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