Birgit Kopainsky

Birgit Kopainsky
University of Bergen | UiB · Department of Geography

Ph.D Agricultural Economics

About

153
Publications
106,732
Reads
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1,406
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2018 - present
University of Bergen
Position
  • Professor
June 2017 - April 2018
University of Bergen
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2016 - August 2017
Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
October 2000 - March 2005
ETH Zurich
Field of study
  • Agricultural Economics
October 1995 - September 2000
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Geography; Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
Food systems will need to undergo considerable transformation. To be better prepared for and resilient to uncertainty and disturbances in the future, resource users and managers need to further develop knowledge about the food and farming system, with its dominating feedback structures and complexities, and to test robust and integrated system-base...
Article
Understanding vulnerabilities in complex and interdependent modern food systems requires a whole-system perspective. This paper demonstrates how one systems approach, system dynamics, can help conceptualize the mechanisms and pathways by which food systems can be affected by disturbances. We describe the process of creating stock-and-flow maps and...
Article
An important challenge for the Swiss agri‐food system is how to align food provision with environmental goals in the context of increasingly complex conditions. This paper describes a system dynamics model that analyses the trade‐offs and synergies between these goals arising from different fields of action. The model is grounded in the social‐ecol...
Article
Research shows that people have great difficulty in understanding dynamics. Even when problem descriptions contain all the necessary information, people tend to mismanage dynamic systems. Given the increasing complexity of our modern societies, effective ways to communicate dynamics need to be identified. In this paper we explore the effectiveness...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last several decades, policymakers and stakeholders in the European Union (EU) have put considerable effort into increasing the adoption of organic farming, with the overall objective of its sustainable development. However, the growth of the organic sector has come with many challenges that jeopardize its sustainability. The question then...
Article
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Climate change and more frequent extreme weather events are expected to significantly challenge food production and food security worldwide, underlining the need for adaptation within the agricultural sector. Although Norway, as other Nordic countries, potentially benefits from higher temperatures in terms of agricultural production, adaptation wil...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience management of farming systems requires building an understanding of the underlying drivers of the adaptive capacity of the system. In this paper, we use the concept of resilience as a framework to understand how bovine livestock farming systems may adjust to challenging environmental, social, and political conditions. Using an interactiv...
Article
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Study region Fårö island, part of Region Gotland, Sweden. Study focus Despite its importance for proactive planning and management, understanding of how future climate and socioeconomic trends may interact to influence water supply and demand at sub-regional scale remains limited for the Nordic region. We aim to close this knowledge gap by develop...
Chapter
Full-text available
What exactly is resilience and how can it be enhanced? Farming systems in Europe are rapidly evolving while at the same time being under threat, as seen by the disappearance of dozens of farms every day. Farming systems must become more resilient in response to growing economic, environmental, institutional, and social challenges facing Europe's ag...
Chapter
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Accumulating shocks and long-term stresses, such as trade conflicts, climate change and deteriorating public trust in agricultural practices have raised concerns about the resilience of Europe’s diverse farming systems. The SURE-Farm approach aims to systematically assess the resilience capacities of farming systems, i.e. regional constellations of...
Article
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Farming systems in Europe are facing economic, social, environmental and institutional challenges. Highly intensive, climate-exposed, arable farming systems like the Veenkoloniën in the north of the Netherlands are particularly vulnerable to many of these challenges. Just in the past twenty years, the Veenkoloniën has lost half of its small and med...
Article
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Construction and demolition waste (CDW) constitutes a highly voluminous urban waste stream with significant potential for circular mineral construction material usage. This paper uses participatory system dynamics modeling with relevant actors from different public policy and industry sectors to a) to identify structural barriers to the uptake of s...
Article
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Agricultural-food production systems are facing the challenging task to provide food and socio-economic welfare while preserving natural resources in the long-term. In Morocco, the Green Moroccan Plan steered the promotion of groundwater-based drip irrigation. Over the last decade, the Plan encouraged producers to shift to cash crop production. Thi...
Article
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Conservation practitioners routinely work within complex social-ecological systems to address threats facing biodiversity and to promote positive human-wildlife interactions. Inadequate understanding of the direct and indirect, short-and long-term consequences of decision making within these dynamic systems can lead to misdiagnosed problems and int...
