REDD+ and climate smart agriculture in landscapes: A case study in Vietnam using companion modelling

G. Salvini*, A. Ligtenberg, A. Van Paassen, A.K. Bregt, V. Avitabile, M. Herold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Finding land use strategies that merge land-based climate change mitigation measures and adaptation strategies is still an open issue in climate discourse. This article explores synergies and trade-offs between REDD+, a scheme that focuses mainly on mitigation through forest conservation, with “Climate Smart Agriculture”, an approach that emphasizes adaptive agriculture. We introduce a framework for ex-ante assessment of the impact of land management policies and interventions and for quantifying their impacts on land-based mitigation and adaptation goals. The framework includes a companion modelling (ComMod) process informed by interviews with policymakers, local experts and local farmers. The ComMod process consists of a Role-Playing Game with local farmers and an Agent Based Model. The game provided a participatory means to develop policy and climate change scenarios. These scenarios were then used as inputs to the Agent Based Model, a spatially explicit model to simulate landscape dynamics and the associated carbon emissions over decades. We applied the framework using as case study a community in central Vietnam, characterized by deforestation for subsistence agriculture and cultivation of acacias as a cash crop. The main findings show that the framework is useful in guiding consideration of local stakeholders' goals, needs and constraints. Additionally the framework provided beneficial information to policymakers, pointing to ways that policies might be re-designed to make them better tailored to local circumstances and therefore more effective in addressing synergistically climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Agent based model
  • Companion modelling
  • Participatory approaches
  • Policy assessment
  • REDD+
  • Role-playing games


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