An Agent Based Model ( Abm )

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An agent-based model (ABM) is used here to examine what effect village attitudes toward forest conservation have on the future landscape and extent of forest cover in Bachauli, Nepal if improved forest conservation-related policies are implemented, population growth rate fluctuates, and villages are able to mimic one another’s attitudes toward forest conservation-related behaviors and land use/land cover change (LULCC) decisions. The model integrates land cover data and household attitudes toward forest conservation, community forestry, and forest governance institutions in Nepal. Results suggest that implementing policies aimed at improving individual attitudes toward forest conservation-oriented behaviors would affect forest cover over time. The ability for villages to mimic their neighbors, regardless of varying probabilities of occurrence, was found to have little effect on forest cover. Additionally, population growth rate was found to have a significant effect on LULCC. Despite clear strengths, many challenges still exist with modeling forest conservation dynamics and LULCC in developing countries such as Nepal. Here, we give an overview of some of the challenges we encountered with modeling LULCC in the place-specific context of Bachauli, Nepal—highlighting specific areas in the field which necessitate future improvement.

KEYWORDS: Agent-based modeling, attitudes, conservation, deforestation, forest policy, Nepal, population dynamics, sustainable forest management

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