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technical aspects

AFORDable Futures specializes in providing the following products and services to its clients. Currently these services are provided in the context of MIMES simulation model case studies.

  •  Frameworks for ecosystem based management.
  •  Participatory stakeholder workshops
  • Conceptual models
  • Audits of data inputs needed for ecosystem based management
  • Ecosystem Service Valuation Tool - ESV
  • Computer simulation models - MIMES
  • Classes, workshops, seminars

These tools are built upon the knowledge base from both ecological and economic disciplines.

Ecological Models and Dynamics

We use the United Nations Environment Programme's DPSIR framework for the general structuring of our ecological models.  According to the DPSIR framework there is a chain of causal links starting with ‘driving forces’ (economic sectors, human activities) through ‘pressures’ (emissions, waste) to ‘states’ (physical, chemical and biological) and ‘impacts’ on ecosystems, human health and functions, eventually leading to political ‘responses’ (prioritisation, target setting, indicators)ref.  This framework captures the essential elements of ecosystems and human interactions within the system and has been used in UNEP's State of the Environment reporting (read more about DPSIR).
The MIMES simulation environment is built upon a series of modular sub models including:

The GUMBO model:

The Global Unified Metamodel of the Biosphere (GUMBO) is an exploration through simulation modeling into the global dynamics and interactions of sociology, economy, and ecology. GUMBO, developed and maintained by Roelof Boumans, is aimed at assessing the dynamics of ecosystem services. GUMBO is central to many activities at the Eco-informatics Collaborative that rely on the ability to generate and analyze global change scenarios whose definition includes economic and cultural dimensions. Among the projects that use or depend on GUMBO are the Ecosystem Services Database and the ARIES framework.

Economic Valuation Methods

For Ecosystems Services Valuation analysis, the economic valuation methodology used is the Benefit-Transfer Method

In the MIMES analysis, more complex economic valuation methods are used, including:
  • Marginal Product Estimation (MP).  Service demand is generated in a dynamic modeling
    environment using a production function
    (Cobb–Douglas functions) to estimate the change in value of
    outputs in response to changes in material inputs.

  • Input-Output modeling based on Wassily Leontief's theories.