Modelling interactions between humans and nature
Human activities are causing major changes in biodiversity and ecosystems across the globe. Models are indispensable to quantify these changes and assess the effectiveness of measures to conserve and restore nature. The GLOBIO model is developed by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in collaboration with various partners and is designed to inform and support policy-makers by quantifying global human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. The model is tightly connected to PBL’s IMAGE model: an integrated assessment model that simulates the global environmental consequences of human activities. Over the past years, the IMAGE-GLOBIO framework has been extensively used for environmental assessments, for example for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
GLOBIO can be used to quantify various policy-relevant dimensions of human-nature interactions, including:
- Benefits that people obtain from nature (ecosystem services, also called nature’s contributions to people or nature-based solutions)
- Impacts of human activities on biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Production- and consumption-based biodiversity impacts (‘footprints’)
- Patterns and trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services under future socio-economic development scenarios
- The effectiveness of large-scale policy options for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services
Biodiversity is commonly defined as the variety of life, which includes multiple aspects: diversity within species (genetic diversity), diversity between species and diversity of ecosystems. Thus, biodiversity is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, as are the benefits that people obtain from nature. GLOBIO therefore includes multiple complementary model components:
- GLOBIO for assessing terrestrial biodiversity intactness
- GLOBIO-Aquatic for assessing freshwater biodiversity intactness
- GLOBIO-Species for assessing the distribution and abundance of vertebrate species
- GLOBIO-ES for assessing various ecosystem services, including provisioning services, regulating services and cultural services
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Exploring interaction effects from mechanisms between climate and land-use changes and the projected consequences on biodiversity
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The GLOBIO model is hosted and maintained by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. For updating and applying GLOBIO, we collaborate extensively with various national and international partners. Past and current partners include: