Land use modelling at the regional scale: an input to rural sustainability indicators for Central America uri icon


  • Reliable and harmonised data are the key to obtaining useful results from the land use model chosen for this study, however responsibility for these data lies with the appropriate institutions in the countries of Central America. Demonstrating what can be done with 'their' data may provide these institutions with the necessary justification to overcome a lack of political will to invest in data collection, data use and the implementation of standards. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
  • The monitoring of rural development and land use is a key requirement in order to produce information for policy-makers and planners and aid their understanding of development processes. Environmental and sustainability indicators, when combined with tools for their visualisation, manipulation and analysis are essential components of the monitoring process. By providing these information products and tools policy-makers can be given the opportunity to spatially interrogate the driving forces and the current state of rural development. However it is also vitally important for decision-makers to understand how trends will develop in the short-term future and the possible impacts of their decisions on the development process.
  • This paper shows how the results of a spatially explicit land use model have been incorporated into a set of rural sustainability indicators to provide information to policy-makers in a form consistent with the information used in the monitoring process. The success of the monitoring process will depend not only on the availability of tools and indicators but also on the skills of the users and an institutional framework that fosters the application of these skills.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001