Land-use - BLUES

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Model Documentation - BLUES

Corresponding documentation
Previous versions
Model information
Model link
Institution COPPE/UFRJ (Cenergia), Brazil,
Solution concept General equilibrium (closed economy)
Solution method Optimization

Land Use classes

A representative set of distinct land use classes were chosen to optimize representation and minimize computational requirements in the MESSAGE framework. The starting point were the CSR-UFMG maps uso_da_terra_2013 representing land use in 2013 as allocated by the land use model OTIMIZAGRO ( The map represents the cultivated area of 14 crops, double crop areas, planted forests and pastures, plus the natural remnants of forests and savannas, both inside and outside of protected areas (Soares-Filho et al., 2016). It also shows urban areas and water bodies which were used to create an exclusion mask for agricultural activities. These land use class were aggregated for our purposes according into 9 base-year land use classes:

Cropland, Double crop areas, Pastures, Planted Forests, Savannas, Savannas in Protected Areas, Forests, Forests in Protected Areas.

Pastures were then divided into two categories of grazing intensity: Low-capacity pastures with <0.8 AU/ha and High-capacity pastures with >0.8 AU/ha.

The spatial allocation and area calculation of the two classes of pastures was derived from the "Lotação Bovina no Brasil" map from LAPIG (

To these base-year LU classes was added the Integrated Systems LU class. It represents Crop-Livestock-Forest Integrated Agricultural Systems and is not represented in the initial area allocation as it occupied a negligible area in the base year. However, this production system has gained much attention in recent years and is one of the cornerstones of future intensification of Brazilian agriculture, and an important mitigation measure in the Brazilian Low Carbon Agriculture Plan (MAPA, 2011).