Article
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Ensuring sustainable management and an adequate supply of freshwater resources is a growing challenge around the world. Even in historically water abundant regions climate change together with population growth and economic development are processes that are expected to contribute to an increase in permanent and seasonal water scarcity in the comin...
Conference Paper
In the northern coastal region in Senegal, called the Niayes region, vegetable producers face increasing water stress. This has initiated a poverty trap of family farms without the means to adapt to decreasing water levels. As a result, family farms start to abandon their land. This process is further driven by a multitude of complex interacting dr...
Article
Analyses of food security with agricultural systems models often focus on indicators of food availability, with limited treatment of the other three dimensions: food access, stability and utilization. We illustrate how three indicators of access (food consumption expenditures, a food insecurity scale and dietary diversity) and their stability can b...
Article
Improvement of food security is a common objective for many agricultural systems analyses, but how food security has been conceptualized and evaluated within agricultural systems has not been systematically evaluated. We reviewed the literature on agricultural systems analyses of food security at the household-and regional-levels, finding that the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The resilience of EU farming systems is perceived to be low to moderate. Many farming systems are perceived to be close to critical thresholds, with low economic viability leading to farmer exits, making it hard to maintain the social fabric, natural resources and biodiversity. There are limits to success with regard to increasing farm size and int...
Article
Food systems have increasingly strong impacts on the environment, and they influence our human well‐being. In Switzerland, food consumption accounts for one‐third of the environmental impact caused by total final consumption. At the same time, non‐communicable diseases have been linked to a number of dietary aspects. In Switzerland, all non‐communi...
Article
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The water-energy-food nexus concept is criticized as not yet fit for deeply integrated and contested governance agendas. One problem is how to achieve equitable risk governance and management where there is low consensus on priorities, poor inclusion and coordination of risk assessment procedures, and a weak emphasis placed on cross-scale and secto...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The sustainability and resilience of EU farming systems are threatened. According to stakeholders in selected EU farming systems, many of these systems are close to critical thresholds regarding the challenges they face (e.g., droughts, price declines), functions they deliver (e.g., economic viability, biodiversity and habitat) and attributes requi...
Article
Many conceptual frameworks have been developed to facilitate understanding and analysis of the linkages between agriculture and food security. Despite having usefully guided analysis and investment, these frameworks exhibit wide diversity in perspectives, assumptions and application. This Review Article examines this diversity, providing an approac...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience has emerged as a buzzword among researchers and practitioners. However, despite its popularity, there has been little progress in moving it from a metaphor to applied projects. While case study research is rich with examples of systems that have proven to be resilient or are striving to develop resilience, the approaches for operationali...
Conference Paper
With detrimental effects of climate change already here and appropriate action still lagging behind, work on sustainability that applies system dynamics is more urgent than ever. In July 2018, a number of researchers - mainly active in Europe - commenced an open dialogue on system dynamics and sustainability at emlyon business school in Lyon. The a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
For improving the sustainability and resilience of EU farming systems, it is important to assess their likely responses to future challenges under future scenarios. We evaluated future resilience in 11 case studies across the EU, using a soft coupling of different qualitative and quantitative approaches. Results from the qualitative approach "FoP...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses our experience in using system dynamics to facilitate resilience planning for food security in rural communities that are exposed to ever-increasing climatic pressures in Guate-mala. The social-ecological systems literature is rich in examples where policies to enhance resilience are deduced from factors generally accepted to b...
Article
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Participatory modeling is a potentially high‐impact approach for catalyzing fundamental sustainability transformations. We test if participation in a group system dynamics modeling exercise increases participants’ agency through a novel method to evaluate potential behavioral change using expectations measures. A water‐energy‐food nexus a functiona...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain ac...
Article
Smallholder farmers in sub‐Saharan Africa recurrently face situations of complex and dynamic decision trade‐offs. Short‐term‐oriented activities such as fertilizer application help to cover immediate food needs but compromise on future food production. Long‐term‐oriented production activities such as building up soil fertility are important systemi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document assesses the current state of practice for the representation of food security indicators in agricultural systems models and provides recommendations for improvements in both model formulation and the empirical evidence base underlying it. This assessment was based on a review of existing conceptual frameworks linking agriculture and...
