The overarching goal of SuMaRiO is to support oasis management along the Tarim River under conditions of climatic and societal changes. A main deliverable of SuMaRiO will be an indicator-based decision support system (DSS) that allows a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) within regional planning.

This SIA will integrate the many specific research results obtained by the SuMaRiO cluster in the areas ESS/ESF, water resources and use, and land use including urban, agricultural and natural areas. It will take into account the perspectives of all relevant actors in the problem field of land and water management in the Tarim River Basin, which will be elicited and analysed by actor modelling. Then, under given scenario assumptions, possible actions and their impacts are estimated in a semi-quantitative way. In the implementation phase, the goal is to train Chinese partners in the use of the English and Chinese DSS.

Complementary to the DSS, a software-supported method will be developed in English and Chinese. This method allows planners and decision makers in the Tarim River Basin and other Chinese regions to analyze actor perceptions as basis for decision making. During the application phase, training courses for both software applications will be provided to the local stakeholders and actors in order to ensure the sustainable use of the results of SuMaRiO.

The overall goal of SuMaRiO will be achieved by:

  • Developing methods for analyzing ESF/ESS, and integrating them into land and water management of oases areas and floodplain forests;

  • Involving stakeholders in the research process to integrate their knowledge and problem perceptions into the scientific process;

  • Developing tools with Chinese decision makers that demonstrate the ecological and socio-economic consequences of their decisions in a changing world;

  • Introducing participatory approaches into the development of sustainable management structures;

  • Jointly identifying options for optimizing economic, ecological, and societal utilities; and

  • Implementation of sustainable land management strategies.

Research Objectives

  • Estimation of the impact of climate change on water availability

  • Determination of interactions of floodplain biodiversity and their ecosystem services

  • Interlinkages between runoff characteristics / water quality / oasis management / ecosystem services

  • Evaluation of traditional, high-input and alternative land use systems (ecosystem services / economic and social aspects)

  • Transdisciplinary research by stakeholder participation

  • Installation of various internet-based tools for supporting sustainable land management by quantifying system variables and ecosystem services

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