CSS SEMINAR - Atesmachew Hailegiorgis

Friday, February 21, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

TITLE: An Agent-Based Modeling of Climate Adaptation in Rural System

Atesmachew Hailegiorgis
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Social Complexity
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: Climate change is and will continue to be the main challenge of rural communities in most sub-Saharan Africa. Given that a climate-driven subsistence agriculture system is the main source of livelihood for most rural communities, adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is essential to sustain rural livelihoods and to ensure food security. However, modeling adaptation is not a trivial task as the heterogeneity of rural household characteristics and compositions, the diversity of agricultural and nonagricultural livelihood strategies, and the rate of exposure to various stressors, ranging from natural stressor to those related to socioeconomic and political changes, makes adaptation difficult to model and predict for. In this seminar, I present OMOLAND, which is a spatial agent-based model of climate change adaptation that explicitly represents the main components of the rural system, their interactions, and dynamics. The main aim of this modeling effort is to gain basic understanding of the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural households with respect to variation in climate, socioeconomic factors, and land use at the local level. The model adds value by incorporating perception of rural households toward climate change and resource flows that allow agents to diversify their production strategy in their land holdings under different climatic situations and simulation scenarios.