Using agent-based models to examine implications of introducing conservation auctions in Costa Rica: overview, design concepts, and details (ODD) protocol for a conservation auction agent-based model (CA-ABM)
The agency responsible for Costa Rica’s payment for ecosystem services (PES) program (Pagos de Servicios Ambientales, PSA) has been charged with developing mechanisms to increase cost-effectiveness in the forest protection program. One possible mechanism that can be used to achieve this goal is conservation auctions. While a trial run or a pilot auction could be useful in exploring possible auction designs or to identify possible unintended consequences, these options often require significant financial and political support. An alternative way to explore possible auction designs is by simulating participation and conservation outcomes using models, such as an agent-based model (ABM). Using the ODD (overview, design concepts, and details) protocol published in 2006 and updated in 2010, this report describes the structure of an ABM used to examine possible results of introducing a conservation auction to allocate contracts in Costa Rica’s PSA forest protection program.