Rethinking Dams: Innovative Hydropower Solutions to Achieve Sustainable Food and Energy Production, and Sustainable Communities

To address the global challenges of food security and land use, the team consists of leading scholars in social and natural sciences as well as stakeholders in relevant sectors from four countries (Brazil, China, U.K. and U.S.), and two major centers of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR, International Center for Tropical Agriculture [CIAT] and International Food Policy Research Institute [IFPRI]). The overall goal is to understand the direct and collateral effects of feedbacks between food security and land use over long distances.  The team applies an innovative framework of telecoupling socioeconomic and environmental interactions among coupled human and natural systems at different scales over great distances that can transform how the world thinks about collateral effects from international trade on food security and land use dynamics. The focus will be on major commodities central to food security: rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, biofuel crops (mainly sugarcane and corn) and livestock. The team takes a novel systems integration approach, which integrates socioeconomic and environmental data across spatial and temporal scales and organizational levels, theories and methods from multiple social and natural sciences, advanced techniques (e.g., modeling and simulation, web-based visualization, remote sensing, geographic information systems), and researchers and stakeholders. An innovative agent-based model (ABM) will be developed to effectively represent the telecoupled system and provide generality of model outcomes.