Combining top-down and bottom-up modelling approaches of land use/ cover change to support public policies: application to sustainable management of natural resources in northern Vietnam uri icon


  • Over recent years, the scientific community has developed different modelling methodologies of land use/cover change (LUCC) depending on their intended use, and also on the scale of investigation, disciplinary background and scientific tradition of the research teams. Consequently, each LUCC model has its own potential and constraints with respect to the needs and expectations of land use planners and policy makers. Faced with the issue of integrated management of natural resources from local to regional scales, agricultural research can benefit from reconciling top-down and bottom-up approaches to LUCC modelling. Three modelling methodologies belonging to these two LUCC approaches were applied in the province of Bac Kan in northern Vietnam. The multi-agent model SAMBA was developed through an adaptive, bottom-up process while LUPAS and CLUE contributed to a top-down process. Applying these three methodologies at the same research site allowed a critical evaluation of their respective utility for land use analysis and planning. They played complementary roles in bridging knowledge gaps and increasing interactions between stakeholders along the continuum from research to development and policy formulation. Combined use of these modelling methodologies should be promoted when complex natural resource management issues at multiple scales need to be tackled

publication date

  • 2008