Trade-offs and decision making

Project focussed on quantifying the economic and environmental, trade-offs and synergies that arise under land use change.


The number of environmental layers, both from observation and modelling, has grown over the past few decades. A key intended use of these data is to support decision making and environmental planning. We seek to determine the current outcomes from deforestation and how those outcomes may be affected via different interventions. This project is in the early stages of development but we hope to have updates on results and progress soon! 


The Amazon is the world’s largest remaining tropical forest and it is under immense pressure from land use conversion. In this project we combine empirical data with future predictions of deforestation under a business as usual (BAU) scenario to assess how close to optimal the current path of deforestation in the Amazon is for timber revenues, crop revenues, local bird species richness conservation and carbon conservation. We seek to highlight how different management objectives alter the gains, losses and spatial patterns of deforestation; investigating the impacts of using different approaches to allocate the same deforestation intensity in order to ‘optimise’ outcomes across these four commodities.

While the project focusses on the Amazon, the principles of the investigation can be applied to any region.






  • Trade-offs in the Amazon
  • An SMT approach to trade-offs


Maps showing the density of deforestation under different management scenarios. with bars showing the corresponding gains and losses (in $ and conservation level) across 3 different scales of management.