Environmental Engineering Reference
the component models allows, among other things, the match between sources in
terms of linking the proper output variables of a component to the input variables
of a second component to be checked for consistency. Ontologies have been very
instrumental in realizing interdisciplinary collaboration within the project.
Modellers can develop their models using different modelling environments,
such as MODCOM for the biophysical models and GAMS for farm economic and
market models. The Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI; www.openmi.org) pro-
vides a standardised interface to define, describe and transfer data between software
components running simultaneously or sequentially.
Key Objectives and Organisation of the Topic
The volume reviews and presents our current understanding of integrated concepts
and working tools to assess and compute, ex-ante, alternative agricultural and envi-
ronmental policy options, allowing:
1. Analysis at the full range of scales (farm to European Union and global), whilst
focusing on the most important issues emerging at each scale
2. Analysis of the environmental, economic and social contributions of agricultural
systems towards sustainable rural development and rural viability
3. Analysis of a broad range of issues and options, such as environmental policies,
effects of an enlarging EU, international competition and climate change
This volume has a strong 'lessons to be learnt' emphasis, to facilitate and promote
the use and further development of integrated assessment tools to support policies
promoting agricultural development in support of sustainable development.
Part I explores recent advancements on indicators and concepts in practice.
Chapter 2 guides the development of multifunctionality indicators that are based
on the concept of joint production. Nadine Turpin and her co-authors offer
empirical evidence that multifunctionality in agriculture is far from being negligi-
ble. The work builds on a framework of analysis based on the concept of jointness
In addition to the economic, social and environmental domains of sustainable
development, the concept of institutional analysis is increasingly considered to be a
critical component for ex-ante impact assessment. Chapter 3 provides a procedure
for institutional compatibility assessment. Insa Theesfeld and her co-authors present
four steps that are critical to assess the compatibility of policy options with the
institutional context. The authors elaborate the steps and illustrate the procedure
with the EU Nitrate Directive.
Advancements in modelling, data and software are presented in Part II. To start with,
Chapter 4 offers a modular simulation system that is aimed at estimating the biophysical
behaviour of agricultural production systems in response to the interaction of weather,
soils and agro-technical management. Marcello Donatelli and his co-authors present
a component-based framework called the agricultural production and externalities