FEEDBACK: Finding and understanding Ecological and socio-Economic system Dependencies in Biodiversity conservation and AgriCultural land use for the management of Key system drivers

Tipping points are undesirable and irreversible ‘regime shifts’, and occur in both ecological and the socio-economic systems. For the prevention of undesirable tipping points, a mechanistic understanding of the potential feedbacks between ecological and the socio-economic systems is necessary. This project aims to contribute to a better management and prevention of tipping points by using a modelling approach at the landscape scale.

We will set up coupled models of the ecological and socio-economic system that will be parameterized with data from case studies and subjected to a number of scenarios, to investigate the extent to which socio-economic tipping points drive ecological tipping points and vice versa. The preliminary phase of the project will be used to review the knowledge on coupled tipping points in the socio-economic and ecological systems, to set up the basic structure of the coupled models, and to select study sites from the identified candidate model regions in Europe, Africa and South America for the main phase. Scenario development in close cooperation with stakeholders and modelling will be carried out in the main phase of the project. The results of coupled socio-economic and ecological models will be made available with web interface that can be used worldwide for landscape analysis of tipping points.