Towards a safe and just operating
space for EU agriculture

BrightSpace Modelling Workshop, 4 March 2024

On March 4, 2024, a full-day workshop was held by the BrightSpace modelling team, organized by Wageningen Economic Research (WR) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). The workshop aimed to advance the development of the BrightSpace model toolbox and to identify SJOS (Safe and Just Operating Space) indicators that can be calculated using current models. This session was crucial in preparation for several upcoming project deliverables.

Morning Session: Establishing a Framework for Integration

The day commenced with a Welcome and Introduction session, setting clear objectives and expected outcomes for the workshop. Marc Müller, the project coordinator, presented the SJOS Conceptual Framework. This framework is integral to guiding how the project aligns its modelling efforts with the broader goals of ensuring safe and just operational limits for EU agriculture.

Following the introductory session, participants divided into two breakout groups to explore how different models could link to the various indicator domains. These discussions aimed to identify and address any linkages, overlaps, and gaps within the current model structures. The insights gained were then shared in a plenary session, providing a comprehensive overview of the current state of model mapping.

Afternoon Session: Refining Models for Safety and Justice

The afternoon was dedicated to more focused discussions on specific model adjustments necessary for the Safe (Task 6.1) and Just (Task 7.1) domains. These parallel breakout groups examined how models could be adjusted or improved to better represent the parameters essential for maintaining EU agriculture within safe and just operational boundaries.

Upon reconvening, the groups presented summaries of their identified adjustments and collaboration. This session was essential in pinpointing precise areas for refinement and ensuring that all teams are aligned in their approach.

Concluding Plenary: Setting the Path Forward

The workshop concluded with a final plenary session where the day’s discussions were synthesized, and responsibilities for the next steps were clearly assigned. The hybrid format of the meeting, accommodating both in-person and online participants, ensured broad representation and participation across all modelling teams.

Collaborative Outcomes and Future Directions

Key outcomes of the workshop included the development of detailed flowcharts. These flowcharts will represent model drivers, mechanisms, and result indicators, facilitating a clearer understanding of how the models interact and support the computation of SJOS indicators. The collaborative atmosphere of the workshop fostered a shared vision for the models’ future development and integration.

Upcoming Deliverables and Milestones

The discussions and decisions made during the workshop are integral to several upcoming deliverables, all due by Month 18 (M18) of the project:

  • D5.1: Concept for model interactions and baseline, and mapping research topics to modelling tools (WR).
  • D6.1: Report on fundamental model adjustments to better represent the solution space for EU agriculture within the safe space (PBL & WR).
  • D7.1: Report on model adjustments and additions to enhance the capacity of the BrightSpace Integrated Modelling Toolbox to better model the EU agricultural just operating space (WR).

This workshop marks a significant step forward in the BrightSpace project, ensuring that the modelling efforts are robust, cohesive, and aligned with the project’s goals of sustainable agriculture within the European Union.

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