This dissertation has two objectives. The first objective is to link conceptually individual decisions and land-use/cover change (LUCC) patterns in rural regions. The second objective is to use these concepts to explore the influence of policy on LUCC as a response of farmers' decisions. To achieve these objectives, different approaches are used. Firstly, agent typologies are used to simplify and allocate the regional diversity of farmers' decisions. Secondly, an agent-based approach is used to link individual decisions and LUCC patterns in a regional model. Thirdly, this approach is applied to explore how farmers' response to national and global socio-economic and biophysical processes can affect the landscape of a Dutch rural region. Fourthly, this approach is applied to explore how farmers' participation in voluntary mechanisms to restore native vegetation can affect the landscape in rural Australia. Finally, the implication of these results for LUCC research and policy-making are discussed.