The agricultural sector through its management of a large share of all agricultural and seminatural landscapes in Norway produces a broad range of ecosystem goods and services (EG&S), of potentially great importance for society. EG&S from these areas include provisioning services (food and food security), regulating services (e.g. carbon sequestration) and a range of cultural services and goods such as landscape aesthetics, tourism and recreation, nature and biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage, in addition to human health and welfare. Agriculture is quite exposed to climate conditions and climate change exerts accelerating pressures on agricultural and seminatural landscapes and on their delivery of EG&S. While some positive effects of climate change for agricultural production in Norway are expected (growing season), negative effects of increasing frequencies of extreme weather events, especially increased rainfall and associated floods and landslides, summer droughts and fires, vegetation damage in winters, and even risks of plant diseases and pests, are likely to accelerate over time. The primary objective of LANDWELL is to the assess the impacts of climate change on the most important welfare effects of market and non-market ecosystem goods and services from agricultural and seminatural landscapes on the national and regional scales in Norway, and for associated food and tourism industries and livelihoods in selected rural communities. The key research questions LANDWELL seeks to answer are: What are the most likely, important climate impacts on EG&S from agricultural and seminatural landscapes in Norway? What are the resulting climate-induced welfare impacts in Norway and how are they distributed? What are the local economic and wider consequences for associated industries and livelihoods of selected, rural communities? LANDWELL is a collaborate effort between NIBIO, NINA, Menon Centre for Environmental and Resource Econ., and SSB (project owner)
The agricultural sector manages a significant part of Norwegian agricultural and seminatural landscapes providing a large amount of both market and non-market ecosystem goods and services (EG&S) for society. These landscapes and resources are also important for other sectors such as tourism, recreation and food industries and contribute to good living conditions and quality of life, especially in rural areas. Little is still known about both how climate change will affect the agricultural sector’s ability to provide EG&S from cultural and seminatural landscapes, and the overall welfare consequences of these impacts for people and for associated industries. This project aims to fill this gap. We propose a broad, interdisciplinary project, coupling social science (environmental and agricultural economics, rural sociology) with natural sciences (climatology, biology, agronomy, landscape ecology, physical geography). Our approach aims first to utilise and operationalise available research and data on physical climate change impacts on the agricultural sector and derive indicators of change of EG&S. This will form the basis for an ambitious and innovative investigation into methods and applications to reliably assess welfare impacts of projected climate change, estimating both monetary and non-monetary indicators of value on multiple geographical scales in Norway. In addition to high-quality research output, the project will generate user-relevant analyses and recommendations for efficient adaptation policies for the agricultural sector. A team of researchers from Statistics Norway (SSB), Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Ruralis, and Menon Economics will implement the project, in close cooperation with a pre-recruited reference group and an international academic advisory board.