European Commission logo

Global Biosphere Management Model

AgricultureEnvironmentagricultureland useforestrybioenergy


AgricultureEnvironmentagricultureland useforestrybioenergy

main purpose

GLOBIOM is a global economic land use model covering the sectors of agriculture, forestry and bioenergy. The model has spatially explicit supply side representation covering different management systems and land use activities. It simulates economic market equilibrium for the analysis of economic as well as environmental consequences of future land use drivers and polices.


GLOBIOM is a global model capturing the multiple relationships between the different systems involved in provision of agricultural, forestry and bioenergy products, for example, population dynamics, ecosystems, technology, and climate.

GLOBIOM integrates the agricultural, bioenergy, and forestry sectors and draws on comprehensive socioeconomic and geospatial data. It accounts for the 18 most globally important crops, a range of livestock production activities, forestry commodities, first- and second-generation bioenergy, and water. The supply side of the model is represented at the spatially explicit level of simulation units and takes into account biophysical land and soil, management, and weather characteristics. Land and other resources are allocated to the different production and processing activities to maximize a social welfare function which consists of the sum of producer and consumer surplus subject to resource, technological and policy constraints. Using the year 2000 as the base year, GLOBIOM simulates demand and supply quantities, bilateral trade flows, and prices for commodities and natural resources at 10-year-step intervals up to 2100. The model allows for a full account of all agriculture and forestry GHG sources based on advanced IPCC methods. Based on the structure of the global model, different regional model versions have been developed. Such versions focus on a specific region and incorporate more regional details, such as more crops, policies, or a higher spatial resolution.

GLOBIOM can be used for policy anticipation and formulation. The GLOBIOM approach is strongly grounded in the idea that the production of food, forest fibre, and bioenergy, must be analysed and planned in an integrated way across agriculture, forestry, and bioenergy sectors. GLOBIOM can be used to explore the various trade-offs and synergies around land use and ecosystem services, and helps policy makers understand and minimize land use and resource competition through more holistic thinking.

model type


Third-party ownership (commercial companies, Member States, other organisations, …)
GLOBIOM was developed and is maintained and updated at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).


Licence type
Non-Free Software licence


details on model structure and approach

GLOBIOM is a global, recursive dynamic, linear programming, partial equilibrium model covering the sectors of agriculture, forestry and bioenergy including economic as well as bio-physical aspects. The supply side of the model is built-up from the bottom (spatially explicit land cover, land use, management systems information) to the top (regional markets). Commodity markets and international trade are modelled at the level of aggregate economic regions (the aggregation is flexible and can be adapted to the user needs) where prices are endogenously determined at the regional level to establish a market equilibrium. Trade is modelled following the spatial equilibrium approach representing bilateral trade flows based on cost competitiveness and homogeneous good assumption. Besides primary products for the different sectors, the model has several final and by-products, for which processing activities are defined. The model computes market equilibrium for agricultural and forest products by allocating land use among production activities to maximize the sum of producer and consumer surplus, subject to resource, technological, demand and policy constraints. GLOBIOM captures the multiple interrelationships between different systems involved in production of agricultural and forestry products. For example, population dynamics, changes in socio-economic and technological conditions, ecosystems and climate that lead to adjustments in the product mix and the use of land and other productive resources. The model is calibrated to an average around the year 2000 and solved recursively dynamic, typically done in 10-year time steps, and depending on the study, going up to 2100. The historical period (2000 until the year with most recently available statistics) is usually used as a validation/calibration period of the model.

model inputs

Economic data is based on the market balances of Eurostat and FAOSTAT. Land cover maps rely on CORINE/PELCOM and GLC 2000. The source of bio-physical crop and forest parameters are the crop model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model (EPIC) and the Global Forest Model (G4M), respectively. Price demand elasticities of the USDA are used to model changes in demand in the agricultural sector, forest sector elasticities rely on the scientific literature. Nearly all greenhouse gas emissions from land using sectors and land use change are included and based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accounting guidelines. Other data (Population, GDP, Technical progress, etc.) were compiled from various databases or models.

model outputs

GLOBIOM provides output for land use change in hectares, GHG emission in tons of CO2e, water use through irrigation, fertilizer use, and commodity prices. Furthermore, supply and demand are projected for agricultural as well as forestry products.

model spatial-temporal resolution and extent

Spatial Extent/Country Coverage
ALL countries of the WORLD
Spatial Resolution
Regular Grid >50km
GLOBIOM has a spatial resolution of 0.5° x 0.5° grid which can be aggregated to countries or regions. It distinguishes a flexible amount of 30 world regions (default is 30) currently represented in the global version. Regional versions of the model, have been designed with national and regional institutes. These versions can provide a more detailed spatial representation of land use changes to assess the impact of specific regional policies. The EU Version of the model for instance is solved at the NUTS2 level for EU countries.
Temporal Extent
Long-term (more than 15 years)
Projections over time up to 2100 are possible
Temporal Resolution
Multiple years
10 years