Poster
Farmers are increasingly exposed to various types of stresses. For horticultural growers, this is all the more striking as vegetable production, such as tomato, is input and water demanding. In Morocco, tomato is a key food crop, and also a key cash crop for the producers and constitutes a main agri-food export commodity of the country. On the othe...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this papers is to highlight the applicability of integrated simulation models for national development planning to different issues and contexts. Specifically, the authors describe one such model, the Millennium Institute’s T21 model, which is used to support planning in various countries, and explore in detail the case of Sw...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing interest in the bio-based economy, evident in the policy domain as well as in the academic literature. Its proponents consider it an opportunity to address multiple societal challenges, and the concept has broad reach across different sectors of society. However, a potential transition process is also linked to areas of risk and...
Article
Full-text available
A transition to a bio-based economy would entail change in coupled social–ecological systems. These systems are characterised by complexity, giving rise to potential unintended consequences and trade-offs caused by actions aiming to facilitate a transition process. Yet, many of the analyses to date have been focusing on single and predominantly tec...
Preprint
Resilience has emerged as a buzzword among researchers and practitioners. However, despite its popularity, there has been little progress in moving it from an elaborate metaphor describing an idyllic state of the system to a tool for planning and managing adaptation. While case study research is rich with examples of systems that have proven to be...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report available at: http://surefarmproject.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SURE-Farm_Deliverable-D1.1-Resilience-Framework.pdf Farming systems in Europe face a vast range of environmental, economic, social and institutional challenges. Examples include more volatile producer and input prices, higher probability of extreme weather events,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Farming systems in Europe face a vast range of environmental, economic, social and institutional challenges. Examples include more volatile producer and input prices, higher probability of extreme weather events, increasing dependence on land owners and financial institutions, organizational change within value chains, competing policy objectives a...
Chapter
Understanding the dynamics of human—environment systems, and developing policies that promote their sustainability, requires a holistic, integrated approach. Although many frameworks have been developed that include social and environmental components, managing social and ecological systems as integrated systems has been difficult in practice. The...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents a system map of causal links and feedback loops among social and ecological components in the Lake Tana region. The map was collaboratively developed by twenty-seven regional researchers, managers, and development experts who participated in a one-day systems mapping workshop entitled “Strengthening Links between Policy and Re...
Article
This paper proposes a framework for dealing with the complexity of food systems for guiding implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Sustainable Development Goal number 2 ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. The framework combines a food systems approach with systems analysis and modell...
Preprint
Food systems will need to undergo considerable transformation. To be better prepared for and resilient to uncertainty and disturbances in the future, resource users and managers need to further develop knowledge about the food and farming system, with its dominating feedback structures and complexities, and to test robust and integrated system-base...
Article
Full-text available
In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, food systems must be resilient, i.e., able to deliver sustainable and equitable food and nutrition security in the face of multiple shocks and stresses. The resilience of the European food system that relies mostly on conventional agriculture is a matter of genuine concern and a new approach is call...
Article
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Challenged food systems. Well- functioning food systems are essential to ensure that people do not su er om malnutrition. Today, malnutrition is visible both in form of undernutrition (including hunger and inadequate nutrition) and overnutrition (including overweight and obesity).
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Organic farming is usually understood as a holistic approach to agriculture and food production with objectives built around four principles formulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM): health, ecology, fairness and care (Darnhofer, 2014). Health means that organic farming is intended to provide high quality...
Article
Full-text available
In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, the security of food supplies is threatened by many factors. These include multiple processes of global change (e.g. climate change, rapid urbanization, population ageing), unexpected shocks (e.g. natural disasters, financial and political crises), and unexpected responses of food systems themselves...
Article
Full-text available
Prior exploration is an instructional strategy that has improved performance and understanding in system-dynamics-based simulators, but only to a limited degree. This study investigates whether model transparency, that is, showing users the internal structure of models, can extend the prior exploration strategy and improve learning even more. In an...