lems and links among international, national, and local levels; theoretical studies of the bargaining, contracting, and principal-agent aspects of implementing commitments at higher levels by delegating substantial authority to lower-level agents (e.g., tradable permit systems, joint implementation, federal systems); institutional and political study of the applicability of institutions at lower levels of organization to the design of national and international policy instruments; quasi-experimental studies, case comparisons, and simulation studies of the effects of major changes in institutions and rules, based in part on data from archival records and the recollections of participants; and small-scale simulations and experiments.
Over the next 5 to 10 years, research on these issues can be expected to lead to a number of achievements:
Identification of conditions, potential contributions, and pitfalls associated with specific policy instruments, such as tradable permits, and with specific designs of environmental institutions.
Development of a larger and more consistent body of data on international institutions and regimes and on regional and local property rights and other institutions with which to conduct comparative studies of their formation, evolution, and influence.
Identification of conditions under which particular national policies assist or impede the efforts of local resource management institutions to sustain their resources and identification of insights from the experience of local resource management institutions that are transferable or adaptable to national and international institutions.
Identification of the contributions of process-based international review mechanisms to changed behavior.
Considerable progress is already being made in understanding land use/land cover change and changes in human population processes. All land use is local, but the forces influencing the dynamics of land use and land cover come not only from individuals, households, and communities but also from processes at regional, national, and global levels. To understand land use and land cover change requires knowledge of how forces within and beyond the individual actor combine to affect decisions, particularly the conditions conducive to land use decisions that are either destructive or restorative to the environment. We do not yet fully understand how individual perceptions, attitudes, and socioeconomic situations affect land use choices or precisely how various external conditions, such as trade and international political economy, in addition to local rules for access to resources, insurance regulations, distance to markets, infrastructure development,